Butter is one of the commonly used dairy products, and is found in almost all households. It is often stored in the refrigerator and we find it rock hard, when taken out. Personally, I don't like to spread such butter that tears the bread. If not properly softened before use, it may not feel fresh too. It may take a long time for the refrigerated butter to get actually buttery and creamy. In case you forget to take out the butter from the refrigerator beforehand, it will be difficult to use it, when you need softened butter.
Tips to Soften Butter
If you want to skip the task of softening butter, you can resort to two methods. Always remember to take it out of the refrigerator beforehand. Otherwise, make sure that your butter dish always has a stick of butter, even if you store other sticks in the refrigerator. The latter method is more suitable for those who use butter regularly, because it cannot be stored at room temperature, for more than four to five days. In such cases, make sure to keep the lid on. If both these methods do not work for you, then the following tips may help you out.
One of the easiest ways is to soften butter in a microwave. However, this has to be done carefully, if you need the butter for baking or cooking. In such cases, softening has to be done without melting the butter, as melting alters its properties and flavor. Choose the defrost setting, and microwave for a short time (5 to 10 seconds).
Rolling Pin Method
Keep the butter stick folded in a wax paper, and press it on both sides, using a rolling pin. You may also use aluminum foil instead of the wax paper.
Grate the butter into a warm dish, so that it gets creamy in a very short time. Some people resort to indirect warming. Take a glass bowl and immerse it in warm water for a few minutes. Wipe the bowl and place it over the butter chunks. You may also use a warm knife for cutting cold butter. Even a warm butter curler can do the trick faster, as it creates very thin strips. You may also put the butter pieces in a plastic bag, and place the bag in warm water for sometime.
Cut the butter into small pieces, which will get soft at a faster rate, when compared to larger chunks. Another quick way is to beat it in a mixer. One of the simplest tools for softening butter is your hands. All you have to do is to hold the cold butter for some time, if it is possible.