Butter is the main ingredient of almost all the baked dishes. Creamy butter is also an essential dairy item in breakfast. Whether you are an adult leaving for an important corporate meeting or a picky toddler who would say no to most of the things on the table, nothing beats the smell and taste of that warm melted butter on a hot toast.
Before industrialization hit the dairy products, butter was one of the easiest things that were made at home. Most of the people belonging to those times might as well remember the unmatched taste of homemade butter. Churned from heavy cream, the homemade butter turns out to be very delicious and is easier on your pocket as well. All you need is ready-made heavy cream. Homemade butter can also be made from milk if you are interested in making it from scratch.
Why Make Butter At Home?
First of all and without any doubt, homemade butter is much healthier and purer. Of course, when you are making something at home in front of your eyes using your very hands, you can be sure about the quality and hygiene. Besides being light on the pocket, making homemade butter is a fun and exciting activity for kids and adults alike. If you involve your kids in this process, it is an excellent sensory and developmental learning for children.
What Do You Need To Start The Process?
You need an expert’s help to know everything there is about making butter at home. Get a copy of a guide book of making homemade butter and give it a read. You can get your hands on the Beginner’s Guide to Making Homemade Cheese, Butter and Yogurt by Carson Wyatt. It might even inspire you to make cheese and yogurt at home as well!
Making Cream Out of the Milk
If you want to use heavy cream, go ahead and use it. But if you are the kind of person who loves to create things from scratch, then grab a clean utensil and a gallon of cow’s milk (the quantity varies according to your preference) to start collecting cream for your homemade butter.
Pour the milk into the utensil and chill it in your refrigerator for a good 12 hours. The chilled milk will have a thick layer of cream on the top when you take it out after 12 hours. Collect the cream off of the milk in the jar or food mixer. The moment you run out of the thick cream in the chilled milk, stop collecting the cream.
Next is another long waiting process of letting the cream turn sour for that earthy sour taste of butter people look for. Let the cream sit in the container for at least 12 more hours. This process is known as culturing the cream, and it is essential for achieving that flavor and tinge in the butter.
How to Make Butter from Cream
You will need milk or heavy cream to start making your own homemade butter. Now, as this guide is aimed at providing you with every detail about making butter at home, you need to know the different ways in which you can make homemade butter. You must have heard the word ‘churn’ while reading articles on making butter. Well, one way to make butter at home is to use the butter churner.
The other method is the one wherein you can use a mason jar to do the trick and have your butter ready. This guide will be explaining both the methods in detail. So, read on!
1. Making butter in a Mason jar
This method is more time consuming and requires more of an effort, given the fact that you ought to do the work of a butter churner or a food mixer by hand. However, you can turn it into an excellent family activity by involving the participation of your kids. They will love shaking the mason jar turn by turn, and meanwhile, you all can enjoy and share a hearty laugh.
Things You Need:
- A Mason jar – its size can depend on the quantity of butter you intend to make. For a cup of heavy cream, a 16-ounce mason jar is good to go
- One cup of heavy cream
- Cold water
Fill the Mason jar with heavy cream such that the jar is half empty. Close the lid tightly because you would not want cream spilling all across your kitchen. After this, you have to shake the jar like your life depends on it! Keep shaking it for about 7 minutes. After this much shaking what you will be looking at is whipped cream (still not butter!).
Continue shaking the jar for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, and you will see a lump forming inside – that is your homemade butter. Once you remove the solid lump from the jar and strain it thoroughly, you are left with a solid slab of butter – voila!
The butter needs to be squished appropriately so that no water remains in it. Enjoy the delicious homemade butter that is good for your health and provides you with the kick that you need in the morning.
2. Homemade Butter Using a Food Mixer or a Churner
This method is less of a physical exercise and utilizes a butter churner or a food mixer to churn the butter out of the cream.
Things You Need:
- One cup of heavy cream
- Food mixer
The method is the same as the previous one but it is less of a hassle, and it makes making large quantities of homemade butter easier. All you have to do is fill the mixing bowl with heavy cream and start the food mixer.
If you are using a hand churner, then use the Kilner Small Manual Butter Churn. It is small and convenient. It takes you back in time when the dairy items were freshly prepared. Moreover, it is an excellent choice for people who want to prepare butter in the same old way.
The churner will turn the cream into the lump of butter within about 10 minutes. On the other hand, if you are using a food mixer, turn it up and gradually increase its speed so that the whipped cream takes the form of a lump and liquid separates from it. The liquid is the buttermilk that can be used later in numerous ways, such as soda bread.
Accessories Required For Making Butter At Home
Butter Bat (or Spatula)
Butter bats, or spatulas, are not essentially required in making butter at home, but you can use them for shaping up your butter slab. You might not find an authentic butter bat easily in the stores or online, but you can always find them in an antique store. However, you can always use butter spatula as a substitute.
What can be more fun than molding the homemade butter in shapes that you like? After the butter is made and all the excess water is strained, it is ready for molding. If you are minimalist and love the butter the way it should be, get your hands on the silicone butter tray mold. It shapes the butter in symmetrical slabs and comes with a butter storage jar with a lid.
The molds help in dividing the butter into slabs while you devour them one by one with a hot cup of tea and freshly toasted toast.
On the other hand, if you love something artsy and unique, then get the silicone molds with shapes. They put a cute little stamp-like impression on your slab of butter and bring a smile on your face whenever you take it out for spreading.
One of the most attractive things about making butter at home is the vintage-feel it resonates. The smell of that freshly churned butter along with a butter stamp of your choice is the perfect ending to a flawless process of making butter at home. Get your hands on the Wooden Cockerel Butter Stamp by La Bonne Graine and complete the vintage vibes this whole process gives.
Quick Tips Regarding the Process
- If your butter does not turn out to be good in taste or is not fresh, you might want to recheck the freshness of that cream you used.
- Use fresh heavy cream, or if you are making it from scratch, then check the quality of the milk.
- If your butter turns out to be too mushy or soft, then probably you did not mix or churn it well for a longer period. The jar or the mixing bowl should be left half-empty to obtain a perfectly soft and firm lump of butter.
- Rinse and strain all the excess water from the lump of the butter; otherwise, it might turn out to be extremely sweaty and will go sour earlier than usual.
Variations of Butter You Can Try
We all love a little bit of salty flavor in the butter. The flavor is mild but tasty enough to die for. If you wish to recreate that flavor in your homemade butter, add a quarter teaspoon of salt in your butter before shaping it with the butter spatula or molding it using the silicone molds. Spread an even layer of salt on the butter so that it gives a balanced taste.
Other options for flavoring your homemade butter include:
- Fresh herbs
- Mint or rosemary
Cooking with butter is delicious in all senses it adds an unbeatable aroma to the food, makes it creamier, and lifts the flavor. However, the butter starts to burn much earlier compared to clarified butter. So, cooking with clarified butter comes with all the advantages.
For turning your butter into a clarified one, all you need to do is put it to melt in a clean saucepan. While it is melting, take out the crust forming on top (resembling salt particles). After removing the crust, you will notice a clear liquid in the saucepan, which is your clarified butter. Clarified butter is also known as ghee.
Making butter at home is not only a healthy option but also a perfect way for a family activity. The kids can do all the churning or mixing while adults enjoy a hearty talk with the fresh aroma of homemade butter.
With the industrialization of dairy products, you can find several types of butter and cream in the store aisles, but reviving the old methods is the best way to keep a check on the quality of what you are feeding your family.