Best Butter for Baking Cakes

Looking for the Best Butter for Baking Cakes?

Baking a cake requires a lot of ingredients. Butter is one of the major requirements. Since the beginning of time, butter has been used to add flavor in foods. It can be used to cook, bake or spread on bread.

With so many types of butter today, it may be difficult to pinpoint the best butter to bake with.

This article will highlight the types of butter that can bake and their differences. It will also disclose the benefits of having butter in your nutrition.

Before we move on – you can use any type of oven to bake in, but we hope that you’ll consider a high quality bread maker.

Unsalted Butter aka Sweet Cream Butter

Unsalted butter is also referred to as ‘sweet cream butter’ or ‘sweet butter’. This is because it is made from fresh cream. The word sweet distinguishes it from other cultured and sour butter. It is the most versatile type of butter and can be used in both cooking and sautéing.

Unsalted butter can be made from milk, cream or both. It has 80% fat and has a golden yellowish color when in block form.

Sweet butter is the best to use for baking cakes. This is because; you are in control of how your baked product will taste like. Flavor in baked products is everything! Sweet cream butter does not include salt. Hence, you can regulate the amount of salt you need.

Besides, salt is also used as a preservative hence salted butter will automatically have a longer shelf life compared to unsalted butter. But, on the positive side, this is a really good thing. With a shorter life span, unsalted butter is fresher when you compare the two. This means all baking recipes that include sweet cream butter have fresh butter in them.

Salted Butter

Just like the name, this butter is mixed with salt. The inclusion of salt gives taste to your butter and also preserves it. If you love salty-sweet foods, this is the butter to use.

Also, if you do not bake often, salted butter is the suitable option. It has a longer shelf life compared to sweet buttercream.

It is, however, important to note that different brands have different salt proportions. Nevertheless, the general equation is ¼ teaspoonful for a ¼ lbs. of butter.

Organic butter

The only difference between organic butter and the rest is that this is made from cows that have had no contact with growth hormones or antibiotics while feeding. The cows feed on 100% organic feeds which are free of fertilizers and pesticides.

Milk produced from these dairy cows, in turn, produces organic butter. It can be quite expensive but guarantees no chemicals used during the whole process.

It is the healthiest butter you can consume. It has more Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and Omega-3 fatty acids. The organic butter can be used for baking cakes and other pastries.

European Style Butter

The European Style Butter has the highest butterfat content ranging from 82-86%. Normally, the American Butter content is 81%.

It is ideal for baking and cooking. Since it has less water content, it produces fluffier cakes and tender, flakier pastries. The butter also has a distinct tangier flavor.

However, due to its high-fat content, most people reduce the required amount of butter needed while using European Style butter in a recipe.

Whipped butter

Are you too worried about the fat content in butter while baking? Worry no more. Whipped butter is a suitable option for you.

Like the name implies, whipped cream is regular butter with a slight difference. Nitrogen gas has been whipped into it making it lighter. It is best for spreading especially in cold temperatures but can be used in baking.

Compound Butter

Compound butter is also referred to as flavored butter. This is traditional butter mixed with spices, herbs, honey, garlic, among other ingredients for a unique taste.

If you love diversifying in cooking, compound butter may be what you are looking for. Its rich unique taste in your cakes will generate more creativity.

It has a relatively low-fat content. It is best for anyone too cautious about their health. Although the whipped baked cake may not feel or look like a salted butter or European butter cake, it does the job too.

Having discussed the best butter you can incorporate in your baking dough, here are the benefits of consuming butter.

Benefits of baking with butter

  • A powerful source of vitamins – Yes, butter has high amounts of 5 vitamins. These are Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E ( rich anti-oxidant), Vitamin B12, and Vitamin K ( protects from osteoporosis and heart diseases)

It is also rich in minerals such as manganese, iodine, copper, zinc, chromium, and selenium. They help in bone repair and growth.

  • Powerful anti-oxidant – natural butter has high levels of carotene which is nutritional value on the human body. Carotene is either converted in oxidants or vitamin A.

When converted into oxidant, it helps boost your immune system and becomes a disease-fighting compound. On the other hand, if carotene converts to Vitamin A, it helps the parts of the body that have fat-soluble membrane just like itself. These parts include the skin, mouth, eyes, throat, digestive and urinary systems. It helps in cell growth and repair as well as protection from infectious diseases.

