Preserved Lemons
In a Jam

More on Unsalted Butter

Someone on the food channel stated that all baked goods that call for butter should use unsalted butter rather than regular.  If this is the case, why don't the recipes state that in their directions?  When I see a recipe call for butter, I have never seen it state a preference for unsalted butter.  Should unsalted be used instead, and if so why don't the recipes call for it?

I have only used it in making frosting, but never to my knowledge in cakes, etc.

-- Marge

The recommendation comes from a standard practice, especially in baking, that unsalted butter is used most often and therefore assumed to be what is required.  Also, it is preferable that foods be under- rather than over-salted.  So, if you have to err, better to use unsalted butter and end up with food that is a little bland.

As I stated in the posting Do I Need to Use Unsalted Butter?, in almost all cases you can use salted butter in place of unsalted simply by reducing the amount of salt in the recipe by about 1/2 teaspoon per cup of butter used.  As always, I recommend that readers let their tastebuds be the guide.  Try using unsalted butter, then try using salted butter and reducing the salt in the recipe, and see if you can tell or even care about the difference.

Sweet (unsalted) butter and regular salted butter both contain the same amount of butter fat, so unsalted butter has a bit more water, about 1/2 teaspoon per pound, to keep the fat content the same.  In general, that amount of water will not make a significant difference.

I agree that recipes should be explicit in stating whether the butter used is salted or unsalted.  Some cookbooks give a blanket statement somewhere regarding this.  For example, my old copy of The Joy of Cooking says, in the section About Butter on page 539, "Most of the recipes in this book call for sweet butter -- first-grade butter made from sweet cream with no added salt."  Of course, since most of us don't read every word of a cookbook, we may not see notes like that.  It is a good idea though to see if there is a general section about measurements, or notes on specific ingredients, that might help.


If you have food or cooking questions, send them to Questions@KitchenSavvy.com
Due to the volume of questions received, not all can be answered.
© Lost Hobbit Enterprises 2004 onward



Due to the volume of questions received, not all can be answered, nor can we guarantee we will answer questions immediately
© Lost Hobbit Enterprises 2004 onward

Comments

Hello the reason that unsalted butter is used because butter manufactures use different amounts of salt in making their butter. It is easier to add salt in baking rather than figuring out how much salt was added when made.

Irene

Hello, when baking always use unsalted butter unless otherwise noted.

To Marie Berg, if they do not specify which sort of butter, they probably mean SALTED butter.

Having salted butter does not only change the flavour of the foods you make but changes the consistency of the product. So yes to Surya, your cookies will have more volume and raise more as salt is a raising agent, however if you are looking for melt-in-mouth cookies, it is best to use UNSALTED butter otherwise the salt can cause the gluten to be too tough, therefore you have a biscuit-like cookie, not the dreamy cookie many of us desire. If there is no added salt in the recipe, it may be okay to use regular SALTED butter.

Salt also a natural preservative in foods, and using SALTED butter will enhance the flavour of a food, you will be using the two flavour carriers- fat and salt.

I found a pecan pie muffin recipe....sounds good right!

It calls for 2/3 cup 'butter'. I'm confused, do they mean salted or unsalted?

HELP......

Due to cholesterol problems and wanting to improve how my family eats, we are having to make some food adjustments. BUT we love butter. only UNSALTED. Have noticed that some companies have come out with a "Light" butter, BUT, its SALTED. Does anyone know where I can purchase or order a "Light" butter that is UNSALTED? The "Light's" fat content is about half to 2/3rds of reg. butter, which helps, but for some reason, as soon as they make something in "Light". Salt is added or even increased.

signed, "Frustrated"

We used to live in Minnesota. If you wanted unsalted butter you had to look in the freezer. And most butter was sweet cream. Here in Mexico most butter is UNsalted: yes, even in the restaurants. And sweet cream butter is expensive and rare. Didn't realize NORMAL butter had that much salt in it. Thanks

Hi,

I was told by someone that if we use unsalted butter, our cookies will have more volume and will raise more. Is it true?

Thank you in advance.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)