Twisted butter

May 3rd, 2012 | Posted by greg in Daily life...

Butter as you know it just took another twist you didn’t really expect.

In normal preparation, butter is the ingredient that makes baked goods taste better, and yes: it’s better with butter. Yet, thanks to ancestral artisan skills and superbly hand crafted butter from the like of Jean-Yves Bordier, butter is now back to where it was decades ago, when mass industrialization hadn’t killed quality.

The maison Bordier, located in St-Malo – Brittany, uses a few simple principles in the production of their butter that are the same used many moons ago by our forefathers. For example, the malaxage is done using teak wood and precisely follows the season, 25 minutes during the winter and 15 minutes in the summer. These differences give butter all of its aromas, silk-like texture and magical taste.

His salted butter is hand mixed with nothing less than the acclaimed Guerande sea salt, and more than the traditional plain, demi-sel or salted butter, Bordier has launched a selection of flavored butter, notably yuzu, Espelette Chili, smoked sea salt and seaweed. You can picture them on your bread, with your food or used to bake your favorite cake – imagine a pear and yuzu cake baked with yuzu butter!

But more than that, I have found a different usage for these superbly flavored butters. Layered in dough that is; such as puff pastry or flaky brioche; the baked goods take a complete new dimension, while the dough itself isn’t affected by the usual addition of extra ingredients, the flavored butter confer a subtle, yet remarkable fragrance to the finished dough. We had baked a plain butter version of our beetroot flaky brioche for last week’s Harvest dinner and a few days back, we’ve baked a new version where the milk was fully replaced by pureed beetroot, layered with smoked sea salt butter and chopped pistachios. Simply fabulous!

Beetroot & Pistachio brioche layered with smoked sea salt butter

Such bread isn’t created to be a meal on its own like a stuffed foccacia would be, but is rather a perfect pairing for a meal. For example with seafood or lamb dishes; the subtle smoky flavor, together with the nutty roasted pistachios and the earthy beetroot undertone all together bring the perfectly balanced act to the dining table.

His butters are used in many very respectable culinary establishments in France and around the world, including at our 3-Michelin Stars restaurant Caprice…

Butter, as a very ordinary daily staple ingredient in our kitchens, gets its status quo challenged by the passion of artisan – And how about you? When is the last time you gave a twisted look to your butter?

Super soft and buttery texture

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