No one likes to sit around waiting for their butter to thaw, especially me, so I did a little bit of research and found the best hacks to soften your butter super fast!
We're all familiar with blasting our butter in the microwave on high for 20 or 30 seconds to end up with butter soup. Yuck. But if you're in a seriously quick pinch, put your butter in the microwave for 15 seconds at a time, rotating it so each side gets heated equally. That way, it will be softened evenly and you'll avoid melting it too much before use.
2. Cut the butter into small pieces
Another trick, which is less risky than the microwave, is to cut your butter into small pieces. The more surface area exposed to room temperature, (or heat if you leave them near your oven), the faster they'll soften. It's also handy when adding butter to your mixer; so you don't have to whisk in giant sticks that put a beating on you mixer.
3. Heat the butter in a pot of warm water
This tip is another that uses heat. Using a double boiler (or a make shift one like I have; a large pot and a bowl to fit inside it), place it on the stove top on medium heat until the water simmers. Place the butter in the top bowl and remove the double boiler from the stove top. The butter should begin to soften. You can also just put the butter in a plastic bag (the easier of the 2 options) in warm water, but you run the risk of having melted butter if you do not pay close enough attention.
4. Grate the butter
I thought this sounded a little strange, and very messy at first, but this tip is very much like #2. Using your cheese grater, or whatever one you may have on hand that isn't very fine, grate your butter, with the wrapper on, right into the mixing bowl. This technique works great for creating doughs and crumbles with such small shreds.
5. Rolling the butter out
Last but not least, my favorite way to warm up butter, is to roll it out! Set your butter between 2 pieces of wax paper, and begin to roll out your butter. As you start to work with it and create heat from the friction, the butter will soften to a perfect temperature for you to throw in to your mixing bowl. A lot of people suggest pounding it; making a lot of noise; creating a ton of work and angry neighbors. This method is what I use when I'm in a pinch because it's so simple and only requires some wax paper, which bakers usually have on hand.
I hope these tips were helpful! What do you do to get your butter warmed and ready for baking fast? Let me know in the comments below!