The Easiest Method To Cream Butter When Baking

Butter is one of the most common ingredients in baking. It seems that just about any recipe for cookies, cakes, or pastries includes some amount of that creamy yellow goodness.

Butter is an essential ingredient for a few reasons. According to Baking How, butter is used to add tons of flavor to a recipe. Most butters are made up of about 80% fat, though European style butters tend to have a little more, and while fat doesn't have much flavor, it does add a sense of richness to foods and baked goods. Baker Bettie also points out that butter coats the flour used in a batter, which shortens its gluten strands. This prevents gluten from developing further, and makes for a more tender crumb in whatever you're baking. The water that's present in the butter also helps breads and cakes to rise. Institute of Culinary Education says that when the water in butter evaporates, the resulting steam expands inside the dough, and creates the beautiful flaky layers of the perfect croissant.

Butter is one of the most important ingredients in baking, so it's key to make sure that it's being properly incorporated into your batter every time. 

Never try and cream cold butter

One of the many ways that butter is worked into a dough is by creaming it with sugar. According to Land O Lakes, creaming these ingredients together ensures an even distribution throughout your batter. It also increases the volume of the batter by working in more air, which helps create a lighter, fluffier final product. But that may not be the easiest method.

Eat This, Not That! notes that it's important to take some care when creaming butter to ensure it is done properly. Doing it incorrectly could lead to a disappointing bake, or wreck your stand mixer. One of the most important keys, perhaps, is to make sure that you're working with softened butter. Throwing cold butter into your mixer will likely not mix as well, and may even overwork your stand mixer as it tries to cream the butter. Remember it can take up to an hour for butter to soften completely, so try and plan ahead. 

One way to soften butter more quickly, and ensure that it is adequately creamed is to cut the butter up into smaller cubes. This allows the butter to quickly come to the proper temperature, and it won't overwork your mixer. This way the butter will easily break down to mix completely with the sugar, and take on that light airy texture you're looking for.