BUTTER

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BUTTER

Postby Jo Ann Henderson » Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:08 pm

I am always on the hunt for butter at a good price (under $2/lb). My luck came about a month ago when Challenge butter was on sale at my local Fred Meyer, with a manufacturer's in-store coupon that brought the product down from $4.89/lb to $1.95. I pulled off as many of those pop-out coupons from that little machine as I could before they called the store manager. :oops: (managed to stuff 8 in my pocket before being asked to stop) I sent everybody I know to the store to pick up a couple pounds for me until I had about 20 lbs of butter in the freezer! :P

Then I used the butter in a recipe for brownies. It has a very high fat content and the brownies made a clump in the bowl as I mixed it, sliding around in fat (looked like fudge rather than brownies)!? Next time I used a stick it was to saute vegetables for meatloaf. Again, as the vegetables broke down there was a film of fat (much like ghee). I've never had this happen before. While I like the taste of this butter, I'm not accustomed to this amount of fat in my recipes. Seems like I need to make some adjustments before using this product in desserts. Has anyone had experience with this butter that can shed some light? My usual butter products are Darigold and Tillamook, which sell for about $3.69/lb. What am I missing here? Never thought there would be major differences in butter except in taste. What's your experiences with different butter products? :shock:
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Re: BUTTER

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:46 pm

Jo Ann, I don't know that brand but butters vary quite a lot in fat content and water content. It makes a very big difference in the texture of the food.

I found an old but thorough article on the subject. It includes both Challenge and Tillamook, albeit from 12 years ago: http://www.sfgate.com/recipes/article/When-Put-to-the-Test-Here-s-How-Butter-Brands-3236719.php

For baking, if the recipe is not 'adapted' to the local butter, then you need to sit down with a calculator and change the amounts in order to get the right fat/water ratio into the batter.
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Re: BUTTER

Postby Karen/NoCA » Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:57 pm

Challenge butter is made by Challenge Dairy in Humboldt Co near Eureka CA on the west coast in NO CA. It is full flavored and may have a highter fat content. Have you checked the labels on your different butters for the nutritional values. My bet is Challenge has a higher fat content, like Plugra. I use Tillamok, Challange, all unsalted, and have never noticed what you have described. Maybe something took place during shipping and that is why it went on sale. Just guessing here, of course.

Here is a quote from the Challenge website on the Challange European style......"Challenge European Style butter is Grade AA and is 83% butterfat versus 80% for regular butters. It is made by churning cream slower and longer in the age-old tradition of fine European butters. It has a creamier taste and a silkier texture. "
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Re: BUTTER

Postby David Creighton » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:22 pm

we drive to canada to get presidents choice country churned butter at $5/lb and use it for everything. i don't skimp on the price of something this important. i like butter really fresh - and hate plugra as a result. i've rarely had butter IN europe that tasted like that. theirs is usually really fresh - much like the one i buy. my guess is that something else is going on - additives or something. i mean there are ice creams that simply won't melt. sounds like that.
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Re: BUTTER

Postby Howie Hart » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:15 am

Has anyone ever made butter? I did, once. I was in kindergarten and the teacher had us all sit in a circle. She put a pint of heavy cream in quart Mason jar and each student shook the bottle for a brief period and passed it on to the next student until it became butter. Then, we all had a sample, spread on saltines. In retrospect, this was 1954. There was no skim, 1% or 2% sold. My guess is that the milk fat removed to make the lower fat content milk products is used in making commercial butter now. I'm not sure how this effects the quality, but if I were to make my own butter from heavy cream today at $5.29/qt. (Wegmans), the butter would cost about $8/lb. vs $2.29 for the store brand and $4.19 for Land O Lakes brand.
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Re: BUTTER

Postby Tom Troiano » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:30 am

Re: I am always on the hunt for butter at a good price (under $2/lb).


Just curious, why?
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Re: BUTTER

Postby Mark Lipton » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:47 am

Howie Hart wrote:Has anyone ever made butter?


I have inadvertently, when I overwhipped whipping cream, Howie.

