6.07.2012

Holy Cow! I made butter!

Handsome Husband:  Hey, babe!  How was your day?

Me:  Oh, you know... the usual.  I did some laundry, dishes, played with the kids, made some butter...

HH:  Ummm, excuse me?

Me:  Well, you know... we were low on butter and I needed buttermilk for that one recipe, so I killed two birds with one stone.  BAM!  Butter and buttermilk!  Genius.

HH:  I think there's something wrong with you.

Me:  Probably, but you know you love it.  Also, I'm increasing our chances of surviving major disaster with each of my domestic engineering feats... so really you should thank me.

HH:  You know you can just buy butter and buttermilk, right?

Me:  Boooooring!

HH:  (Sigh)


So here's the full story.  I was looking online for how to make buttermilk at home because I needed some for a recipe.  I thought I remembered something about mixing milk and vinegar and letting it sit, but I couldn't quite remember.  Anyway, Google led me down quite a different path and what I discovered was that you can make butter with the byproduct being (drumroll, please) buttermilk!  Holy Cow!  Butter?  At home?  Don't I need a churn and some wooden clogs?  As it turns out, all you need is a mixer and some heavy cream... a spatula, strainer and dishtowel are nice accessories to have as well.

So here it is... how I made butter and buttermilk at home:

1.  You start with a mixer, wire whisk and heavy cream.  If you use cream that has warmed slightly to 60 degrees or so, it'll make the process go a lot quicker.


2.  Pump that baby up until you are mixing on the highest speed possible.  Use a dishtowel to form a "tent" over your mixer... thus containing the splatter.  If you have a fancy splatter guard, even better!  I couldn't find mine so I MacGyvered one by using a flour sack cloth towel.


3.  You'll soon notice your cream move past the "stiff peak" phase of whipped cream and begin clumping together.


4.  Here is where it starts to become super cool.  It's as if you blink your eyes and all of a sudden, your whipping cream looks waaaay more yellow than white!  It's about to get all magical... wait for it...


5.  You see that little line of separation where the cream once clung to the bowl?  That's what victory looks like.  Some refer to the mixture as "cracking".  Essentially, it's the moment when the fats of the cream separate from the liquid!


6.  A few seconds later, this is what you have!  Little grains of butter with buttermilk pooled at the bottom.


7.  Squish the butter to the side of your bowl and pour of the sweet, sweet buttermilk!


8.  You see that?  Stay tuned because tomorrow I'm going to show you what to do with this stuff!


9.  Next, switch out your wire whisk for a flat beater.  Trust me.  You don't want to spend the next half hour trying to get butter out of your wire whisk.  Anyway, add super duper ice cold water to the bowl and beat the butter (slowly) some more.  The goal is to end up with clear liquid after working the butter.


10.  I'm getting close... only a little cloudy!  Make sure to pour off the cloudy water (don't keep it!) and add a bit more fresh water to the bowl.  Mix again.  You'll probably repeat this process 4-5 times.


11.  Getting even closer!  Some may call it good at this stage, but I'm neurotic thorough so I want to eliminate all the buttermilk.  If you don't, your butter will spoil much faster.


 12.  We've arrived!  Butter!  At this point, I balled it up by hand and gave it one final rinse under running, ice-cold water.  You then squeeze out all the excess water and place it in a dish of your choosing.


13.  The final product... butter and buttermilk.


So there you have it!  Another domestic engineering marvel!  I'm not saying I'll never buy a stick of butter again (let's face it, precisely measured butter has it's place in the world) but it's pretty darn tasty.  Further, I love knowing exactly what went into it!  In this modern age of "natural flavors" and mystery additives I can't pronounce, I'm happy to feed my kids butter with precisely one ingredient: whipping cream.

So give it a go... you won't be disappointed.  The flavor is awesome and it spreads like... well... butter!  If nothing else, it's an awesome science experiment!

xo, k

PS.  You can take this butter and salt it if you'd like.   I prefer my butter unsalted so I know how much I'm adding to my recipes/meals.  Enjoy!

2 comments:

  1. woo, go you! i wish i could be this domestic ;)
    xo TJ

    ReplyDelete
  2. You can do it too!!! The Captain is up from his nap so we are about to do some baking with buttermilk... stay tuned! xo, k

    ps. Thanks for following! I love hearing from readers!

    ReplyDelete