TikTok can’t get enough of butter boards at the moment, and we are on board. But how can you raise your butter board game to a fine-dining level? Read on for tips on how to make the best, most delicious gourmet butter boards, and win the internet.
There’s really nothing not to like about the current butter board trend occupying the minds of food TikTokers all around the world. It consists of a wooden board, smothered in room temperature butter, sprinkled with condiments, spices, herbs and other delicious additions, and served with fresh bread for people to spread it on. It’s a buttery take on the charcuterie trend that took off over the pandemic, and one that, considering the rising cost of cured meats and fancy cheeses, is easier on the pocket, yet no less satisfying. And, if done well, it can be impressive.
Like bread and olive oil, bread and butter is delicious when it’s done well. The butter board puts butter at the centre of the table, and not just the side serving that adds to the main dish. The French understand the value of butter and augment it in many different ways with their compound butter.
The compound butter trend is in full swing on another TikTok channel that has achieved cult status – All Things Butter. But the butter board trend doesn’t require compound butter. All it requires is high-quality butter and a few well-chosen ingredients to boost the flavour.
What are the best butter board combinations?
The sky is the limit for choosing ingredients for your butter board, but some of the most popular combinations trending at the moment include:
Honey and coriander
Fresh mint leaves, honey, freshly ground coriander, freshly ground cardamom, fresh basil leaves, Maldon sea salt.
Coriander and chilli
Fresh coriander, chillies, fresh parsley, Maldon sea salt, chilli oil or chilli flakes, caramelised red onions.
Roasted garlic and rosemary
Roasted garlic cloves, roasted rosemary leaves, Maldon sea salt, lemon zest, freshly ground black pepper.
Figs and mint
Fresh chopped figs, honey, mint leaves, cinnamon.
Maple and bacon
Maple syrup, fried bacon (you can render the bacon and add the fat to the butter beforehand if you wish), pecans.
Sweet and spicy Asian
Roasted fresh garlic, chilli oil, cashews, rocket.
How to go gourmet with your butter board
In general, the butter board trend requires mass-produced butter from a packet with people adding ingredients like salt, herbs, bacon, maple syrup and lemon zest. The first thing you can do to up your butter board game is to make your own butter.
How to make your own butter
Once you make your own butter you’ll never look back - the difference is quite noticeable. You’ll need to start with full-fat cream and this means getting your hands on the absolute best quality you can. Stay away from the supermarket if you can, and instead talk directly to any dairy farmers or cheesemongers at your local farmers’ market. They will tell you how to get the good stull.
Once you have sourced your full-fat, preferably pasteurised cream, you can follow these simple steps to make your own butter. Allow the cream to come to room temperature. Then place it into a container with a hermetically sealed lid. You can invest in a home butter churn, but you don’t really need one. Then the hard part – shake that cream as hard as you can. You’ll have to really exercise your arms here and you may need to get the family involved, it will take about 15 to 20 minutes for the fat and the liquid to separate. Once the butter has formed you will have to filter it through a cheesecloth or fine muslin. You can keep the whey for baking instead of milk or water in a recipe (you can add salt at this point if you prefer salted butter). The butter can then be rolled in greaseproof paper into a classic log shape and stored in the fridge for about two hours. It is then ready to eat.
How to make your own sourdough
The bread is the other important element, and if you can make your own sourdough bread, all the better. Here is all you need to know about how to get going with your sourdough starter. Many gave it a go during the pandemic and have since let it die. Any tie is a good time to get a new starter active, all it takes is flour, water, time and love. Once you have a sourdough starter bubbling away, then you can get started with making your own bread - recipe here.
How to make a butter board
You should choose a clean cutting board to present your butter board. It would be best to buy a brand new one to make sure it’s clean, not riddled with bacteria, and to ensure that it doesn’t have any lingering flavours. Choose a polished board of olive wood. They can be expensive, but they are beautiful to look at and very durable. It will last you for years and be put to very good use.
Spread the butter liberally on the wooden cutting board, sprinkle flakes of Maldon sea salt, lemon zest and whatever combination of ingredients that you want. Serve with warm, fresh sourdough bread and enjoy.