Ingredient Insights

To Butter or not to Butter?

I thought that since I’m now over a year old I would branch out a little bit and do more of an opinion piece this week than a practical one; and it has more to do with eating a baked good than producing one.

I remember back in highschool getting together with some friends and having biscuits with strawberry jam, and one friend was horrified at the thought of spreading jam on a biscuit without putting butter on it first. I hadn’t really thought much about it, sometimes I put butter on my toast before the jam, and sometimes I didn’t. It wasn’t a necessity for me. But after that I started to wonder if I was crazy for not always putting butter on first.

butter (4)I searched it online a few months ago, just out of curiosity, and discovered that some people had pretty strong opinions on this subject, it was quite surprising. Now, I’ve never been one to jump into a conflict, I tend to take a pretty neutral stance on things; but since reading some of these things, and having some time to taste and think it over I have decided to weigh in on the issue.

I think butter acts as a lubricant for dry toast, making it easier to eat and easier to enjoy whatever spread adorns it. I think if you use salted butter, it enhances the flavours of whatever spread is used. I don’t think butter is mandatory, especially if you are trying to watch what you eat; leaving it off is an easy way to cut down on a small bit of fat consumption. I do not think butter should be used if you are using peanut butter as your main spread. I do think that if you have honey on your toast, or cinnamon sugar, butter is a must, there’s just something about those combinations. And my final thought is that we live in a society where people should be free to use or not use butter on their toast and biscuits without fear of being judged either way. So you can use butter or not, and I will not think any less of you; even if you disagree with me and think butter with peanut butter is a good thing.

I may judge you, however, if you use shortening. That’s just gross.

Baking - Breads, Ingredient Insights

Confessions of an Imprecise Baker

I’m sure many of you have heard that with cooking you can add ingredients willy nilly to a recipe and change it as much as you want and it will still come out fabulous, but with baking you need to be very precise. Each ingredient must be carefully measured to the exact amount, preferably weighed because that is even more precise. I understand the importance of precision in baking. There is a chemical reaction that happens, and if certain ingredients are out of proportion that can affect the final product. But I have to confess, the other day I wanted muffins, and I wanted them fast. I didn’t want to get my scale out, I didn’t want to sift the flour, and I didn’t want to mash up exactly half a cup of banana. Let’s face it, at home, baking for ourselves, who can be bothered with precision all the time? Continue reading “Confessions of an Imprecise Baker”