Butter boards have become the hottest new kitchen accessory. Putting some melted butter on a cutting board and topping it with a few ingredients seemed easy at first. However, there are techniques you may use to make a butter board that looks like a pro made it.
Everything from what to put on them to how to present them to how to serve them properly will be discussed in this introductory article on butter boards. First, let’s cover the fundamentals.
Butter Board Fundamentals
Having high-quality butter at the base of your butter board is essential. Choose butter with a higher butterfat level, like 82-86%, like the kind used in Europe. Échiré, Plugrá, and Kerrygold are a few of the most well-liked choices. Before putting together your board, let the butter sit out at room temperature for a couple of hours.
Put the butter on a charcuterie board, cutting board, slate, or serving dish once it has softened enough to be spreadable. Use an offset spatula or butter knife to spread the butter in a thin, even layer. Ensure that you get it into all the divots and along the borders of the board.
Next, add any ingredients you like most to the butter in a creative way. Sea salt flakes, freshly cracked black pepper, chopped nuts, fresh herbs like parsley, chives, dill, or cilantro, lemon zest, minced garlic, and toasted nuts are all staples in the kitchen. To spice things up, try adding in some edible flowers, seeds, jams, honey, shredded cheese, and more.
Think on how the toppings will taste, look, and feel together as a whole. You should strive for aesthetic appeal. In order to fully experience the butter’s wonderful smoothness, leave some exposed regions.
Furthermore, avoid having too many pieces on the board. Reduce the number of ingredients to 5-10 for optimal harmony.
Serving and Pairing Suggestions
The purpose of a butter board is to be used as a communal serving piece. Serve it as a pre-dinner appetizer with warm bread, crackers, raw veggies, toasted baguette slices, or anything else that would taste better with a dollop of butter. Individual butter boards can also be made on a smaller scale.
Sommelier Grace Willis advises that butter boards are best served with Champagne, sparkling wine, or a dry hard cider. “The richness of the butter counteracts the wines’ acidity.”
Make it simple for guests to butter their own toast or crackers by providing them with butter knives, mini spatulas, or small wooden cutting boards. Make sure you have enough of bread on hand to soak up all that delicious butter. If you make it yourself in the oven, extra points!
To accompany her butter boards, cookbook author Amelia Winslow “always makes homemade focaccia or pull apart dinner rolls.” “It makes it feel more homemade and highlights the bread, too.”
Creative Butter Board Ideas
Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals, the real fun begins as you experiment with various flavor combinations on your butter board. A few suggestions to get you started are as follows:
- Dill, basil, mint, sage, rosemary, oregano, and the like, all arranged in a garden pattern on a butter board.
- A spread of olives, capers, roasted garlic, sundried tomatoes, and red pepper flakes
- A brunch spread of pear slices, walnut halves, orange segments, maple syrup, and cinnamon
- Curry, garam masala, cumin, raisins, and cashews on an Indian spice board.
- Prosciutto, salami, Parmesan, fig jam, and toasted nuts on a board, charcuterie-style.
- A spread of guacamole and salsa, including avocados, tomatoes, onions, and cilantro.
In her own words, “I love getting creative with savory and sweet themes when designing my butter boards,” chef Millie Hamilton explains. To offset the richness of the butter, consider some of your go-to flavor pairings.
When it comes to making a good impression, butter boards are second to none. Spreading items on the butter equally is a simple way to keep things straightforward. Alternately, you could make some cool patterns, like:
- Arrange herbs in the shape of flowers on top of the butter
- Write messages or draw shapes using spices, seeds or edible petals
- Stamp designs into the butter using cookie cutters
- Slice compound butter flavors into strips and alternate them on the board
- Spread the butter into heart or star shapes then decorate
“Butter boards make fantastic centerpieces or table decor for hosting dinners and parties,” says party hostess expert Clara Wu. “Enjoy yourself while creating works of edible art out of butter.”
Running into a few issues while perfecting your butter board skills? Here are some troubleshooting tips:
- Not enough warmth for the butter? Allow it to sit out for a while to soften. Avoid heating it in the microwave.
- Is the butter getting soft and sloppy? Spread it on the board, but make sure to keep it cold.
- Butter losing its flavorings? The board could be skewed. If you don’t want gravity to undo your hard work, keep it flat.
- Butter lacks flavor complexity? To enhance the flavor, add spices, citrus zest, herbs, or garlic.
- Toppings piled too high? Reduce the number of components to a manageable five to seven.
- Butter losing moisture? If it has been sitting for too long, gently scrape off the dry layer or spread it over a damp cloth to re-wet and restore its smooth texture.
Quickly and easily put together a butter board that is both visually appealing and flavorful with the advice provided here. It’s important to try new things and not be afraid of failure.
Making a spectacular meal is easier than ever. Simply stick to the fundamentals, spruce them up a bit, and enjoy in the company of good friends. The perfect snack is waiting for you!