Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

"Default" Butter: Salted or Sweet?


waves2ya
 Share

Recommended Posts

Anne,

I am with you on the unsalted/salted butter taste issue. I am going to throw this out as an idea, and it is just an idea. In pastry as in most aspects of cooking we all have a strong french bias, in the way we were trained etc, so as french butter is unsalted is this why we beleive recipes should be formulated with unsalted. Just a thought.

Karen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In pastry as in most aspects of cooking we all have a strong french bias, in the way we were trained etc, so as french butter is unsalted is this why we beleive recipes should be formulated with unsalted. Just a thought.

Hm, not sure. I live in France and most all industrially produced butter is offered in salted and unsalted versions. I think that it may depend where you grew up in France as well. I have, for instance, a recipe for gateau bretan that calls for "farm butter" and when I inquired more deeply into it with the woman who makes these cakes, she indicated that it was salted butter, as it is salted in Britanny, like a cultured beurre de barratte. My mother-in-law, an established home cook in the midi, also strongly opines on the qualities of salted butter. I personally don't inquire when I buy my butter from the producers at the market, which comes in a ball or is cut off of an irregularly shaped block. Sometimes it does come salted. I think when it comes down to the wire, professional standards may be quite rigid, but in cooking with recipes from books at home, we can't be entirely purists in the matter and turn up our nose at salted butter just because it acts as a preservative and the butter could last longer on the shelf. These days with refrigerated shipping and hygeine standards the way they are in the grand commerce, we can't even imagine that a salted butter off the shelf will reach us any older than the unsalted version.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Prior to my Christmas vacation, I ordered 8 pounds of the Cabot butter, 4 pounds of the Euro-style and 4 pounds of the Old-fashioned.

I finally used the last of the Euro-style (unsalted) and ordered another 8 pounds plus 8 pounds of the Old-fashioned.

It freezes well and I want to keep it on hand.

I found that it works great in sauces, better than the Plugra, and is terrific in pastry.

I made shortbread with the Old-Fashioned and it was supurb.

it is costly, but not any more so than when I make my own, if I figure my time as part of the cost. Adding my time in addition to everything else, my homemade stuff costs me about 7 bucks a pound.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Speaking of French, the restaurant I apprenticed in, Alsace in nature, used salted butter for everything except most pastries.

To saute with, everything.

We don't even have salted butter in our work kitchen... I'd have to order salted butter in specially if I wanted to make shortbread.

Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i would feel confident saying that in any application the nature (moisture, ferments, etc) of the butter is far more important than the salt content.

I agree with Artisanbaker. The freshness and moisture content are far more important to me then the salt content.

I've baked with both salted and non, I've never seen a difference or tasted an objectional salt flavor. I like extra salt in alot of my baked items. I think it's under used in the pastry kitchen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I know for sure I am baking I try to remember to get unsalted butter but for eating I much prefer regular industrial salted butter except when I can get my hands on some Icelandic regular industrial salted butter...the shipping kills ya

I drove my grandmother nuts years ago, if sh eaccidentally got unsalted butter I could smell it literally when I opened the fridge never liked it ...there must have been some kind of major difference.....I can still smell the difference I always sniff(My own piece) in restaurants to see if i need to salt my buttered bread.

T

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This may be Pastry Chef Blasphemy, but when I bake with unsalted butter and add or adjust salt in the recipe vs. baking with salted butter and adding/or subtracting salt in the recipe, I really see no difference.

I'm just a homebaker but I second that. I do bake a lot of cakes and cookies (I sell them) and I grab whatever's on sale, salted or unsalted, and then adjust accordingly.

The only time I get fussy about butter is when I do roll-in doughs, like croissant or danish, or I'm making something that relies mostly on the butter for taste, like shortbread for instance.

In those cases I like to use the high butterfat butters like Plugra, or Kerrygold (my current favorite.)

I use Kerrygold whenever I make shortbreads. It really does make adifference.

kerrygold does come in a gold wrapper, but I dont think it has creme de la creme on the wrapper. Kerrygold is a salted butter that is imported from Ireland.

Salted Kerrygold = gold foil. Unsalted Kerrygold = silver foil.

Edited by kew (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a very rough rule of thumb, I'd say that most (UK!) salted butters have a more pronounced buttery taste that most unsalted butters.

isn't that funny - I've always found that unsalted (UK) butter has a more "buttery" taste, even comparing the same brand of salted/unsalted butter. for that reason I much prefer unsalted - at least spread on bread rolls or biscuits.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a very rough rule of thumb, I'd say that most (UK!) salted butters have a more pronounced buttery taste that most unsalted butters.

isn't that funny - I've always found that unsalted (UK) butter has a more "buttery" taste, even comparing the same brand of salted/unsalted butter. for that reason I much prefer unsalted - at least spread on bread rolls or biscuits.

nooo! heresy. :)

de gustibus non est disputandem!

Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...