A box grater makes quick work of shredding cheese or vegetables, but did you know you can break it out for your next baking project too? A stick of frozen butter can be quickly grated into fluffy shreds, and here are two reasons why you should use this technique next time you bake with butter.
1. Grated Butter Softens Quickly
I always have a few boxes of butter around since I buy it at the club store and butter freezes well. The problem is when I haven't had the forethought to start thawing and softening the frozen butter but it's time to bake. Using softened butter for many baking recipes is key — it needs to be soft enough to be able to cream into the batter or dough well but not a melted mess.
Turns out that if you grate frozen butter and let it sit out for just a couple of minutes, the fluffy flakes will warm and soften right up so you can get on with the baking. You can now walk into your kitchen and throw together a batch of your favorite cookie dough in the time it takes for your oven to heat up!
2. Grated Butter Incorporates Quickly and Well
Some recipes like biscuits call for cold butter because it creates steam as it melts in the oven, which helps lift and form flaky layers. A pastry cutter is usually used to break down the butter into small pieces and incorporate it into the flour, but this method requires you to work quickly, and sometimes it's difficult to break down the butter into small uniform pieces before it starts to warm up.
If you grate frozen butter over the flour, it only takes a few seconds to toss and coat the fluffy shreds of butter with the flour. The butter is still frozen, keeps your dough nice and cold, and will melt perfectly in the oven. And who doesn't want beautiful biscuits and flaky pie dough?
Have you tried using grated frozen butter before?
(Image credits: Christine Gallary; Dana Velden)