Cooking and Baking with Butter
General Rule of Thumb: "Stick" to a few general rules when cooking for "dairy" good results the first time, and every time.
- Use unsalted butter with seafood and in baking - its delicate flavor brings out the best in these types of dishes.
- For maximum flavor, heat butter before using. Heating releases natural flavor compounds, allowing butter to develop its full, rich taste. Drizzle over vegetables, pasta, grains, potatoes or fish and poultry. Don't stop there, experiment - butter's delicious on almost everything!
- Use butter sticks when preparing recipes to ensure even measurements. Whipped butter contains more moisture and air and is better for toppings and spreads.
Professional chefs and bakers agree there is no substitute for the flavor and performance of Real Butter for cooking and baking. For the best tasting results, follow these helpful tips when using butter.
- Keep it Fresh. Store butter in its original packaging or in a sealed container in the coldest part of the refrigerator, not in the refrigerator door. Keep butter away from foods with strong odors or distinct flavors.
- How the Cookie Crumbles. For melt-in-your-mouth cookies, use slightly softened, unsalted butter. With its low melting point, butter helps make cookies soft and chewy on the inside, but crisp and golden on the outside.
- The Upper Crust. For flakier pie crusts and puff pastries, keep butter as hard and cold as possible prior to use. The flaky texture is produced when cold pieces of butter, trapped between thin layers of dough, melt during baking, creating small air pockets.
- The Scoop on Sauces. Butter makes sauces smooth and creamy, and creates a cohesive consistency by helping mix both fat- and water-based ingredients. For the best consistency and flavor, use cold, hard butter.
- Quality Candy. Butter is a key contributor to the rich flavor that makes caramels, pralines and toffee richly delicious, and it prevents excessive stickiness. Unsalted butter is best for candy-making.
- Flavor Enhancer. Adding butter along with savory or sweet spices helps retain the flavor of the spices and works to integrate the flavor throughout the entire dish.