Sunday, August 15, 2010

Making your own Cultured Butter

Butter needs no introduction.  It is a wonderful, delicious, nutritious yeah, I said it, practical, indulgent entity all its own.

"Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts."  ~James Beard


"With enough butter, anything is good."  ~Julia Child


Cultured Butter
a recipe from GAARP at Of Cabbages and King Cakes
(kinda condensed version...if you need more detailed info, click link)


1 qt. (4 c.) heavy cream
1/3 c. whole milk yogurt...make sure you choose one with all natural ingredients, ie. no gums or stabilizers
Salt, to taste (optional) 

1. Combine cream and yogurt together in glass bowl.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 12-18 hours.  It will get very thick and delicious looking!  Once it has cultured, place it in fridge or bowl of ice water to reach a temperature of ~60 degrees F.

2.  Prepare a bowl of ice water; set it aside.  Place the cultured cream a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer) and beat with whisk/attachment on high speed until stiff peaks form.  Reduce speed to low and watch closely.  Once the mixture breaks (butter separates from buttermilk), turn off the mixer.

Pour the buttermilk into a clean container. You can use this just as you would commercial buttermilk for drinking or baking. If you aren’t going to use it within a week or so, it can be frozen and used later for baking.
3. Press the butter with a spoon, spatula, or your hands to remove as much buttermilk as possible. I found it easiest to use a flexible rubber spatula here. Add any buttermilk to the rest you've already gathered. Pour water from the bowl of ice water over the butter to cover. Rinse the butter by kneading it under the water.

4. Dump water and repeat until the water becomes clear.  It is necessary to remove all the residual buttermilk in order to keep the butter from spoiling too quickly.

Once the butter has been cleaned thoroughly, knead it on the counter for a minute. If you want to salt the butter, press the butter out on the counter, sprinkle lightly with salt, then knead it in. I decided to divide my butter into thirds (not precise thirds...just three pieces, I suppose).  Into the one, I kneaded fleur de sel gris.  Into another, I kneaded Black Truffle sea salt.  Into the last, I kneaded a dried jalapeño/garlic/onion/salt blend that I received in the mail from my friend Linda from New Mexico.

To store the butter, you can press it into ramekins or roll it into logs. Cover the ramekins or wrap the logs tightly in plastic wrap.  You can make more than one roll from the butter and freeze one once you've wrapped it well.

I ended up with ~2 c. of scrumptious, tangy buttermilk and three rolls of butter, weighing a total of 21 oz. (~1 1/3 lb.)!!  The buttermilk was delicious enough to drink straight up...which I did with a bit of it, the rest I reserved for baking.  ALL three of the butter "flavors" were out of this world.  I mean, it was amazing all alone I licked it from my hands after kneading it yet equally amazing with the regular sea salt and the flavored salts.
The salted butter is fabulous anywhere you'd normally use butter...the jalapeño butter is soooo sinful slathered on a piece of hot, crusty toast or for tossing just cooked veggies in.  The truffle butter...aaaahhhh...on eggs, potatoes, meat- grill a steak and cut off a slab of it and let it melt into the top of the hot steak...nothing compares!

If you've never made your own butter, you should definitely give it a go!  It's super easy and rewarding.  You make regular butter the exact same way, just w/out adding the yogurt and going through the culturing step.  But boy, oh boy, do I LOVE the cultured buttermilk and the slight tang it gives the butter, too.

Feel free to join us over at Forging Fromage...add your link to the linky for the month in which you make it and we'll add you to the roundup!  Also, since cultured butter is the current BOM challenge, you can join in the (open) challenge over on Facebook.  Funny huh...a cheesy place and a bready place both featuring...well...something that's not cheese or bread this month!?  But at the same time...it's so natural.  Cheese and butter are both dairy products.  Bread and butter go hand in hand.  So, not really "funny" at all.  The links are below if you are interested!


*This post is linked to:
forgingfromagebutton2TwoforTuesdays@girlichefHey What's For DinnerMyMeatlessMondays
 Monday Mania at The Healthy Home Economist


*Today is your last chance to enter my GIVEAWAY for your chance at winning a $75 gift certificate to NOVICA! All entries must be entered by Monday, August 16 at 11:59 PM, Eastern time!