Typically, I only use butter for baking, until I decided to delve into the life of seasoned butters. The idea of combining my favorite spices, that I use in nearly everything, with butter, was a perfectly decadent reason to push the oil back into the shadows of the pantry. It’s a marvelous gift that you can cater to each person you intend it for. I started with my own mix of favorite spices that make their way into everything in my cooking. I’ve used it plainly on bread, to season chicken, sautéed veggies, fish, steak, and in rice. Looks like I would put it on everything, actually- and I did!
makes approximately six 3” x 4.5” bars
• 6 Sticks of Salted Butter (feel free to use unsalted butter, and add your own salt)
• 4-5 Sprigs of Fresh Oregano (picked leaves will fill one cup)
• 1 ½ Tablespoon Garlic Powder
• 1 ½ Tablespoon Onion Powder
• Wax Paper
• Tin Foil
• Sharp Knife
• Rubber Spatula
• Rolling Pin
• Mold/Deep Cake Pan (9”x9”)
• Invisible Tape
Begin by uncovering the sticks of butter and placing them in a large bowl, to slightly soften. Though it seems tedious, remove the leaves from the fresh oregano by hand; these will be eaten as is, so it is important to take care in separating the leaves from the stems. Once you have enough to fill a cup, dice the leaves into small pieces, a good ten times in each direction. I used a store bought cake foil for my mold, intending to cut the butter into 6 medium bars. For painless removal and sectioning, line your mold with wax paper. Start your mixer on a low setting to whip the butter a bit; this is just as easily done with a hand-masher. When the butter is easily pliable with no large chunks (some are O.K.), begin folding in the garlic and onion powders, and then add the fresh oregano. Whip/mash for no more than 2 minutes maximum, you don’t want the butter to completely break down. Once it melts to a certain point, it is hard to reclaim the velvety texture with only refrigeration. Spread the seasoned butter into the mold, cover it with another piece of wax paper, and use a rolling pin to gently push the butter completely into the corners of the mold. Place the mold in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or until sufficiently hardened.
Take the butter out of the fridge. Cut it into six bars (don’t stress if they don’t look exactly the same). Start with one bar, and put the rest in the fridge, so they will not soften. Wrap the bar in wax paper, then in tin foil, this keeps any greasiness from seeping out. I then wrapped mine (much like a present) with brown paper, and placed an Old Guys label on it for old world, artisan charm. Refrigerate until you are ready to give it away.
I served one of the butters at a garden party, to accompany the flax bread; then presented each couple with a bar to enjoy at home.
This butter is amazing paired with more rustic breads, like Focaccia-Style Flax Bread (Pictured). It was my first time using flax flour after buying it at an ethnic food store, and having the flour sit in my pantry for a few months. I love it, and it serves as a low-carb option.
- Large Label • I chose the “Old Guys” style in Red, Black and Gold.
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