Sometimes the simplest things are the best and most hearth-warming. You know, a cup of tea after a long day, an umbrella from a stranger on a stormy day, sunrise on a way to work, the sound of bees on a flowering apple tree. And a fresh butter on a freshly baked sourdough bread.
I eat a lot of butter and an idea to have it fresh whenever I need it is really inspiring to me. So I did it at home.
It's that simple: Shake it (whipping cream), 'till you make it (butter). The process of shaking up the cream is called churning.
How is the butter formed from the whipping cream?
Let's start with milk. Milk is a stable emulsion (a mixture of two liquids that are unmixable) of tiny butterfat globules (5-10 %) floating in a water-based fluid containing soluble minerals and vitamins. Whipping cream is similar to milk with the difference being that it has a higher percentage of butterfat globules (15-35 %).
Butterfat globules are like droplets of fat covered in membrane. When we start shaking the whipping cream, globules collide and the fat bursts out of the membrane - i.e. fat gets free. The freed fat finds other freed fats and this is how eventually butter and buttermilk are separately formed.
Serves: 1 hungry and bread loving person
You will need:
180 ml whipping sweet cream at the room temperature*
1 jar with a lid
1 marble (optional)
* choose your own quantity and adjust the size of the jar accordingly. Always fill the jar to be 3/4 full so you will able to shake the cream.
Shake it (whipping cream), 'till you make it (butter)!
1. Couple of hours before you will make the butter, take your whipping cream out of the fridge. The warmer the cream, the softer the butter will be at the end.
2. Prepare a jar and pour the whipping cream in to be 3/4 full. Throw in the marble, tightly cover the jar with a lid and start shaking vigorously (great for your arms, however, make sure your forearms are relaxed, otherwise they will be sore for a day or two). If you find shaking difficult, you can use electric mixer or whisk.
It might be interesting for you to see the different stages of butter forming so just sneak peak in between couple of times.
3. Shake for a minute until you see whipped cream forming.
4. Shake again for a minute or two until you first see the whipped cream to become rough in texture (cottage cheese like) and then break down to curds of butterfat and buttermilk.
5. Shake again and you will soon see these butter clumps coming together into butter.
6. Pour off the buttermilk and shake the butter again to make sure there is as little as liquid left. If you won't use it straight away it is advisable to wash the finished butter with cold water and to knead it or squeeze it to really make sure there isn't any liquid left that would spoil the butter.
Take out the finished butter and store it in a container or wrap it into a parchment paper and store it in a fridge for couple of days or in a freezer for couple of month. Or use it straight away (the possibilities to resist are very small, trust me).
From 180 g of whipping cream I got 100 g of butter and 80 g of buttermilk.
The shaking time may take longer than 4-5 minutes, depending on the whipping cream.
So, now you have buttermilk and butter. You can drink buttermilk or add it into the bread or pancakes and you can make some delicious finishing touches to the butter, like adding salt, honey, fresh herbs, spices or anything else of your choice.
Have you ever prepared homemade butter?