Home Bread-Bakers v104.n003.3

Butter Bells

"David A Barrett" <Dave.Barrett@lawpro.ca>
Fri, 9 Jan 2004 12:01:25 -0500

Butter bells are great!  For those who don't know what were talking about, 
these are a french contraption that allows you to keep butter at room 
temperature for extended periods of time without having it go rancid. 
Basically they are a crockery pot with a lid that has what looks like a 
large egg cup attached to the bottom.  You put some water in the pot, 
butter in the "egg cup" and put the lid on the pot, "egg cup" pointed down. 
The water fills the space around the "egg cup" creating an hermetic seal. 
The butter doesn't get wet because there is usually a little air pocket 
trapped near the rim of the "egg cup".

The result is butter which is soft, yet stays fresh!  Of course, up here in 
the Great White North we let the house get quite cold during the day when 
we're out at work in the winter, so it's actually not that soft this time 
of year :)  Also we have A/C in the summer, so the inside of the house 
isn't every up around 80 degrees in the summer either.

My experience has been that only once in the past two years have I ever 
noticed butter going off, and I think it was in there a loonnngg time. 
There's just two of us, the butter bell holds about 1/3 lb of butter, and 
we don't change the water every day or anything silly like that.  I'd say 
the bell gets emptied every 1 1/2 weeks, and in that kind of time period 
we've never even had a hint of rancidness to any butter.

As I noted in an earlier post, we used margarine for years because we were 
fed up with ripping bread apart trying to spread rock hard butter.  Once we 
found the butter bell (we saw them in France, bought one when we came back 
home), we've never bought margarine since.  They are starting to pop up in 
kitchen shops more frequently now, Fox Run makes a couple of models.

Dave Barrett