For many centuries butter making was either a domestic activity or was bought directly from the farm, now of course it is mass produced on a huge scale and can be bought from many sources and in many different forms. So why attempt making your own? Why for the taste of course, it is a taste experience not to be missed; ultra fresh and ultra creamy with a saltiness you determine yourself plus the added knowledge that it contains no chemical nasties – have I sold it yet?
I made my first ever batch this morning using organic double cream, it has got to be double or whipping cream for this as milk/single cream just do not contain enough fat. Now I’ll be honest here, butter can be made by hand or by using a free-standing food mixer but I’m sticking to the use of my KitchenAid, I certainly do not want to be stood around shaking a jam jar of cream for hours on end waiting for the butter particles to form; even I am not that crazy.
The process of making butter just could not be simpler, especially with the aid of modern technology i.e. the KitchenAid. All you do is over whip some cream! Well, maybe there is a bit more to know but not all that much, I promise. I know what you’re thinking; she’s crazy, she’s making it up – well there’s only one way for you to find out isn’t there? Get in the kitchen and try it.
So in step by step tutorial fashion, here’s how to make your butter:
Put your (room temperature) cream in the free-standing mixer, with the paddle attachment in situ:
Whip the cream on high speed until stiff peaks form:
Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium and continue beating until the cream begins to go yellowish and clumpy:
Reduce the speed to low and keep mixing, after a few minutes you will see the butter forming and buttermilk being extracted:
Remove the butter from the dish and reserve the buttermilk, wash the bowl well and then place the butter back into the bowl. Cover the butter with very cold water and knead well, repeat the process several times or until the water is clear (it is vital the butter is well washed or it will go rancid quickly):
Press the butter (using butter pats or wooden spoons) to extract the water before gently kneading in some salt (I used some fleur de sel and studded with Himalayan pink salt on top) and either shaping or potting your butter:
A word of caution, the reserved buttermilk will not look like the standard shop bought tubs of buttermilk which have a thick, almost yogurt like texture; instead it will be thin and creamy coloured with some traces of butterfat running through it. Fresh buttermilk like this has a rich, sweet flavour. It can be used in cooking or baking as required, that’s if you can let it get that far, I just had to have a little taste and then that was it, I had to drink the rest. The perfect morning (or anytime of day come to that) treat along with a cookie, just perfect.
To make one small dish of butter I used 250ml double cream, a pinch of fleur de sel and 1/4 teaspoon of pink salt but of course you can adjust the salt to suit yourself. This quantity of cream yielded about 100ml of buttermilk.
Unless you have your own Daisy the cow or access to a dairy, you are not going to save any money by making your own butter; you will however be repaid in taste and enjoyment.