Vitamin A also boosts the production of lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are what defend the body against viruses and diseases.

  • Anti-cancer properties – through a wide case study, it has been shown that beta-carotene and vitamin A obtained from butter reduces the risk of prostate and colorectal cancer. The Vitamin A antioxidants have also proved to slow stop cancerous growth.
  • Improved intestinal conditions – butter has glycosphingolipids, a fatty acid that can protect you from gastrointestinal diseases. This fatty acid adds a mucus layer on the gastrointestinal membrane walls inhibiting any bacterial infectors from binding to it.
  • Healthy sex – Vitamin A and D in butter are responsible for a healthy sexual performance. They aid in the development of the brain and the nervous system. The exclusion of these vitamins plus Vitamin E, men and women would become nutritionally sterile.
  • Nutritional absorption – Organic butter has high CLA and Omega-3 fatty acids. They also have Activator X, a mysterious vitamin only found in grass-fed cows. This vitamin ensures every nutritional bit in a nutrient is absorbed in the body. Also, it increases the body’s efficiency.

Wrapping Up with Butter

We encourage you to not be afraid of butter. Many people will want to avoid it in order to stay healthy. However, communities have been cooking with butter for thousands of years without issue.

Enjoy your buttery baked goods!

Bread Machine Yeast vs Active Dry Yeast – What’s the difference?

Are you looking at using your awesome new bread machine to bake some delicious bread? Then you need to know about yeast!

Our main focus in this article will be the difference between bread machine yeast and active dry yeast. It’s important for you to know how the different types of yeast work during the baking process.

We’ll also give you details about the different conversions of yeast so that you have a general idea in case you need a substitute for a particular type of yeast.

All about that Yeast

What exactly is Yeast?

Yeast is a biological organism in the fungus kingdom which assists in the conversion of sugar to carbon dioxide and alcohol. The alcohol usually evaporates during the kneading process while the carbon dioxide is what causes the dough to rise when baking.

You must be careful when exposing yeast to air and also to extreme heat. Temperatures of 130-140 degrees Fahrenheit kill yeast cells and then they can’t convert sugars to carbon dioxide. Also, if you expose them to air, they become activated and die from lack of sugar.

Once you expose them to air, you need to immediately refrigerate it, as refrigeration slows the activity and the life cycle of yeast cells.

So, what’s the difference between bread machine and active dry yeast?

What are the Types of Yeast?

Most of you have heard about the different types of yeasts being advertised, and you might be wondering how the difference comes about. We will explain in detail the main difference between bread machine yeast and active dry yeast.

What’s Bread Machine Yeast?

Bread machine yeast has smaller granules than other types of yeast in the market. It’s designed to be used with bread machines since it rises faster than other types of yeast. Most people argue that this yeast bears the same similarities with instant yeast.

True, bread machine yeast is instant yeast that is specially formulated. One characteristic feature of bread machine yeast is that it has fewer flavors when compared to active dry yeast. It doesn’t influence the flavor of your bread because it had little time to develop fully in the dough. They result in bread with inferior tastes.

Bread machine yeast is good for those who like adding other flavors to their bread like banana, vanilla, and chocolate since it won’t influence the flavor of the bread.

What’s Active Dry Yeast?

Active dry yeast is mostly used in traditional baking and it can also be used when baking with a bread machine. It only becomes active when it comes into contact with water. It is usually dormant. That’s why most recipe instructions advise you to separate any liquid from the yeast, lest it activates prematurely.

In most cases, you have to dig a well in the flour to pour the yeast. You can freeze active dry yeast for decades because active dry yeast is live yeast specially enclosed in dead cells of yeast.

This occurrence allows you to store these yeast cells at room temperature without damaging them. Before using active dry yeast in baking, you must proof or rehydrate them.

Most bakers usually give the dough two rises before baking it. Also, when you are substituting active dry yeast for bread machine yeast, you will use 25% more.

What’s Really The Difference?

The main difference between the bread machine and active dry yeast comes about when mixing yeast with other ingredients. Since bread machine yeast comes with fine granules, it doesn’t need to be proofed or rehydrated to activate it.

