Homemade rolls are a staple at my home during Sunday dinners and holiday meals, and smearing plenty of butter on the warm, pillowy rolls is easily my favorite part of eating them. Typically, I’ll let the butter sit on my counter for a few hours to soften before dinner, but thanks to a simple trick I recently learned, I can soften a stick of butter quicker.
Spreading cold butter onto a bagel or a piece of bread is tricky and frustrating. Rather than a smooth layer of butter, we’re often left with torn bread and clumps of butter. You could microwave the stick to soften it in a pinch, but you’ll need to check on it every couple of seconds to make sure it doesn’t melt. Thankfully, there’s a way to ensure that your stick of butter goes from fridge-cold to spreadable in as little as 10 minutes.
How to Soften a Stick of Butter Quickly
Chef David Alvarez shared this easy tip on his Cook Like a Pro YouTube channel, which first calls for filling the lid portion of a butter dish with hot water. You can use the hottest water that comes from your faucet instead of boiling it. Let the water sit for two minutes, pour it out, and dry the lid with a paper towel. Then, place the lid over the stick of butter and leave it be for 10 to 15 minutes. (Psst: If you don’t have a butter dish, using a large bowl as the lid and a smaller plate works just as well!) Afterwards, the butter should be soft to the touch, meaning it’s ready to spread.
Watch the video below to see how this hack works and try at home:
Trying this out myself, I found that it really made the butter much easier to spread on to a slice of bread without the time hassle of letting it sit for hours. While it was great to spread on bread, I think letting it sit under the butter dish lid for 20 minutes would’ve made it even softer to use for baking a cake or a batch of muffins from scratch (definitely trying that out next time!).
Although this tip comes in handy for a whole stick, a cheese grater works wonders if you need just a small amount to smear on a bagel or toast for breakfast. Overall, I was really impressed by the trick and I’ll be using it from now on when making flavored butters, or to ensure that there’s always warm butter gracing my dinner table for a feast.