Why would I make butter? The question should be: Why wouldn’t I make butter? Would my homemade version measure up to what I get at the store? Would it look the same, taste the same, feel the same? I find that many homemade food items seem to be superior to their mass-produced counterparts you find at the grocer. I wanted to know if butter was another one of these items.
For this butter I used the same brand cream as the milk I used to make the homemade mozzarella. I really like the 100% Jersey milk for its higher fat content compared to the traditional dairy milk at the store.
Making the butter is easy. Really easy. Pour four cups of cream (not ultra pasteurized) into your mixer’s bowl, and turn on high for several minutes. I don’t have a splash guard for my stand mixer, so I tossed a clean kitchen towel over the bowl to make sure it didn’t splash everywhere. Once the butter fat separates from the buttermilk, the work begins. Press the butter through a sieve, or butter muslin, to extrude as much of the milk as you can. The more buttermilk you get out now, the longer your butter will last. Once the first pressing is done, reserve that buttermilk for whatever favorite use you have. Pour a small amount of ice water over the butter and press again, continuing until the runoff is no longer cloudy.
Here was the most difficult part: not stopping when I had whipped cream. I wanted to, I really did, there’s so many yummy things I could have made with this whipped cream. I had set out to make butter, so I kept going. Boy am I glad that I did! When all is said and done, I ended up with 2 cups buttermilk, and 14 ounces of butter. This butter was a little darker yellow than the brand I usually get at the store. It also felt thicker, and had a creamier taste to it. It doesn’t spread as easily at room temperature, but I’m okay with that.
I made butter. Really good butter. I won’t stop buying butter, but I do think that for those special dinners when I have homemade french bread, or sourdough rolls, I might start using my homemade butter as well. It’s the little things that make a difference.