You Are At: AllSands Home > Food > Howto > Making butter at home
The art of churning cream into butter has been around for centuries but just might be easier to produce right in your own kitchen than you think.
Butter can be produced by many forms of agitation. A hand mixer or whisk will work great when producing small quantities of butter and even a covered glass jar will provide good results when shaken to churn the butter. It is recommended if you plan to make butter on a daily basis and have a large family that you invest in an electric churn. Electric churns can process up to 5 gallons of cream. You can also find hand cranked churns on the market today. What is important is the method's ability to separate the butter fat globules from the cream.
Cartons of heavy whipping cream right from your area market will make delicious butter. But, for the best results it is important to set the cream out for twelve to twenty four hours to allow it to sour. Although butter can be made from unsoured whipping cream, it is usually bland in flavor. Allowing the cream to sour produces a much more flavorable butter. If you are using fresh cream for your butter you will need to pasteurize it for safety. This can be done by heating the cream to a temperature between 180 to 200 degrees for no less than 40 minutes. When this has cooled add a starter such as yogurt, buttermilk or sour cream. Allow this to sit for 12 hours.
The simplest way to make butter is by bringing the temperature of your soured cream to 60 degrees fahrenheit before churning, shaking or whipping. A cooking thermometer will help you ensure that the temperature is correct. This is important because it affects the consistency of the butter. If the temperature is higher the butter will be soft and won't keep well. If the temperature is too low the butter takes longer to form. When the temperature is correct, begin by pouring your soured cream into a bowl and mixing it with a hand held mixer until the soured cream begins to feel heavy. Continue mixing until the soured cream separates into buttermilk with small pellets of butter. Drain the buttermilk off and rinse the butter pellets in cold water. Using a spatula stir and press the butter until all the buttermilk trapped in the butter is free. This is better known as working the butter. Drain this off and rinse the butter in cold water.
If you desire salted butter you can add salt now. Remember that unsalted butter spoils more quickly than salted butter. There are many different spices that make flavorful butter. Adding garlic or garlic salt with a teaspoon of italian herb makes a delicious butter to use with Italian dishes. If you love cinnamon toast you can add cinnamon and a small amount of sugar to your butter. Experimenting with different spices can give you a wide array of delectable flavors. Once you have added your spice or salt to the butter you are ready to shape it. This can be done by pressing it into a plastic container, the top of a butter dish or any container that will give it the shape you desire. Then place it in the refrigerator to harden.