That’s why in most recipes, you add the yeast alongside other ingredients, making it popular among large scale bakers. When using bread machine yeast, you have to give the dough two rises before baking.

Active dry yeast, on the other hand, requires proofing or mixing the yeast with water to activate them. Since the live yeast is enclosed by dead cells, you must dissolve the yeast in a glass of warm water. If the water is too hot, it may damage the yeast cells instantly.

You only need one rise of the dough when using active dry yeast. It only takes one hour for the dough to double in size as the second rise usually takes place when you are shaping the dough.

The longer you allow the dough to rise, the richer the flavor since it allows the yeast cells to develop fully.

How to Store Yeast

Always store yeast in a dry place or a refrigerator. Any exposure to draft, humidity, oxygen, and heat will either damage the yeast cells or decrease their shelf life. Any opened yeast packages must be used within 4 months from opening the package.

Opened yeast packages should be stored in airtight containers and properly refrigerated. Active dry yeast can be stored for years under refrigeration.

What if Yeast is expired?

When yeast cells age, they lose their potency. It results in longer rising times. You must store your yeast well and always proof your yeast to fully activate them. It is advisable to use the yeast within the expiration period.

How to Test Yeast for Activity!

If you are not sure whether your yeast is active or not, there is a simple way to test it. Get some warm water in a cup, usually 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Add 2 ¼ teaspoons of yeast and let the mixture stand for about 10 minutes. If the yeast rises to nearly half the cup, the yeast is still active and you may use it for baking. This process is known as proofing.

Alternatively, you may dissolve sugar in a mixture of warm water and yeast. If bubbling occurs, then the yeast cells are active. The bubbling signifies the breakdown of sugar into carbon dioxide and alcohol.

Conversions of Yeast

In most cases, you use one teaspoon of bread machine yeast with one cup of flour. If the recipe mentions one packet of yeast, it means 2 ¼ teaspoons or ¼ of an ounce. I cube of yeast is equal to 2 teaspoons of yeast.

Wrapping up

When substituting active dry yeast for bread machine yeast, always use 25% more for best results in the baking process. Now that you know the difference between bread machine yeast and active dry yeast, you can choose the best for your baking.

We advise you to use the active dry yeast since it comes with a long shelf life, and the bread has more flavors than when using bread machine yeast.

How to bake Pizza Dough in a Bread Maker

How to Make Delicious Pizza Dough for yourself in a Bread Maker

If you don’t have a top rated bread maker, you might consider investing in one after we share with you our bread machine pizza dough. It does the kneading for you; all you have to do is sit down and wait.

This recipe will give you a 12-inch crust pizza, plus we will also include some pizza variation towards the end for those who love adding different flavors.

Bread Maker Pizza Dough

Ingredients

  • Water; 1 ½ cups
  • Olive or vegetable oil; 1 ½ tablespoon
  • Bread flour; 3 ¾ cups
  • Sugar; 1 tablespoon
  • Salt; 1 ½ teaspoon
  • Active dry yeast; 1 ½ teaspoon

Directions

  • The ingredients should be added to the bread machine as indicated in its manual. Strictly follow the order.
  • Chose the dough cycle in your bread machine
  • The bread machine will sound an alert when the dough is ready
  • At this point, remove the dough and shape them by rolling in pizza pans till they attain a round shape. The recommended thickness should be 1-inch.
  • Using a brush, layer the round dough with a little olive or vegetable oil.
  • Leave it to rise for about 15 minutes for the active dry yeast to develop well; it may add some flavor to your dough.
  • You can spread some tomato sauce or any other sauce you prefer.
  • The oven temperatures should be 400 degrees Fahrenheit. At these temperatures, the pizza will be ready in about 30 minutes.
  • Remove when the crust is brown.
  • If you added cheese on top of your pizza during topping, the cheese will be bubbly and fully melted.
  • Serve when hot.

How to Freeze Pizza Dough

If you want to freeze your pizza dough after preparing, we have some steps for you to follow.

