I hate to ask this question as I just asked a previous one. However, since my last question was about the best ingredients, I'd like to know if anyone uses Plugra butter in their pastries.
I think the average butter has 80% fat as opposed to Plugra's 88%. I am begging you to tell me if the difference is noticeable and whether it is worth the investment.
I use several butter qualities in our pastry operation. In the Waldorf Astoria, We produce every thing from scratch. In all our lamination doughs, I use plugra. It has the qualities I need in a top quality croissant. It is wonderfully pliable and plastic like. All I need to do is pound it a little right out of the walk-in, to bring it to the consistancy to put it into a frame block. I also use president butter, which has a a richer butter flavor, I feel. We use it in all our Bon Bon work and things like toffees and so on......love the stuff. For basic things like cookies and shortcakes, quick breads, I use a good domestic.
I think it's important to know and understand the application you are using the butter in and the qualities you are wanting to achieve. In general, the better the ingredients the better the end result. If you have the budget, you go for it!!
Let me tell you what I will be using butter for. I will be baking brownies, cookies, and eventually ganaches. As you mentioned, I want the best result but would you use Plugra for that. I do have the budget for it.
In your opinion would plugra actually make brownies and cookies taste so much better than the average?
One of the chefs I worked with recently at Le Cordon Bleu Chicago took a breads class a few weeks ago at the French Pastry School and noted they used Plugra for laminated doughs. He swears there was an "extreme" difference in their overall product with the Plugra. It was like "night and day".
Hope that helps.
I think Kurtis hit it on the nose. It depends on what your baking which butter you use. I made puff pastry from scratch with Plugra and it was amazing!! I think it would make your products richer, it just depends on your budget! Good luck!!
Definitely use it for laminated doughs.
Here is my take. It is not worth it for a cake or something where you are not going to get the flavor benefits of this European style butter. But, it does make a huge different in laminated doughs, and puff/blitz pastry etc. We do use it for those applications. It tastes too buttery for buttercream in my opinion, and it drives up your costs on that as well.
The added fat content makes the butter more pliable and gives a richer flavor. Pliability is good because ultimately it makes a more forgiving dough as you work, when the butter is cold with lower fat butter it can tear the dough as you roll/handle it. Also, with a more pliable butter you can work with the dough a bit colder than you might with a standard butter. And with these types of doughs, cold is better. It can take a little longer to melt, so you might need to adjust your cooking time by a minute or two.
Personally, I don't use it in everything. Cookies, bars, chocolate items, etc. you won't notice the difference enough to warrant increased costs on your end and possibly passing them onto your clients...but I think it is definitely worth it for croissants, danishes and other laminated doughs. It's good in brioche and pie doughs, short doughs...but I do think these applications are good with standard butter, too.
Do go with a plugra or other European style butter. Actual European butters will be far more expensive (though they are delicious).
Thanks so much.