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#1 Sat 29 Dec 12 2:49pm

hippytea

Member
Occupation Chief cook and bottle-washer
From Scotland
Member since Mon 12 Sep 11

Unsalted butter and a pinch of salt - why?

I've seen this in multiple recipes and it has always puzzled me. Does anyone know a good reason for it?

I use salted butter, as that's what I have in the fridge, and just add less salt than the recipe says.

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#2 Sat 29 Dec 12 3:19pm

cohphanta

Forum champ
Occupation Book Seller
From Jacksonville, FL
Member since Sun 04 Apr 10

Re: Unsalted butter and a pinch of salt - why?

I use salted butter.....

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#3 Sat 29 Dec 12 3:28pm

MsPablo

Forum super champ
Occupation Just being me
Member since Fri 28 Mar 08

Re: Unsalted butter and a pinch of salt - why?

hippytea wrote:

I've seen this in multiple recipes and it has always puzzled me. Does anyone know a good reason for it?

I use salted butter, as that's what I have in the fridge, and just add less salt than the recipe says.

Salting butter preserves it which means it can sit in the shop a lot longer than unsalted butter.  It may not be the case in your shops, but for most of us, the unsalted butter being sold is much fresher than the salted butter.

In recipes, whenever butter is called for, it should be unsalted because the amount of salt in salted butter varies.  It makes a big difference in baking in particular because you are not tasting the uncooked batter and therefore, are just guessing at how much salt to add.  To get the best results, use unsalted butter and add the exact amount of salt called for in the recipe.

eta:  I had to reduce the salt in my diet while recovering from an injury.  I'm used to salted butter on my toast, but I got used to the fresher, unsalted butter and I could really taste the difference in freshness.  And, it does reduce the salt in your diet a lot to take small steps like that.

Last edited by MsPablo (Sat 29 Dec 12 3:34pm)

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#4 Sat 29 Dec 12 6:37pm

hippytea

Member
Occupation Chief cook and bottle-washer
From Scotland
Member since Mon 12 Sep 11

Re: Unsalted butter and a pinch of salt - why?

MsPablo wrote:

It makes a big difference in baking in particular because you are not tasting the uncooked batter

Speak for yourself... whistle

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#5 Sat 29 Dec 12 7:29pm

greenkitchen

Member
Occupation Radio
From Sugar Land, Texas USA
Member since Sun 25 Nov 07

Re: Unsalted butter and a pinch of salt - why?

hippytea wrote:

MsPablo wrote:

It makes a big difference in baking in particular because you are not tasting the uncooked batter

Speak for yourself... whistle

lol  lol  lol

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#6 Sat 29 Dec 12 9:04pm

MsPablo

Forum super champ
Occupation Just being me
Member since Fri 28 Mar 08

Re: Unsalted butter and a pinch of salt - why?

big_smile  I wouldn't eat raw eggs here as 1 in 4 could be unsafe. help

eta:  That's an important point - one must survive in one's environs and make the best of it! thumbsup

Last edited by MsPablo (Sat 29 Dec 12 9:10pm)

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#7 Sat 29 Dec 12 10:42pm

mummza

Forum super champ
Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: Unsalted butter and a pinch of salt - why?

Unsalted butter gives a better flavour when baking and I always thought that adding a pinch of salt helped with the way the eggs reacted and also added a little to the taste.
But I might be wrong about the salt !.

As MsP says the salt in salted butter is there as a preservative .

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#8 Sun 30 Dec 12 12:31am

@nGoose1

Forum champ
Occupation Shop worker/KP/ Commis chef
From UK/Germany
Member since Wed 28 Oct 09

Re: Unsalted butter and a pinch of salt - why?

Salted for spread/sandwich perhaps? unsalted for other things: sauces, pastry and other things. You are in control of the seasoning. Raymond Blanc's wise words.

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#9 Sun 30 Dec 12 7:12am

The White Rabbit

Forum super champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: Unsalted butter and a pinch of salt - why?

I just use salted butter because if i'm having it on bread or scones then I prefer the taste of it. No point having two in the fridge. If I did a whole lot of baking I'd probably use unsalted and then likely not even bother adding the salt.

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#10 Sun 30 Dec 12 1:18pm

koukouvagia

Forum champ
From New York
Member since Fri 12 Dec 08

Re: Unsalted butter and a pinch of salt - why?

I keep both in the fridge.  I usually only use the salted butter to spread on toast and muffins etc.  I cook only with unsalted. 

.... I once made cream cheese frosting for carrot cake with salted butter because it was the only thing I had on hand.  It was a salt lick haha and my dinner guests were a bit confused lol.  Never doing that again.

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