  • Let the dough rise in your bread machine.
  • Roll them till they are round in shape
  • Brush them with some vegetable or olive oil
  • Place the dough in a freezer bag
  • This bag should be sealed, after sucking out the air inside. This dough will have a shelf life of 3 months minimum
  • After storing them for some time, you need to defrost them.
  • Remove the dough from the freezer, and leave it to defrost in a refrigerator.
  • It will take a minimum of 12 hours for the dough to fully defrost; it is advised to leave them overnight.
  • Remove the dough from the freezer bag and leave it at room temperature for 30-40 minutes.
  • At this point, you can resume baking your pizza dough.

How to Freeze Homemade Pizza That Is Already Prepared

  • After preparing the pizza dough using the steps above, you have to bake them at temperatures of 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • The baking time should be 4 minutes
  • The pizza dough should be removed when they look dry but not brown.
  • You can add some toppings like cheese, tomato sauce, and shredded butter.
  • Freeze the dough till they are solid.
  • Wrap them up in a foil or plastic wrap
  • Store them for 3 months
  • To resume baking after storing the dough for some time, bake it for 15 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit in a pizza pan.
  • Remove when the crust is brown or the cheese and butter are melted and bubbly.

Pizza Recipe Variations                  

We promised to include this section for those readers who love adding some flavors to your pizza dough, for them to taste delicious. We came up with some pizza recipe variations that you might like.

Basil pizza dough

To make basil pizza, you only need to add about 1-2 teaspoons of basil which comes in the form of dried leaves. It should be added to the dry ingredients when mixing the dough in the bread pan.

Whole Wheat pizza dough

To make whole wheat pizza dough, you only need to replace one cup of your all-purpose bread flour with one cup of whole wheat flour. Most people prefer whole wheat to refined flour because of the available nutrients like gluten and fiber.

Garlic pizza dough

Add about 3 freshly minced and crushed garlic cloves to some vegetable oil and mix with the ingredients. Most vegan diets contain garlic because of its nutritional properties.

Herb and parmesan pizza dough

Some people prefer some herb bitterness in their pizza. To make the herb and parmesan pizza dough, add one teaspoon of herb, usually Italian herb or mixed basil leaves and oregano herb. Then add ¼ cup of parmesan cheese, it should be grated. Mix the ingredients with your bread flour before putting them in a bread machine.

Taco Pizza Dough

To prepare Taco pizza dough, you need to omit the salt from the recipe above. To the dough, add 2 tablespoons of cornmeal and one tablespoon of Taco French seasoning mix.

Serving; 2 pizzas

Preparation time; 15 minutes

Cooking time; 15 minutes

Total time; 30 minutes

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)

Calories; 40

Fat; 2 grams

Carbohydrates; 5 grams

Protein; 1 gram

Dietary fiber; 1 gram

This nutritional information varies with your pizza slices.

Dough cycle

In the recipe, we didn’t mention how long the dough cycle takes in a bread machine because they vary with models and the type of yeast used and also the size of your dough. Most bread machines have a dough cycle of 90 minutes maximum, after which you’ll hear a sound alert for you to remove the dough from the machine.

Wrapping up

Preparing pizza dough using a bread maker is a walk in the park, even for beginners. Pizza can be served with any meal during any course. If you want to personalize your pizza serving, we have a few suggestions for you.

You can top your pizza with Mozzarella cheese or tomatoes mixed with red onions. Alternatively, pizza served with mushrooms, pepperoni and Canadian bacon sound good. Not to mention the combo green pepper with ground beef.

There are many spices available to add more flavor to your pizza when serving, choose what you prefer the most. Try out this bread machine pizza dough recipe and share with us your experience in the comments section.

Is it cheaper to just bake your own bread?

The obvious reason for baking your bread is to cut down on the cost of buying bread daily from the store. But again, baking requires you to have the skill to make delicious bread and perfecting this skill might take some time. It improves with practice and routine.

In this article, we will break down the cost of buying all the ingredients and compare it to the cost of buying bread daily. We will also list some of the benefits of baking your bread at home other than the cost.

