I’ve found one problem here is that they use real butter and it’s stored in a walk-in fridge. As such, when I come to use it to make a sandwich, it’s rock solid. I can barely chip a bit off let alone spread it on a soft baguette.
The simple solution is to whack it with a mallet and pop some onto a plate (without the tin wrapping), then nuke it in the microwave. The trick is to ensure you don’t leave it in there too long.
Ten seconds is too long. I wish I could show you pictures, but I’m cameraless right now. Suffice to say I was pouring it on my bread rather than spreading it. One extreme to the other. With experimentation I may get it right, but I fear it’s more than just a timing thing.
See, microwaves cook from the inside out as we all know. So the butter looks (and indeed is) fine on the outside while the interior turns into a superheated molten core. This heat is transferred out, and the whole thing made much worse when you poke your knife into it. The flesh-burning interior spills out and lands on the still-solid “crust” causing it to also melt.
If you don’t leave it long enough (1-2 seconds), then the inside has just gone soft and doesn’t even have a hope of affecting the outer layers – which are still like clay anyway. Given the variables, such as oven efficiency; original temperature of butter; oven wattage; chemical make-up of the patty and so forth, I don’t think there’s any simple method of calculating the ideal thaw time.
Mind, it’s fun just melting it.
Oh, and yes. I’m very, very, very busy working here…