Glossary: A - B : Butter
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Acetic acid (Ethanoic acid) Active ingredient in vinegar; used in food preservation.
Acid A flavor characteristic of butter associated with moderate acid development in the milk or cream, or excessive ripening of the cream.
Aging Holding cream at appropriately cool temperatures to crystallize the butterfat globules, ensuring proper churning and texture of the butter.
Alfredo sauce A thick, creamy white sauce composed of butter, cream, and eggs used in Italian cuisine.
Anhydrous butter oil Anhydrous butterfat. Made by gently heating butter to break the emulsion, followed by centrifugation to remove the milk serum from the fat fraction. Butterfat content of the remaining butter oil is over 99 percent.
Anhydrous milkfat AMF. The commercially- prepared extraction of cow's milkfat, found in bulk or concentrated form (comprised of 100% fat, but not necessarily all of the lipid components of milk).
Annatto seed Also known as achiote seed. Used as a coloring agent in butter, margarine, cheese and smoked fish.
Antioxidant A substance that can stop an oxidation reaction; a substance that slows down or interferes with the deterioration of fats through oxidation
Béarnaise sauce Classic French sauce made with a reduction of vinegar, wine, tarragon and shallots and finished with egg yolks and butter. Served with meat, fish, eggs, and vegetables.
Beat Whether done using an electric mixer or by hand with a fork, spoon, or whisk, to 'beat' is to vigorously mix, blend, or stir a mixture in a circular motion. This technique changes the consistency of the ingredient(s), from the smoothing, mixing and aerating the ingredients for a cake batter, to incorporating air into egg whites or sweet cream. 100 strokes by hand will equal about one minute with an electric mixer.
Béchamel sauce A term for light white or blond sauces. In its simplest form, white sauce is cream or milk mixed into a white roux (a combination of butter and flour which isn't browned). Also called "white sauce."
Beurre (burr) (French) Butter.
Beurre blanc White butter. A classic sauce that is made of a wine, vinegar and shallot reduction into which chunks of cold butter are whisked until the sauce is thick and smooth.
Beurre manie' Means "kneaded butter"; it is a paste made of softened butter and flour used to thicken sauces.
Beurre noir (burr-nwahr) (French) Butter cooked to a dark brown.
Beurre noisette (burr-nwah-zet) (French) Butter that tastes like hazelnuts, achieved by melting butter until it turns a golden brown.
Bitter Flavor characteristic of butter attributable to the action of certain microorganisms or enzymes in the cream before churning, or certain types of feeds and late lactation.
Break When heating a butter sauce, this is the point when fat solids separate from the rest of a sauce. A broken sauce is not desirable as it detracts from the creamy texture. A butter with lower moisture breaks less.
Butter A solid fat made from churning the fat from milk or cream until it solidifies. It is a water-in-oil emulsion, comprised of over 80% milkfat, but also containing water in the form of tiny droplets, perhaps some milk solids-not-fat, with or without salt (sweet butter); the texture is a result of working/kneading during processing at appropriate temperatures, to establish fat crystalline network that results in desired smoothness (compare butter with melted and recrystallized butter); used as a spread, a cooking fat, or a baking ingredient. Unsalted butter is preferred over salted butter because it permits greater leeway in seasoning recipes to taste. Butter will keep, well wrapped, for 1 month in the refrigerator or for up to 6 months in the freezer.
Butter cakes These cakes are made by first creaming butter with sugar to incorporate air. Whole eggs or egg yolks are added and flour is stirred in alternately with the liquid (often milk) at the end. When made with whole eggs, baking powder is often used as the leavener. When only the yolks are added at first, the beaten whites are folded in at the end. Most American layer cakes are butter cake-based.
Butter starter Typically lactic acid starter culture(s) produced when lactic fermenting bacteria are added to skim milk. The mixture is ripened and subsequently added to cream before churning, for flavor development in the manufacture of cultured butter.
Buttercream Buttercream is basically a flavored mixture of butter, sugar and eggs that is used to fill and frost cakes. Whole eggs, yolks or whites may be heated with sugar over simmering water and whipped cold before adding the butter and flavoring, or a sugar syrup cooked to the firm-ball stage can be poured over the eggs, then whipped until cold before the butter and flavoring are added. Buttercream can also be made by combining butter with pastry cream in a 1-to-2 ration or with custard sauce, 1-to-1.
Butterfat Almost synonymous with milkfat; all of the fat components in milk that are separable by churning. Buttermilk -- The tangy, butter-flecked liquid left over when whole milk has been churned to make butter. Most commercial buttermilk sold in food stores is a cultured form made by adding lactic-acid bacteria to low-fat or nonfat milk.
Butteroil Anhydrous milkfat; (conventional terminology in the fats and oils field differentiates an oil from a fat based on whether it is liquid at room temp. Or solid, but very arbitrary).
Butterscotch A flavoring used in desserts, sauces and candies. This confection is made from two primary components, brown sugar and butter.
Butylated hydroxyanisole BHA. An antioxidant used to decrease oxidative rancidity of fat or oil. Improves oxidative stability, antioxidants
Butylated hydroxytoluene BHT. An antioxidant used to decrease oxidative rancidity of fat or oil. Improves oxidative stability, antioxidants
Butyric acid (Butanoic acid) Odor-causing agent in rancid butter. A saturated fatty acid with 4 carbon atoms that is found in relatively large amounts in butter.