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Butter: what is butter?
Butter is made from sweet, neutralized, or ripened creams pasteurized and standardized to a fat content of 30% to 40%. When cream is churned or overwhipped, the fat particles separate from the watery liquid known as buttermilk. The separated fat is washed and kneaded in a water wheel to give it plasticity and consistency. Color is added during this process to make it look richer, and salt is added to improve its keeping quality.
In Canada, the following regulations apply to butter:
- Minimum 80% milk fat by weight
- Permitted ingredients: milk solids, salt, air or inert gas, permitted food color, permitted bacterial culture
- The grade and grade name for butter and butter products is Canada 1.
Sweet (or unsalted) butter is made from a cream that has a very low acid content and no salt is added to it. It is used in some baking products like French butter cream, where butter should be the only fat used in the recipe. Keep sweet butter in the refrigerator.
From the standpoint of ﬂavor, butter is the most desirable fat used in baking. Its main drawback is its relatively high cost. It has moderate but satisfactory shortening and creaming qualities. When used in cake mixing, additional time, up to ﬁve minutes more, should be allowed in the creaming stage to give maximum volume. Adding an emulsiﬁer (about 2% based on ﬂour weight) will also help in cake success, as butter has a poor plastic range of 18°C to 20°C (64°F to 68°F).
Butter and butter products may also be designated as “whipped” where they have had air or inert gas uniformly incorporated into them as a result of whipping. Whipped butter may contain up to 1% added edible casein or edible caseinates.
Butter and butter products may also be designated as “cultured” where they have been produced from cream to which a permitted bacterial culture has been added.Courtesy: https://chem.libretexts.org