Pardon the likely dumb question, but as a newbie to baking, I'm curious why a dough recipe would call for unsalted butter when salt is also added to the mix?
Agree with Twyst~
Salted butter has so much salt in it. It would be overkill to use salted butter. I only bake with unsalted butter.
Twyst...My husband is a Saint's fan, also. My condolences ;) My Broncos are looking sweet, though!
The other reason is because, allegedly, unsalted butter is generally fresher than salted butter.
You never really know how much salt "Salted Butter" contains.
I use to only use salted butter in baking, until I began baking professionally. Since then, I've only purchased Unsalted Butter.
If you cut salted butter from your diet, your sodium tolerance will begin to go down as well, and you will really be able to taste your foods much better, because it isn't masked behind salt. At the same time though, salt is imperative to bring out flavor in foods--just use it in moderation.
Have you ever eaten unsalted butter before. At first, I didn't like it. But now I enjoy the fresh creaminess of it.
The cream they use to make the unsalted butter is of higher quality because it doesn't have the salt in it to hide it's imperfections!
Salt is a preservative.
Unsalted butter has a shelf life of around 3 months.
Salted butter has a shelf life of about 5 months.
A bit over the top on this statement - it's all made in the same machines and with the same starting ingrediants. The only difference is how it is finished.
You are correct though about the amount of salt being variable between manufacturers.
The salt doesn't hide anything, it's for preservation... shelf life.
Think about it... adding salt makes the cost of the product go up... so why is unsalted often more expensive?
Because it's more perishable and needs to have a higher mark-up to reflect the waste.
Remember when using 'un-salted' butter the reciepe adds more salt - to bring out that same butter taste that is hiding the 'bad' cream? I think not.
(Salt brings out flavours - it doesn't mask them...)