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How to Soften Butter Quickly

Have you ever headed to the kitchen to get started baking and realize the recipe calls for softened butter? But your butter is still in the fridge and you don’t want to wait 1-2 hours for it to sit out to reach room temperature. Is it really that important? Is there a way to quickly soften the butter?

by Robin Stephens

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Photo: Getty Images

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Have you ever headed to the kitchen to get started baking and realize the recipe calls for softened butter? But your butter is still in the fridge and you don’t want to wait 1-2 hours for it to sit out to reach room temperature. Is it really that important? Is there a way to quickly soften the butter?

Baking is fun, but there’s also science involved. So, when a recipe calls for softened or room temperature butter, it’s important to know what that means. Softened butter is between 65°F and 67°F, and your finger will indent but not sink down into the butter. When butter is at the right temperature, it will cream together with sugar and make your baked goods beautiful. If the butter is too cold when creaming, cakes turn out dense, too warm and cookies spread too much. Also keep in mind, the other ingredients should be room temperature as well. If you add cold eggs to the creamed butter mixture, it cools the butter down, causing it to solidify and mess up your product. Take a few minutes to warm eggs, milk, and of course butter.

How to quickly soften butter:

First there’s the microwave method. It’s quick but can melt your butter faster than a blink of an eye. If you choose this method, try using 30% power and check every 15 seconds. Good luck!

Grating the butter with a box grater or cutting into the stick into small chunks and spreading out on a plate will hasten the process. Smaller pieces will come to room temperature more quickly than a whole stick of butter.

To also use machines, but with no risk of melting butter, turn to your food processor or stand mixer. Place the cold butter in a food processor fitted with a steel blade, then pulse until it’s soft enough to use. Alternately, place the cold butter, cut into 8 pieces, in the bowl of your mixer. Beat on medium-low, with the paddle attachment, 2-3 minutes. Scrape down sides of the bowl and beat 2-3 minutes more until softened.

Another simple technique to soften it quickly is to slice butter into pieces and spread on a plate. Heat water in a 2-cup measuring cup in the microwave until boiling. Carefully remove the water from the microwave. Place the butter in the microwave and close the door, trapping the hot air inside. Let the butter stand in the microwave about 10 minutes until softened.

Like the tip above, you can also boil water in a bowl in the microwave. Empty the water from the bowl, then turn the bowl upside down over the dish with the butter to create a dome, trapping the hot air inside. Let the butter sit until softened, about 10 minutes.

Another great tip to soften butter quickly, unwrap a stick of butter, place it in a resealable plastic bag, and use a rolling pin to beat and flatten the butter out.

Tips-How-to-Quickly-Soften-Butter See the tip here.

Baking is about creating wonderful treats. It involves time, effort, and money. And I think love. With this kind of investment, be sure to follow the recipe when it calls for softened butter. Now you can see how easily butter can be transformed from refrigerator cold to room temperature. Let’s bake!

Tags: Baking, Article

Equipment/Special Ingredients Needed

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