Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Homemade Butter

In my quest to make basically everything from scratch, I made homemade butter this morning. I clearly remember making it during our Thanksgiving parties in elementary school, shaking the jar and then passing it along to the next person. This time around I threw it in my Kitchen Aid mixer (so much easier) and basically let the machine do its work. I also really wanted to know if it was cost effective to make your own vs. buying the pre-made stuff in the the end I will give you the cost/lb breakdown.

Start out by dumping your heavy whipping cream into the mixing bowl with the whisk attached.

Slowly up the speed on your mixer. This helps to make sure your precious cream doesn't go flying everywhere. I slowly moved my speed up to the 8 and let it do it's thing. First you will get whipped cream (yummy with some homemade powdered sugar!).
Within a minute or so your machine with start making a slopping noise...this means butter is forming. You will be able to see the difference in color as the buttermilk begins to seperate from the actual butter. Can you see the white cream on the outside and the yellow butter being formed in the center?
There is your butter and your buttermilk.
Now you have to do a little work. Pour the buttermilk off of the butter into a seperate bowl. I did this by just placing a small holed strainer over a bowl and dumping it out. Other people use spoons and press the liquid out and then transfer the butter to another bowl, or use cheesecloth. This seemed the most effective for me and meant I didn't have to toss out or wash any cheesecloth at the end of the process.
Now you will have a nice bowl of buttermilk to be used in other baking recipes or to drink (yuck!). My grandma Harms use to drink buttermilk and once I asked for a glass. It was horrible and she made me finish every last needless to say I haven't had another glass since and I probably won't be tasting this either.
Now with ice cold water you need to wash the butter to get all the extra buttermilk off. If you leave buttermilk in with the butter it will go rancid very quickly. I left my butter in the strainer and with my hand I just washed it under cold running water from the sink until their wasn't any more milky looking liquid coming off of it. Then I threw the butter back into my mixer with a paddle attachment and added about 2 tsp of salt to make salted butter.

In the end I weighed the butter and I had approx. 1lb 12 oz of butter and a quart of buttermilk which cost me $7.99 (and it wasn't organic). Depending on where you buy your butter from and if there is a sale...this is definitely not a bargain! (insert super sad face here) We can purchase 2 lbs of organic grass fed butter for about $7.40. If you add in the cost of buttermilk (which I haven't ever priced because I make a faux version when I rarely need it) it might not be horribly more expensive.

I think that we will probably continue to purchase our butter from the store, unless I can find organic heavy whipping cream on sale or clearance...or until we get a cow!