The temperature and texture of butter can either make or break your baked goods. Here are some of my top tips and tricks to get butter right out of your fridge and bring it to room temperature in no time.
Forget to take your butter out of the fridge? We have all been there. There have been many times that I’ve gone to start baking and then realize that my butter is still in the fridge.
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Why do I need to use room-temperature butter?
Using softened butter is very important when it comes to baking. This is because if you’re using butter that is too warm or too cold, it will change the temperature of your batter and throw your whole recipe off. This is also very important because you need the right consistency so that you can mix your batter properly.
Example: When you’re baking cookies, you need to use the perfect room temperature butter, or your cookies can end up being too dense, or they can spread so much that your cookies turn into little puddles in the oven.
There are easy fixes to these problems. Using cold butter will leave chunks of butter in your cookie dough that won’t come out until the dough is warmed up while baking.
You will also notice the consistency of your dough is thick and chunky, rather than more of a creamy and smooth texture. If you put your butter in the microwave and melt it first, then your cookies will run everywhere when they’re baking and won’t hold up their structure at all.
How long should butter sit out to get to room temperature?
When using butter for baking, you can keep your butter out on the counter for about an hour for it to soften. Keep in mind the temperature of your home will change the time frame on how long it will take your butter to soften.
If you’re living in a cold area on a cold day, I would take it out around two hours before you need to use it. If you’re making your cookies during the middle of the summer, you may only need 30 minutes for your stick of butter to soften.
The temperature of your fridge can also change softening time. However, if you’re worried that it won’t be soft enough, you can go ahead and leave it on your workstation or counter overnight, and that is okay too,
How do I test if my butter is soft enough?
Super simple! All you have to do is press into your butter and look at your indention. Notice if your indention is nonexistent, slightly there, or if it just sinks all the way through.
You’re aiming for the middle of the two. You should be able to cause an indention into your butter without your finger sinking into the stick completely, but you should also be able to indent your butter.
How to Soften Butter
When you need a room-temperature stick of butter ASAP, the first thing you will think of is to toss the whole stick in the microwave and then call it a day. Putting your butter in the microwave will just cause it to melt, making it way too soft to use in some recipes.
Leave it out.
This is the easiest method of softening your butter. Just take your butter out of the refrigerator about an hour before you need to use it to soften it to room temperature. Keep your house temperature in mind. If your house stays hot, it may take less time to become room temperature.
Use a jar.
Another great way to soften butter is to run very hot water over a jar and then place your stick of butter inside with the jar facing downwards. You can also stick your jar, filled with water, in the microwave for a few seconds to warm the jar up, and this will help with softening as well.
This method does work quicker than leaving it out, so if you’re in need of a quick way to soften butter, this is a great idea!
Yes, this is as simple as it seems. You will take your butter, put it on a plate, and then cut it up into cubes. This allows the butter to get up to room temperature quicker because there is more surface area for the warmth to touch.
You can grate up your cold, refrigerated butter with a cheese grater. This will allow the butter shreds to warm up quickly and is ready to use in no time.
You heard me right; it’s time to beat up your butter. You will place your stick of butter into a ziplock bag and then smash it with a rolling pin or another kitchen object a few times.
This will also add surface area to your butter, allowing it to soften quickly. If you don’t have ziplock bags, you can use plastic wrap but make sure you use enough so that it doesn’t come out of the sides.
- First published: 4/10/2023