Because European-style butter has more fat and less water, it melts faster and leaves more buttery flavor. This makes European butter the perfect ingredient for flaky pastries, such as croissants, by Culinary Crafts. The same goes for pie crusts which also benefit from the richer flavor of European butter. So it’s no surprise that chef and CEO Maury Rubin uses European butter for his baked goods, including danishes. He says it’s worth it for home bakers who make these pastries to use butter with a higher fat percentage, according to HuffPost.
However, there is a place for American butter in baking. King Arthur Baking points out that, in some cases, high fat content can make baked goods drier and a bit oilier. The lack of moisture found in American butter is especially critical when making certain baked goods such as cookies. According to Greatist, the moisture in American butter turns to steam as the dough cooks. This is one of the reasons why cookies turn out to be airy, light and fluffy; different from puff pastries and certain pie bases.
Simply put, American and European butter should be considered different ingredients, according to Food52. Next time you’re about to bake a tasty treat, be sure to check out which butter would work best for your recipe.