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Cultured Butter For Baking

Asked by Rach-. Answered on 1st November 2020

Full question

Hi. Should I use cultured butter for baking? Could I use or add anything to a recipe for the same results as cultured butter? Any help would be amazing thank you.

Star-Topped Mince Pies
Photo by Lis Parsons
Star-Topped Mince Pies
By Nigella
  • 14
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Our answer

Cultured butter is made from cream that has been fermented before it is churned. This gives the butter a slightly sour taste, as some of the milk sugars turn into lactic acid. Usually cultured butter has butterfat of around 82%. In the US cultured butter can be favoured for high-end patisserie because its fat content is slightly higher than regular US butter (with a fat content of 80%). Less than 80% butterfat can make some baked goods tougher, such as the pastry for the Star-Topped Mince Pies, as a lower fat content and a higher water content will toughen the glutens in the flour. Cultured butter may also be labelled as European-style butter in the US.

For Nigella's baking recipes we don't use cultured butter as it is expensive and better savoured on toast or fresh bread. Also the recipes work with regular butter both in the UK and the US. Most unsalted UK and European butters have a fat content of 82% (vs salted butters around 80%) and it is easy to check the fat content on the side of the packaging. It is also possible to make your own cultured butter with double cream and yogurt and there are several recipes available on the internet.

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