We make our own butter here at the restaurant. It's one of those things I just won't stop doing.
Making butter is one of my favorite tasks. There are few things in life that are as easy, as dependable, or as delicious as fresh handmade butter from local pastured healthy cows.
Over the years, I've had a lot of jobs at the restaurant; chef, plumber, farmer, phone technician, dishwasher, graphic designer! But, making butter is still my favorite.
Always start with cream from pastured animals. Pastured animals are exposed to sunlight & eat
grass, resulting in a product that is rich in vitamins and minerals.
Add a couple of table spoons of yogurt or cultured raw milk to your fresh cream, and let it sit on the counter overnight. In the morning, your cream will be thick & slightly sour. This step is not essential for making butter, but is essential for making butter milk, which is useful to have in the kitchen. You could skip this step and still have delicious sweet cream butter.
Heavy cream is made of fat and sugar with some proteins. If you've cultured the cream, you've transformed the sugar and thickened, or padded, the protein particles. Churning the cream, agitates the fat molecules, forcing them to rub against each other. Fat is sticky, so eventually the tiny fat molecules become particles, and the particles eventually grow into visible tangible masses.
Using a hand mixer, a whisk, robot coup, food processor, or an old fashioned churn; beat the cream. The cream will thicken to whipped cream after about 3 minutes, then it will become VERY thick cream- or what appears to be whipped butter. If you stop the beating now, you have an edible sweet
or slightly tangy (if using cultured cream) creamy colored dairy topping that is delicious on cobblers. But it is not very stable, and will begin to loose its body after a few hours. Keep beating the cream, until the fat and the sugars separate, and the buttermilk begins sloshing around. THIS is my favorite
Dump the contents of your churning device into a bowl lined with a colander. If you cultured your cream, you now have butter in the colander, and buttermilk in the bowl. If you did not culture your cream, you have butter and un-cultured whey, which you can feed to your pigs or pups, or use in baking. Regardless, separate the butter from the non-butter liquid.
On it's own, butter fat is a very stable food, but it will go rancid rather quickly if it is not handled properly. Washing the fat solids removes residual milk sugars and the butter will have a cleaner, sweeter flavor.
Keep the butter solids in the colander, and place in a new clean bowl. Stream in cold water and gently knead the butter under the running water. Occasionally, empty the bowl below, and con tune until the water In the bowl is clear.
Place a clean dish towel on your work surface. A wood surface is best. Place your butter on the clean towel, place another clean towel on top, and press the butter between the two layer- expressing any water or moisture. Remove the top towel, fold the butter as you would pastry dough, and place a new clean dish towel on top. Press the butter between the two layers. Now that the butter has been pressed twice, remove the top towel & sprinkle the butter generously with sea salt or powdered sea vegetables. Fold the butter again and incorporate the seasoning by if kneading the butter with the towel as your tool. Taste the butter & add more salt if needed.
I like to roll my butter into a log shape. It is easy to slice & looks nice as a gift. The majority of our butter at the restaurant gets packed into clean plastic quart containers.
It's ok to leave butter at room temperature for long periods if you're room is below 80.
In lots of placing in the world, butter is used to make ghee. Ghee is a shelf stable fat that has no protein or sugar. The proteins and sugars are removed from the butter by gently heating it and skimming the sugars (which foam) and the protein (which turns white and cooks into a loose solid). The resulting product is light yellow, clear, doesn't burn when you fry with it, and will stay good forever (even in rooms over 80 degrees).
Butter is a nutrient dense food. Eating butter, along with a whole food's diet, protects your body from stress, keeps your cells strong yet supple, and delivers important fat soluble vitamins.
If you want to geek out on butter: