Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Butter Making Madness.

An ex-colleague recently returned from Japan and told me that she made butter at a dairy farm there. She went on and said that it was really easy to make butter and all you need is a jar. That prompted me to search online for butter making methods.

She is right. It doesn't sound half as hard at all. I shall try and make my own maybe over the weekend. Anyway what you require is a jar or food processor, 1-2 cups heavy whipping cream, or double cream (1/3 litre; the amount of butter you will wind up with is half the amount of cream you add). You can also add salt, herbs, roasted garlic into the butter before you chill it. Don't throw away your buttermilk, add it to flour and eggs to make delicious pancakes or for baking. 

If you are using a food processor:
Fit food processor with plastic blade, whisk, or normal chopping blade. Fill food processor about 1/4 - 1/2 full. Blend. The cream will go through the following stages: Sloshy, frothy, soft whipped cream, firm whipped cream, coarse whipped cream. Then, suddenly, the cream will seize, its smooth shape will collapse, and the whirring will change to sloshing. The butter is now fine grained bits of butter in buttermilk, and a few seconds later, a glob of yellowish butter will separate from milky buttermilk. Drain the buttermilk.

You can eat the butter now (it has a light taste) though it will store better if you wash and work it. Add 1/2 cup (100 mL) of ice-cold water, and blend further. Discard wash water and repeat until the wash water is clear. Now, work butter to remove suspended water. Either place damp butter into a cool bowl and knead with a potato masher or two forks; or put in large covered jar, and shake or tumble. Continue working, pouring out the water occasionally, until most of the water is removed. The butter is now ready. Put butter in a butter crock, ramekins, or roll in waxy freezer paper. Then chill.

If you are using a jar:
Pour cream into a jar and cover with lid. Shake jar until globules of butter appear and most of the liquid has turned to a soft solid.Drain buttermilk from butter. Add cool water to jar and shake gently. Place cheesecloth over top of jar and drain. Rinse butter until liquid poured off is clear. If buttermilk is left in butter, it will give it a sour taste and cause the butter to spoil more quickly.Dump butter onto a cool surface, such as a marble or wood cutting board. Squeeze liquid from butter using wooden paddles or spoons to smash butter and pour off liquid. Shape butter or place in bowls with a lid and store in refrigerator. Store excess in freezer.

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