Step-by-step instructions on how to make this fantastic butter!
The yield depends on the amount of water the butter you use has. I estimate roughly 20-25%
- 1 pound unsalted butter
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan with tall sides (a few inches or so depending on the amount of butter you're browning) over medium heat.
- It will foam at first and spurt, so be careful! Don't stand too close to the saucepan.
- It will melt and will start to bubble and make a furious noise (this will be louder depending on the amount of water the butter has).
- Then, the bubbles will become smaller and it will gradually stop chirping (really, it's a chirping noise, you'll see) and will foam quite a bit (images below).
- Be careful as it will start browning underneath the foam. You will smell a nutty aroma.
- It's very important that you split the foam with the spoon or spatula you're using and see that it doesn’t burn. You want it to be an amber color. Similar to caramel, it goes from amber to burned in a short moment, so be careful.
- Take it out and put it in a shallow pan so it stops cooking (image below, right).
- The shade goes from light to dark in seconds, just like that (image below). The flavor deepens as it colors, but be aware that, just like it happens with caramel, it goes from wonderfully dark-colored and deep flavored to burned and useless.
- Allow to cool and refrigerate until cold. Read the recipe carefully, because usually butter is used at room t°, so it doesn’t need to solidify completely.
- Color: be very careful during the last stage of the recipe, when the butter stops chirping and a thick foam gathers on the top. The butter starts to burn quickly at this point, so make sure you separate the foam with a spatula and check the bottom is not burning. The darker the color the deeper the flavor. Just make sure you don't get a burned flavor!
- Solids: as the butter browns, the solids burn and deposit in the bottom. You can use it with the solids or without. Your choice. Sometimes the butter is deep-colored and that means the solids are almost burned, so it's better to leave them behind.
- Bulk browning: I make this recipe 1 pound at a time. Then I refrigerate it until and need it as regular butter. It will have a different consistency of course. But the results in cakes, muffins, and cookies are exceptional.
- Storing: keep refrigerated in tightly closed. It lasts for a week, but always ckeck it before using. Don't use it if it has a rancid smell or a weird texture. It can also be frozen.
- Soft brown butter: usually we make it and refrigerate it. But read the recipe you're going to make carefully, because most times butter is used at room t°, so it doesn’t need to solidify completely.
Keywords: brown butter