Most people have no idea how to soften butter. Just pop it in the microwave until it’s partially melted, right?
In baking class, I learned the proper way to soften butter. It’s easy, and takes barely any more time than just popping it in the microwave.
Take your butter and set it in the outer edge of the plate in your microwave. If you’re doing multiple sticks, just line them around the outside. Set it to 20 seconds. After 5 seconds, pause it and open to rotate your butter. To rotate, just roll it inward. Always turn it inward, that way you always turn it to a new side. This is also the reason why you put the butter in the outer edge of the plate, so that you know which way to turn it.
Repeat this process, stopping every 5 seconds, until the full 20 seconds is up. If you’re softening multiple sticks at a time, it may take more time.
And look! No melted center! Just perfectly softened butter.