How to Brown Butter
Learning how to brown butter is a simple skill that all bakers and cooks should all know. Home bakers and cooks included!
But before you learn how to accomplish this great skill, you may be thinking, what is brown butter?
Brown butter is unsalted butter that has been heated on a stovetop allowing the milk solids and butterfat of the butter to separate and brown. The water components of the butter are cooked out leaving only the butter fat. The butter turns into a rich golden color with little brown flakes of the mill solids settled at the bottom. Brown butter enhances almost any recipe, savory or sweet, and gives a delicious nutty, toasted flavor.
Making brown butter is easier than you think! It can be slightly intimidated, but fear not! These steps will steer you in the right direction giving you the most perfect brown butter on the planet.
What You Need
Unsalted butter (preferred, but salted butter will work okay)
White– or silver- bottom sauce pan
Place 1 stick of butter, room temp or cold, into the saucepan. It is quite essential when browning butter to use a light colored saucepan. This is because you need to be able to see the bits of milk solids browning. Otherwise, you may end up with a burnt mess not knowing when the solids are browning.
Place saucepan on stovetop and set to medium heat. First, you will need to melt the butter. No need to stir or swirl your pan. Just allow the butter to melt, but DO NOT leave unattended!
Once melted, the butter will start foaming and crackling. But don’t worry! This is what we want to happen. The water is evaporating out of the butter at this step. The milk solids will start to form their brown bits on the bottom of the pan once the water has fully evaporated. Swirl your pan or stir with a spatula the butter to allow the milk solids to brown evenly. The melted butter will not brown, only the milk solids.
When you see brown bits at the bottom of your pan, remove from the heat. The heat from the pan will be enough to keep cooking the brown bits until they are done. This will also prevent the butter from burning.
Once you have those beautiful golden brown bits on the bottom, remove the butter from the saucepan to a bowl to allow to cool. Do not delay this step! Those brown bits will very quickly turn from gorgeously brown to sadly black before you know it.
Brown butter can be used as a replacement for butter in almost any recipe. You can use it in cookies, breads, sauces for pastas and meats, donuts, brownies, oysters, etc. Basically, anywhere that you use butter! The brown butter will give an extra note of nuttiness and toastedness that will make everyone wonder what did he or she add into this to make it so delightful, fragrant, and fabulous!?
Before adding brown butter to any recipe, allow it to cool completely. It can be used as a liquid or returned to its solid state.
If the recipe calls for melted butter, allow the brown butter to cool and incorporate into the mixture while still liquid. If the recipe calls for room temperature butter, allow brown butter to return to a solid state.
And that’s all! Not as hard as you thought right? If you haven’t tried brown butter before I HIGHLY recommend it! It’s truly fabulous and oh so delicious.
Can’t wait to try? Try using it in Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, the eleventh chocolate chip cookie in the Chocolate Chip Cookie Series! I know you won’t be disappointed!