For years, I have been craving homemade butter. Growing up, I remember observing my grandmother make butter with a tall, round, wooden butter maker. I call it butter maker, because I do not know the name of it. I remember her shaking it vigorously for a long time to make the butter. The butter making process stayed vaguely with me however my collection of the taste of that butter is still vividly in my mind.
I almost thought it was impossible to make homemade butter like my grandmother here in the
States. Mainly, because I wasn’t sure of the
access to raw milk from grass fed cows but after a few years of thinking about
it (of course I had other things to think about during those years and not just
butter making J),
I finally I found the source of raw milk.
After having my children, I became almost obsessed with providing them with real and fresh food. A very bad experience with the famous store that carries a wide range of organic foods, grass fed meats and pasture raised chicken had me in a constant search for an organic food provider. After wowing not to ever shop in that store again, I started searching for farmers around my area. I tried a couple farmers until I stumbled on a farmer that provides raw milk, grass fed beef, pasture raised chickens, free range chicken, duck, goose eggs, organic vegetables and a few other items. Even though the drive is about 35 minutes each way, I visit the farm almost weekly and always buy at least two gallons of raw milk. I make yogurt with one gallon and I save one gallon for my kids to drink after I boil it. When the cream comes up to the top, I add it to the milk saved for yogurt.
I make the yogurt and place it in the refrigerator. Then, each week, I skim the cream from top of the yogurt in small containers and freeze them. When I am ready to make the butter, I remove them from the refrigerator the day before to thaw. Sometimes I make a big batch of butter and freeze some of it, sometimes I make just enough for one week. The freezer always has at least 4-5 medium containers of yogurt cream!
This butter is so delicious, I cannot describe. It’s not even close to what we get from the grocery stores. Before I started my own butter, I used to cook only with olive oil and never with butter. I would only bake with butter because I had to in most cases. Now, I cook with this butter constantly. In fact when I was taking the picture with the bread, half the butter was already gone and I had made it the day before!
It’s easy but a little messy. The first few times I tried making butter, I tried several recipes I found online. I used my stand mixer to do it and oh the mess was so huge it took me longer to clean up than making the butter. First of all, the butter wasn’t successful the first few times and on top of that, my counters, walls, the stand mixer was all splashed with butter. In fact, some parts of the mixer that I didn’t know existed had butter all over it. And I had to get it all out. When I managed to make the butter in the stand mixer, I still had to deal with the clean up.
Then, I found a couple recipes using a blender, but those weren’t successful the first two times. Either I wasn’t patient enough to wait or I let it blend too long and it would melt or I was putting too much water. I went back to my stand mixer butter making and cleaning up the mess. Then one day, I decided to make a small batch with my blender and never went back to the stand mixer. I had to keep stopping it and checking it to make sure the butter pieces were forming. It literally takes two minutes to blend and much less mess.
If you don’t have any of the equipment and you have lots of patience, you could do this in a jar and lots of shaking. Also, cream of milk can be used instead of yogurt cream, but I think yogurt cream is superior in taste of the butter. Whichever way you decide to make it, it will still be delicious though! In addition, with homemade butter, you will have buttermilk to drink as is or use in baking and cooking. Now to the recipe…
For Butter Making:
4 cups plain yogurt cream (Plain yogurt made with whole milk that still has cream in it. See yogurt recipe here.)
2 cups ice water
For Washing Butter:
4 cups or more ice water
Place the yogurt cream in a blender and add two cups of ice water.
Blend on high for two minutes on a high powered blender. Some blenders may need more time. When it’s ready, small butter pieces will accumulate on the top of the blender.
Place a mesh colander in a large bowl and pour the contents of the blender. The butter pieces will stay on the colander.
Slowly, start pouring the ice water over the butter and mix it with a spatula gently so all the water goes down in the bowl.
Continue this washing process until there is no water left in the butter. The butter will clump up together and form a bowl while doing this.
Remove from colander and shape the butter as you desire.
Enjoy cooking with it or eat it on warm homemade bread.
Note: The buttermilk from this process can be drank as is or used in baking or cooking.