Costs of Baking Your Bread at Home

Here is a breakdown of the cost of buying ingredients for a whole wheat bread recipe. The prices may vary across some states. Prices are according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Ingredients                                                     

  • Whole wheat flour; 3 ½ cups. The cost of buying a 5-pound bag is $2.99, so this translates to $0.78 for 3 ½ cups.
  • Wheat bran; ½ cup. The price of one pound of wheat bran is $1.28, ½ cup will cost $0.08
  • Honey; ¼ cup. A 5-pound jar o honey costs $11.99 making ¼ cup cost $0.41
  • Unsalted butter; 3 tablespoons. A pound of butter costs $1.99, so 3 tablespoons will cost $0.19
  • Wheat Gluten; 2 tablespoons. A pound of wheat gluten goes for $5.46, making the cost of 2 tablespoons $0.26
  • Yeast; 4 tablespoons. A pound of yeast costs $4.59 making the cost of 4 tablespoons to be $0.19
  • Salt; 1 teaspoon. It costs about $0.01

If you add the total costs of the ingredients, it will be $1.92. This whole wheat bread recipe produces two loaves of bread. If you factor in the cost of running an oven for an hour and half, it will cost you approximately $0.26 in energy bills.

Electricity costs about 10 cents per Kilowatt hour. Top of the line bread machines consume about 2600 watts an hour making the cost to be $0.26. So, the exact price for making two loaves of whole wheat bread is about $2.04.that makes it $1.02 per loaf of whole wheat bread. Let’s compare it with the cost of buying bread at the store.

Cost of Buying Bread at the Store

If you visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, you’ll find the cost of buying white bread to be $1.30 and the cost of buying whole wheat bread to be around $2.

Pricier breads like the sourdough bread and the cinnamon-raisin bread will cost you around $4.

When you compare the cost of our homemade whole wheat bread to the cost of buying it from the store, it costs a dollar less per loaf. It’s about half the price. The point is, making your bread at home is cheaper compared to buying bread from the store.

Other Benefits to Making your own bread at home, apart From the Lower Cost

There are other benefits of baking your bread other than being cheap. Here is a list of some benefits;

Custom Recipe

One advantage of baking your homemade bread is that you can add or remove any ingredient. For those who follow a strict diet like vegans, you can add healthier ingredients to your recipe and omit milk-based ingredients like butter and cheese from the recipe.

Those who watch their calorie intake can do away with refined sugar and add lard to their recipe. Other people require a special diet like Gluten-free bread, which is hard to find in some stores due to low demand. Some researchers found that the cost of baking your homemade Gluten-free bread costs 30-60% less than buying Gluten-free bread from the store.

Gluten-free bread usually goes for $8-10 per loaf. You are better off making your Gluten-free bread as most bread machines come with a Gluten-free setting in their program.

Better Taste

You have the option of adding different flavors to your bread like fruit and nuts, butter, chocolate, and even vanilla. Some bakers will add healthier ingredients like pumpkin, flax seeds, honey and the rest. One advantage of baking your bread is that you allow the yeast to fully develop when leaving the dough to rise, resulting in bread with a better flavor.

Cook In Batches

The loaves of bread in your local store might not be freshly baked; some may be stale from overstaying in the shelves. Baking your bread ensures that you consume fresh bread daily at minimal costs. If you cook in batches, your family will never run out of fresh bread supply. No bread goes to waste as you can freeze excess bread for later use. Refrigerated homemade bread tastes better than the mass-produced bread in your local store.

What If You Can’t Afford A Bread Machine?

You can use a slow cooker if you can’t afford a bread machine since they are cheap. They can cook up to temperatures of 200 degrees Fahrenheit which is good for baking bread.

The only setback is that you have to knead and mix all the ingredients yourself. Plus the slow cooker is not as fast as the bread machine, but what choice do you have?

It takes about 2 hours to bake bread on a slow cooker according to this website.

You only remove the size of dough you wish to bake per day and leaving the rest. It’s a good method for those who wish to bake bread in a hurry or those who have a busy schedule. In the cookbook (Link attached) you can find some recipes that don’t require you to use a bread machine.

Bottom Line

The facts and figures we’ve discussed throughout this article show that baking your bread is cheaper than buying bread from the store. Plus you can customize the recipe to add more ingredients for delicious bread. Subscribe to our blog to get more articles about baking.

Buy the best bread machine you can afford and begin customizing your bread at home!