The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Use clarified butter instead of butter?

BakerNewbie's picture

Use clarified butter instead of butter?

I'm planning on making some cinnamon rolls. The recipe calls for unsalted butter in the dough. What effect would there be to the texture and taste of the roll if I used unsalted clarified butter instead? What things can I do to make the roll similar to Cinnabon's?

dghdctr's picture

Clarifying the butter removes the milk solids, which provide much of the flavor components possessed by butter.  Removing the solids raises the "smoke point" of butter and allows for better qualities if you saute or fry something, but for baking applications, clarified butter presents no advantages I can think of.

Clarifying the butter also adds several steps -- melt the butter, separate the solids, cool the butter -- why do this when it is unnecessary?

With regard to Cinnabon's rolls -- their dough makes use of commercial conditioners that are unavailable to home bakers.  The conditioners provide huge volume and softening qualities that are not easily reproduced by natural means.

Check out sweet dough formulas in "Advanced Bread and Pastry" by Michel Suas.

-- Dan DiMuzio 

Yerffej's picture

Along with all of the milk solids being removed, so is all of the water.  This means that small amount of steam that comes from the butter willl  not be present,  thereby possibly leaving you with a slightly denser product.  While this may apply to your rolls only somewhat, it would be a definite factor in a laminated dough.