Post by traildoggie on Jan 12, 2018 14:30:58 GMT -5
Do you use unsalted? I have never understood why.... other than it gives more control about salt level in a recipe. do you buy it especially for certain recipes? I usually use salted butter and back off on other added salt but I have never understood the purpose. more expensive. will go bad in the refrigerator. I'm looking at a recipe for some cookies right now that calls for unsalted butter, but then adds 1/2 tsp of salt. would you buy unsalted specially for this?
I think some people prefer unsalted butter for a couple of reasons: First, you can add the precise amount to salt you want to your recipe. The second reason is since salt acts as a preservative, you increase the likelihood of using a fresher product if you use unsalted butter. I definitely don't think any slight difference is worth making a separate purchase. I am curious, though, about your comment that unsalted butter was more expensive since I've always found the two types to be priced identically at the store.
Post by swedishcook on Jan 12, 2018 21:41:23 GMT -5
Thanks for starting this thread traildoggie! This is a question I never dared to ask. Just assumed all cake and cookie baking in the USA was done with unsalted butter then adding salt to the dry ingredients. So for years I have kept two kinds of butter in the fridge. None of my old recipes from "over there" use unsalted butter but many use margarine. On the other hand salt is never an ingredient unless you're baking bread. I'm so glad to read that you can decide depending on what you have on hand. Regarding salt levels I found the following from GH: Look at the sodium variation between these popular brands: * Organic Valley: 600 mg. sodium, per 1 stick butter * Trader Joe's Store Brand: 720 mg. sodium, per 1 stickbutter * Land O'Lakes: 760 mg. sodium, per 1 stick butter * Horizon: 920 mg. sodium, per 1 stick butter
Those were my original thoughts...that unsalted butter had to be fresh and could not accept any "masking" of older/less stellar cream. I'm sure that is no longer the case, but it was back in days gone by. Now it is just a habit. If salted is on sale, I don't hesitate to get that instead. Sometimes the store I have here runs out of unsalted...
Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'
Post by traildoggie on Jan 13, 2018 0:02:58 GMT -5
I'm not sure on current pricing but I usually buy butter at Costco. 4 pounds.... and freeze it. I thought unsalted was more expensive but maybe not these days. I haven't looked lately. I know I bought unsalted long ago and had it go bad in the refrigerator. I don't use tons of butter. it might have been a long time in the frig. At any rate, so many recipes call for unsalted. I generally follow recipes closely at least the first time, but not on this. I kept thinking I was overlooking some fabulous taste or quality difference! I don't think butter even has much flavor if it's not salted.
it seems weird to me to call for unsalted and then add salt anyway. I wondered if there was maybe some historical thing where in olden times salted butter might have been heavily salted to preserve? and unsalted was fresher and better? mostly..... this is just curiosity. It's the one ingredient choice I usually ignore. mostly looking for other thoughts and experiences. I don't use butter much except for occasional baking and I'd rather not have 2 kinds if one will do. Swedish cook I have no clue whether there is a noticeable taste difference between those sodium levels between brands. I usually buy "less salt" versions of other products like beans and tomatoes.
From Cook's Illustrated, May 2009: "We advise against cooking with salted butter for a couple reasons. The amount of salt in salted butter varies from brand to brand—it can range from 1.25 percent to 1.75 percent of the total weight, making it impossible to offer conversion amounts that will work with all brands. Also, salted butter almost always contains more water than unsalted butter. The water in butter ranges from 10 to 18 percent. In baking, butter with a low water content is preferred, since excess water can interfere with the development of gluten. In fact, when we used the same brand of both salted and unsalted butter to make brownies and drop biscuits, tasters noticed that samples made with salted butter were a little mushy and pasty; they preferred the texture of baked goods made with unsalted butter."
I don't do much baking. The only time I buy unsalted butter is when I am making things like pie crust or other fussier things. Then we use up the extra unsalted butter until it is gone, adding a sprinkling of salt to our toast or whatever we are using it on. I might notice a difference if I did side by side tasting of something made with salted vs unsalted butter, but for normal use (including biscuits mentioned above), I use salted butter.
I always buy unsalted butter in sticks for baking and cooking. We buy a tub of salted whipped butter for table use. If you are comparing brand to brand, the unsalted should be the same price. If you are comparing standard butter to European or premium (higher fat/even lower water content) butter, then yes, the premium unsalted would be more. I think most people reserve the premium/Euro butter for special recipes where the butter is a star ingredient, like a shortbread, if they use it at all.
Post by swedishcook on Jan 16, 2018 13:02:55 GMT -5
About once every few years I purchase Kerrygold unsalted butter as a special treat just for myself to spread on some delicious, crusty bread. There is always plenty left over after my indulgence. Thanks to Beth I now know how to use it up 😊 Why didn't I think about the obvious?
Post by traildoggie on Jan 16, 2018 14:17:17 GMT -5
apparently I'm a pretty undemanding baker! Most of my baked things use oil. the ones that use butter don't use a lot. my pie crust uses oil and butter. I don't use margarine at all.
I don't care for butter on toast or bread and prefer them dry or with PB. never bought european butters but I've seen them and maybe that's where I got the idea about being more expensive. I still cringe at recipes that call for vast amounts of butter or oil. a calorie is a calorie for me.
Interesting discussion. I prefer unsalted butter. Anyway, in terms of freshness, I've never had it go bad in the fridge. Of course, I've probably always used it within a month. In fact, I usually leave a stick out in a butter dish on the counter, and have never had any problems with spoilage there either.
Even though I prefer unsalted butter, lately I've been buying Organic Valley pastured cultured butter, which does have some salt. I was buying Horizon organic unsalted butter, but Organic Valley is a much more reputable brand. Their butter is salted, but only lightly (280 mg/stick).
Another reason to use unsalted butter is that, if you do add salt, you have control over the actual type of salt. Many people don't use white table salt, but prefer sea salt, Himalayan salt, etc.
As for calories, not all calories are created equal. I use lots of butter and saturated fat, and weigh about 20 lb. less than when I was on a low-fat diet. I never really count my fat calories—just my carbs. And protein I just try to keep at a moderate level. Besides, butter is very filling, so I generally don't even have the craving to eat a ton of it.
I have made 0 posts
Right now I'm Offline I joined January 1970