Butter with a knife on an open butter dish
Is High-Fat European Butter Actually Ruining Your Bakes?
By Haldan Kirsch
While some might assume buying the most expensive ingredients will take their baking to a new level, it’s more important to use the correct ones for the dish. This kind of confusion leads to some people using European-style butter for baked goods, but its 82%-to-86%-butterfat content yields different results than its 80%-butterfat American counterpart.
The problem with using a higher-fat butter is that it lowers the moisture content of baked goods, resulting in flat, greasy, and overly dark foods. European-style butter is usually churned longer and results in a decrease in water, meaning that it will have less moisture to convert to steam during the baking process, which is needed to achieve a lighter bake.
It’s wise to stick to American-style butter unless your recipe states otherwise, since it is the standard in many American grocery stores; however, if the butter is the primary flavor in your bake, then it might be worth using European-style butter. Unless stated differently, another good rule of thumb when baking with butter is to use unsalted butter.