Ingredient | Butter

ButterwithSage-lowres
Home-made Butter

 

 

The butter is all about the cream.

The cream is all about the milk.

The milk is all about the grass and herbs.

The grass is all about the soil.

And the soil is all about the environment.

Butter from the Soria region in Spain is specifically characterised by climate and environment. At 1026 metres above sea level, Soria is a harsh terrain. The dryness of the pasture, which produces tough flora, gives the milk specific qualities that are passed on to the butter.

If you can find cream made with milk from dairy cows fed on natural grasses and herbs, you can make high quality butter, just like they do in Soria.

 

Farmhouse Butter

 

Butter&Whey
Butter and Buttermilk

The original butter, easily made in the home using cream bought from a reliable supplier, or from farm cream.

 

1 litre mature whole cream

 

Whip the cream by hand or machine until it forms into grains the size of rice and begins to leave a milky liquid.

ButterinBowl
Home-made butter with sage leaves

Drain this liquid into a bowl, keep in fridge and use quickly.

Wash the butter under a cold water tap until the resulting liquid
becomes crystal clear. Shake the butter free of excess water.

Using two wooden spatula, work butter into desired shape.

Freeze or keep in the refrigerator, use fresh.

For Beurre de Culture (cultured butter) use one litre of
crème fraîche or sour cream, or a combination of both. Kefir is
also an option.

 

Cooking with Butter

 

Cooking with butter is a culinary art rooted in traditional preparations.

Nowadays the use of butter to fry or sauté is often frowned upon, but a little flavoured oil and a lower heat conveys two advantages – a reduction of fat and a better cooking medium.

While butter is still an essential element in the construction of a roux, it has lost some of its glamour for binding sauces and soups to other non-fat emulsifiers.

However, with traditional biscuits, breads, cakes, confections and pastries, butter has held its lofty position.

Therefore seeking the best butter for baking and cooking is essential.

Unsalted butters enhance flavour, but discretion should be taken when a recipe calls for a specific butter – whether aromatic, salted, sweetened or unsalted.

Aromatic butters, such as those of Bresse, Charentes-Poitou, Charentes, Deux-Sèvres and d’Isigny, give French breads and pastries that unmistakable flavour, and should be sought out to make brioche or croissants.

 

Brioche à Tête | Parisien Brioche

The classic brioche dough is made with almost equal amounts of butter and flour, eggs, milk or water, sugar and yeast.

The standard method involves a three-stage process for developing the dough and a two-stage process for a longer fermentation.

 

450 g butter, softened
300 g soft flour (t45/t450)
200 g strong white flour
100 g eggs (2)
90 ml milk/water, warm
30 g sugar
20 g yeast
Salt, large pinch
1 egg yolk/white, for brushing

 

Dissolve yeast in milk or water with the milk and sugar.

Mix flours with salt, pour onto a clean work surface.

Make a well in the flour, add yeast mixture and eggs, work into a smooth dough.

Divide dough into three pieces.

Knead butter into a smooth paste on the work surface. Gradually work the butter into one of the dough pieces.

When it is smooth, work in the second piece, and then the final piece.

Place dough in a large bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and leave for four hours.

Degas, leave for two hours.

Shape into 300 g balls and place in greased moulds. Leave for two hours.

Brush surface with white or yellow egg wash.

Bake at 180°C for 30 minutes.

 

Lyonnaise Brioche

 

500 g pork sausage
150 g eggs (3)
150 g soft flour (t45/t450)
125 g butter, softened, cut into small pieces
100 g strong white flour
25 ml milk, warm
10 g sugar
10 g yeast
5 g salt
1 egg yolk, for brushing
Broth, for cooking sausage

Simmer sausage in broth for 45, leave to cool.

Dissolve yeast in milk and sugar.

Combine flour, salt, yeast mixture and eggs in a large bowl.

Gradually add butter, fold out onto clean work surface, knead into smooth dough.

Place back in bowl, cover and leave for two hours, degas, leave to rise again for two hours.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Flour work surface, roll dough into a rectangle 4 cm longer at each end than the length of sausage and wide enough to fold over and encase the sausage. Seal dough at both ends, leave to rise on a greased baking tray for an hour.

Brush with yolk, bake for 45 minutes.

 

Brioche Vendéenne

 

These enigmatic brioche are characterised by a method that requires hand rather than machine kneading, a long fermentation and low temperature baking in a slow oven.

The Brioche Vendéenne is a golden, plaited brioche, available in round or oval shapes or as a stick and weighs a minimum of 300 grams. It has a balanced aroma of butter and alcohol with a hint of vanilla or orange blossom.

The Association Brioche de Vendée describe the method.

‘The use together of a starter culture and yeast ensures a balanced action (gentle initially and then strong) and produces an airy, moist brioche with a stringy but melting texture. The presence of water or milk promotes fermentation and this quite unique melting texture.

‘In addition, the Brioche Vendéenne has a high sugar content. In fact, the brioche has to be cooked at a low temperature so that the sugar is not caramelised. Unlike other brioches with a higher total fat content, the Brioche Vendéenne is made exclusively with butter. The Brioche Vendéenne is also flavoured with alcohol or other flavours.’

Understandably Brioche Vendéenne is now one of the most popular pastry breads in France, taking one sixth of the brioche market.

Made with butter, eggs, flour and milk indigenous to the Vendée region, Brioche Vendéenne is manufactured by artisan bakers who favour a 24 hour fermentation and baking in old-style ovens at a low temperature.

 

550 g flour
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
125 g butter
90 g vanilla sugar
80 ml milk, warm 
20 g liquid sourdough/pre-ferment
20 g yeast
10 g salt
Brandy, splash

 

Dissolve yeast in milk and sugar.

Pour the flour out onto a clean surface, make a well in the centre, add salt followed by the brandy, eggs, starter and yeast mixture.

Carefully bring the ingredients together to form a loose dough. Do not work too much.

Divide dough into three pieces.

Knead butter on the work surface, then with a light hand work in one piece of the dough.

Work in the second piece with the remaining milk, then the final piece. Apply a light touch to the kneading.

Leave to rise for four hours in a room where the ambient temperature is no less than 25°C. This is known as the pousse directe.

Alternatively leave for 24 hours at low temperature, the pousse dirigée.

Divide dough into four equal pieces, roughly 260 g each.

Preheat oven to 160°C without fan. Bake for 40 minutes.

 

 

Flavoured Butters

 

Almond

Anchovy

Garlic

Green

Hazelnut

Horseradish

Lemon

Mustard

Pepper

Prawn

Tarragon


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