HOW TO SOFTEN BUTTER IN A MICROWAVE
Many classic and creative baked goods call for softened butter, but sometimes you might not have time to wait for it to soften on the counter. Luckily, you don’t have to abandon your baking—there is an easy solution. Butter can be easily softened in the microwave in just a few simple steps. Read on to learn how to soften butter in a microwave so you can get back to creating in no time.
WHAT IS SOFTENED BUTTER?
Softened butter can be easily pressed between your thumb and forefinger or with the back of a spoon. Butter that is softened will not lose its shape but just have an indentation when pressed.
WHEN TO USE SOFTENED BUTTER?
You may need to soften butter for baking recipes that call for creaming the butter with other ingredients. Creaming a hard stick of butter is very difficult and will leave hard chunks of butter in the bowl. Softened butter will cream smoothly and mix well. Recipes such as Vanilla Butter Cake or Honey Butter Biscuits are examples of instances where softened butter will work best.
SOFTENED BUTTER VS. MELTED BUTTER
Softened butter should be cool but malleable. It should hold its shape but leave an impression when pressed. Softened butter does not appear oily or melted. Melted butter does not cream as well and does not have the ability to hold air when it is beaten.
HOW TO SOFTEN BUTTER
The recommended way to soften butter is to allow it to sit in a room-temperature environment for 30 - 45 minutes. However, if you’re in a pinch, you can soften butter using your microwave. Follow the steps below to learn how to soften butter for your favorite recipes for baked goods and more.
STEP 1. SLICE THE BUTTER INTO SMALL PIECES
First slice the butter into 1-inch pieces to help it soften more quickly and place it on a plate or in a heat-proof bowl.
TIP: SPREAD THE BUTTER OUT
The more butter you are softening, the bigger the plate or bowl should be. If the butter is spread out evenly on the plate or in the bowl, it is more likely to warm and soften evenly.
STEP 2. MICROWAVE WATER
Next, microwave a few cups of water in a microwave-safe cup or bowl for about 2 minutes or until it is very hot.
STEP 3. REMOVE WATER AND PLACE BUTTER IN MICROWAVE
Remove the water from the microwave carefully and place the plate or bowl with the butter inside the microwave.
STEP 4. ALLOW BUTTER TO SOFTEN
Quickly close the microwave and allow the radiant heat in the microwave to soften the butter. It should soften in about ten minutes.
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IS ROOM-TEMPERATURE BUTTER THE SAME AS SOFTENED BUTTER?
Room-temperature butter and softened butter typically are the same. When butter is at a room temperature of around 65 - 70 ℉, it becomes soft and malleable, but keeps its shape. If you have time and the temperature of your kitchen is not too warm, you can allow butter to soften and reach room temperature on the counter.
WHAT ARE ADDITIONAL METHODS TO SOFTEN BUTTER WITHOUT A MICROWAVE?
If you want to skip the microwave, you can also cut the butter into small pieces and stack them on top of one another or flatten and pound it with a rolling pin between two sheets of parchment or wax paper. Then set the butter out at room temp to speed up the process.
You can also pour hot water into a container big enough to cover your butter, discard the water, then place it over your butter. Let it sit for around 10 minutes on your countertop, then remove the container.
SHOP KITCHENAID® MICROWAVES
KitchenAid® microwaves come in a variety of styles with select models featuring Convection Cooking and Air Fry Mode. Explore the KitchenAid brand line of microwaves for quick, even cooking with presets that help eliminate the guesswork.
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