Looking at my site stats and comment tallies a normal person might be lulled into the illusion that absolutely nobody is reading this blog. But I’m not stupid. I know there are actually legions of you guys out there, hanging on my every word, all wondering: Joe, can expensive Danish butter really be that much better than the regular stuff? And even if it is, once it’s all mixed up into a recipe can we really tell the difference?
The answer is yes and yes. Especially when it comes to baking, which is a butter-intensive enterprise, you want the best stuff you can lay your hands on. For the vast majority of recipes I like Plugra. It’s a European-style butter made right here in the good ol’ USA. What makes it “European” is its higher fat content (Plugra actually means “more fat” in pseudo-French marketing speak). Plus, I’m given to understand there are differences in processing as well, something about a culture that Europeans introduce into their butter that gives it a vaguely tangy aftertaste. But whatever they do, the result it is a smoother, cleaner and sweeter flavor than the typical stuff. I know what you’re thinking: come on man! The butterfat difference is only 2 1/2 percent! I hear what you’re saying. But just you try it sometime. One taste and you’ll be casting your eyes madly about the kitchen looking for substances to slather it on — bread, crackers, dry wall, shingles, ANYTHING!!!
Plugra can be had for six or so bucks a pound, depending (butter prices, like a lot of dairy, can fluctuate madly month-to-month, sometimes even week-to-week). The real imported Danish stuff like this bad boy here, goes for a lot more. But I figure, I’m making Danish right? Why not go for the gold? I don’t make’em very often, and anyway a Danish made with Lurpak must be tasted to be believed.