Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Homemade Cultured Butter

My first attempt to make homemade butter was a flop.  I used my KitchenAid stand mixer (it was really messy) and actually saw the buttermilk separate but thought that the liquid was too little so I kept going.  Big mistake.  The buttermilk reincorporated in the butter and I ended up with something NOT butter!  It spoiled overnight.

I did not want to try again!

But then I saw this video...

And I raced to the nearest supermarket and a 500ml bottle of water.  I still had some fresh cream in the fridge and started "culturing" the cream, because I wanted cultured butter.  I followed the instructions in the book Kitchen Creamery, page 55-56)

After 24 hours, I poured 250 ml of cultured cream in the (clean) water bottle.  Then I shook the bottle for about 10 to 15 minutes (no way I could do it in a minute, the guy in the video has serious muscle, I have serious fat).  About 3 minutes into shaking, I started to doubt myself (the little girl told me I looked really funny); it seemed that there was no activity within the bottle even as I shook it as hard as I could (which was nowhere near the guy in the video!).  I changed tactics and started smacking the bottle against the kitchen table to dislodge the contents which seemed to be sticking to the inside wall of the bottle.  After a while I heard sloshing!!!!  And I could see a solid mass separated from what looked like milk.  I drained the (real) buttermilk.

After most of the buttermilk was drained (and I realize that the small opening of the water bottle was actually ideal for draining!), there was a definite mass of butter!

I cut the bottle open and reveled in my success!

I poured the butter into a fine mesh sieve to drain for a couple of minutes. 

I wished I could get the bits of butter stuck to the sides of bottle out.

I used a coffee filter to pat the butter dry then moved it to a bowl for washing.  I washed 7 times until the water looked clear.

The third washing shows that the water was still very cloudy.

The seventh wash where the water was rather clear.

I drained the water from the final washing and dried the butter with another coffee filter.  Then I mixed in a pinch of Himalayan pink salt.

We had a taste of the butter smeared on a piece of bread... and I promptly promised never to buy butter (for eating) again!  It was honestly the best butter I have ever tasted!

And I am perfectly happy with this water bottle technique.  It yields about half a cup of butter, which suits us just fine.  We are not really lovers of butter so a very small batch is ok.  Especially since the butter has to be consumed within a week (fresh cream, no preservatives!).  I seriously doubt we could finish a large amount of butter anyway (plus it's not really healthy to consume copious amounts of butter!)

A week later...

We finished the first batch of homemade butter in less than a week.  And I'd been wanting to make another batch.

I got everything from the store a couple of days before... I even bought bottled water (just for the bottle, mind you!)  The first step?  Culturing the cream.

To my dismay, I discovered that someone took MY bottled water, drank the water, then threw the bottle away!  @#!$#%$^%^  Hmpf.  I didn't mind the water being gone, but I needed the bottle!  Now what was I going to use?  I couldn't go out of the house to buy bottle water again (not practical to waste gasoline just for a bottle!) so I checked all the cupboards and found a plastic tea/water bottle that I got as a gift last Christmas.  Well, I was rather desperate and that was all I could find... so that was it.

So I went to work and shook... it took longer (about 8 more minutes) than the disposable water bottle but it was still doable.  So I guess I will be using this from now on - at least I don't have to keep buy bottled water (and not for the water but for the container!)  This particular bottle has a big opening but it also has a smaller one so it was actually perfect... drain the buttermilk through the small spout, open the lid and scrape everything into a sieve!  I can get even the smaller bits stuck to the sides of the bottle.

This time I drained my butter directly in the sieve, without a coffee filter.

The butter was washed 7 times... the first wash - very cloudy - 

The final wash (I specifically prepared a separate container) - really clear! -

Then we had merienda!  Hot pandesal with fresh cultured butter slathered on!


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