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Re: BUTTER

Postby Carl Eppig » Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:15 pm

We are particular about butter but not fanatical. There are pricier butters in the market than what we get. On the other hand we never use store brands. Most of the time we use Cabot from Vermont in both salted and unsalted versions. We only use unsalted in baking, and of course when it is specifically called for.
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Re: BUTTER

Postby Jo Ann Henderson » Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:29 pm

Tom Troiano wrote:Re: I am always on the hunt for butter at a good price (under $2/lb).


Just curious, why?

Because I know that the price of butter fluctuates wildly and there are certain times of the year when it costs less than at other times. Butter has pull dates, and there are grocery outlets that gets many good quality butters at a significantly reduced price when they are near or after the pull date. But I've discovered that buter is one of those dairy products (along with hard cheeze) that freezes well. And, because I love the taste of butter, and need it often in baking, and I think nothing cooks quite like butter, I like to have a good bit of it on hand. So, if I can purchase 20lbs of butter at $2/lb or less, I am much farther ahead in my food costs than if I were to purchase 20lbs @$5/lb. And, I love the hunt! :D
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Re: BUTTER

Postby Christina Georgina » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:26 pm

I'm with you on all of your reasons Jo Ann. I stock butter as well. I also agree that for "fresh" uses butter can be over the hill so I keep a really fresh, high quality pound in the fridge and spare no expense for this.
Not sure of the cause or significance of your recent experience though. Have you looked at McGee ?
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Re: BUTTER

Postby Jo Ann Henderson » Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:31 am

What are your go to, high-end butters to serve with great artisan breads or breakfast scones to treat yourself or impress company? Where am I likely to find it (e.g. Whole Foods, Trader Joe's etc.)? I like sweet cream butter for baking, but I prefer butter with a bit of salt for spreading. Thx.
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Re: BUTTER

Postby Rahsaan » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:50 am

Jo Ann Henderson wrote:So, if I can purchase 20lbs of butter at $2/lb or less, I am much farther ahead in my food costs than if I were to purchase 20lbs @$5/lb. And, I love the hunt! :D


That's a lot of butter!

It can take us one month to go through 1lb and we rarely have more than that in the house, except for around the holidays or for special events.

Olive oil on the other hand, runs like water in our house...
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Re: BUTTER

Postby Christina Georgina » Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:47 am

I always use sweet cream for baking and when serving cheese. Salted with good breads unless already salty crumb or crust.
We get butter from a local organic farmer who has Brown Swiss cows. At TJ or WF get Vermont Butter and Cheese butter or Cabot or Plugra but am apt to try whatever is new at the time.

We don't keep 20# but at least 5# at all times. We do use olive oil much faster and keep at least 6 litre in reserve at all times using 3 liter in 6-8 weeks.
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Re: BUTTER

Postby Jo Ann Henderson » Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:13 pm

Rahsaan wrote:That's a lot of butter!

It can take us one month to go through 1lb and we rarely have more than that in the house, except for around the holidays or for special events.

Olive oil on the other hand, runs like water in our house...

Yes, but I bake cookies and/or some other sweet almost every week, most calling for butter. In my house it goes fast. a couple litres of olive oil, on the other hand, will last almost 3 months. Go figure! But then, I also use vegetable oil and grapeseed oil much of the time.
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Re: BUTTER

Postby Frank Deis » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:57 am

I occasionally buy Plugra (plus = extra, gras = fat) because I love the way Louise's pie crust tastes when she uses it.

But for full rich flavor I like the Irish butter from Kerrygold.

Never saw either of those on sale.

It has been a while since Louise made Irish Soda Bread. She makes a delicious, not-sweet, homey tasting Soda Bread and it is exquisite with a schmear of Irish butter.
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Re: BUTTER

Postby Dale Williams » Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:30 pm

We use a fair amount of butter, I quite like Stew Leonard's, which is competitively priced at $4 but often on sale (for multiple packages, 2 lbs for $5, 3 lbs for $7 , 4 for $8, though think once recently 4 lbs for $7)). I don't mind freezing a pound or two for short term.

If serving butter as a spread, I like a quality salted butter, either the Isigny co-op, Beurremont, or Vermont Butter and Cheese Company. Kerrygold is pretty good as well.
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