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Fancy Butter of Choice?

Posted: Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:16 pm UTC
by sardia
Every once in a while, I'll treat myself with something really nice, and today it's baguette day. What fancy butter should I use? Obvious choice is Kerrygold but I've heard good or bad things about Plugra, Presidente, or even cultured butters. Has anyone tasted all of these? A lot of these seem overrated*, or unavailable. This is avoiding the rabbithole where I have one butter for baking, another for everyday use, and another for special occasions.

*I've heard complaints that Plugra especially, and Kerrygold got worse after they sold out.

Re: Fancy Butter of Choice?

Posted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:52 am UTC
by PAstrychef
Plugra is very nice, a clean dairy flavor. Cultured butter can be fantastic. I got some from whole paycheck, I think it was French, best stuff on bread ever. Try a sprinkle of kosher salt on top.

Re: Fancy Butter of Choice?

Posted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:45 pm UTC
by freezeblade
I do a lot of baking, so I keep loads of butter frozen when it goes on sale, I typically keep to a few brands that I can find locally and cheaply, and are pretty much broken up into "every day" and "special dish/application" butters.

"Standard" butter: Horizon Organic, Land-o-lakes European style, Humboldt creamery Organic. These are all used interchangeably at my house, clean, standard American (lower) fat level

Special Application:
  • Plugra: High butterfat, clean taste, easy to find, I get this when I need to do croissants or puff pastry and don't have any squirreled-away nicer high-fat butter, and need to bake ASAP
  • Trader Joe's Cultured Butter: High butterfat, nice mild fermented flavor (just short of "cheesy"), this replaced Kerrygold as my standard stocked "special application" butter, as I've found it's awesome for lamination, and has more character than Pulgra.
  • Anchor Butter: I love this butter, high butterfat, works beautifully, Clean taste but with more character than Plugra or any "standard" butter. I keep on the lookout for this stuff.
  • Presidente: I've gotten this a few times, and was pretty pleased with it, I'd put it in the same tier as the Anchor. Barely ever shows up on the shelves of my usual markets though.

Re: Fancy Butter of Choice?

Posted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:15 am UTC
by sardia
freezeblade wrote:I do a lot of baking, so I keep loads of butter frozen when it goes on sale, I typically keep to a few brands that I can find locally and cheaply, and are pretty much broken up into "every day" and "special dish/application" butters.

"Standard" butter: Horizon Organic, Land-o-lakes European style, Humboldt creamery Organic. These are all used interchangeably at my house, clean, standard American (lower) fat level

Special Application:
  • Plugra: High butterfat, clean taste, easy to find, I get this when I need to do croissants or puff pastry and don't have any squirreled-away nicer high-fat butter, and need to bake ASAP
  • Trader Joe's Cultured Butter: High butterfat, nice mild fermented flavor (just short of "cheesy"), this replaced Kerrygold as my standard stocked "special application" butter, as I've found it's awesome for lamination, and has more character than Pulgra.
  • Anchor Butter: I love this butter, high butterfat, works beautifully, Clean taste but with more character than Plugra or any "standard" butter. I keep on the lookout for this stuff.
  • Presidente: I've gotten this a few times, and was pretty pleased with it, I'd put it in the same tier as the Anchor. Barely ever shows up on the shelves of my usual markets though.

I didn't know you could freeze butter without the fat going rancid. Good to know. It's funny, as I've grown older, I eat much less butter, so eating 2 sticks takes quite a while.

I'm mostly looking for butters that I use for, in no particular order,
Melting a pat of butter into a sauce/ au jus
Spreading some onto bread/veggies

I'm a great cook, but a terrible baker. So based off your list, for my baguette, I should try Presidente/Anchor, or if unavailable, Trader Joe cultured butter/Kerrygold/Plugra. Your list is very biased towards baking, though I'm aware that fancy butters have different baking properties in addition to their tastier nature.
PAstrychef wrote:Plugra is very nice, a clean dairy flavor. Cultured butter can be fantastic. I got some from whole paycheck, I think it was French, best stuff on bread ever. Try a sprinkle of kosher salt on top.
No opinions on the other butters? I've tasted kerrygold before, but I think I need a triangle test if I wanted to be sure it was better. It's not as obvious as a good olive oil.

Re: Fancy Butter of Choice?

Posted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:51 pm UTC
by PAstrychef
If you don’t know them, try a cultured butter. They are more assertive than regular butters. Have a party and do a butter tasting-you can give the ones you don’t like as much to your guests as a door prize. Butter keeps frozen for over six months if it’s well wrapped.