Homemade Butter Is Easier Than You Might Think
I really don’t know if I could live without butter. In my opinion, it makes everything better! :-) Butter is the world’s most popular fat, and has been a staple in the human diet since humans began making it thousands of years ago.
The process of making butter (and its tasty and useful by-product, buttermilk) hasn’t changed much since it was discovered. But fortunately for us, advances in modern technology allow us to make these prized dairy products much more quickly, and with a minimal amount of effort.
Whether you make your butter with an old-fashioned churn or a stand mixer, you’ll end up with a thick, luscious butter and a tangy, creamy buttermilk that store-bought products just can’t top. Once you try them, you’ll be hooked!
The process of making butter isn’t difficult: put heavy cream in your stand mixer, beat on high for about ten minutes until soft peaks form, then increase the speed and beat until it separates into butter and buttermilk. Knead gently to get all the buttermilk out, then season the butter with salt.
How To Make Homemade Butter (And Buttermilk)
- 6 cups heavy cream (organic, if possible)
- 1/4 tsp fine salt (optional)
Pour the cream into the bowl of your stand mixer.
Beat the cream with the whisk attachment on a moderately high speed until it holds soft peaks (about 10 to 12 minutes.)
Increase the speed to high until the cream separates, about 5 more minutes. The cream will separate into a thick yellow substance (the butter) and a thin, white liquid (the buttermilk.)
Note: The mixing times listed above will vary depending on your mixer and the quality of your cream.
Place a colander into a large bowl, and dump the contents of the mixer into the colander. Knead the butter gently to squeeze out the remaining buttermilk. Continue to knead the butter for about five minutes, until the butter is dense and creamy.
Rinse the kneaded butter under ice cold water until the water runs clear — this will help your butter last longer. Work out any excess water with a bit more kneading.
Then knead the salt into the butter, if desired, until well distributed.
Place the butter onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Roll it up and twist the ends of the plastic wrap to form a log, and chill in the fridge to solidify.
Pour the leftover liquid from making butter through a fine mesh sieve, then pour your finished buttermilk into an airtight container for storage.
Fresh butter and buttermilk will keep for a week in the fridge, or about a month if stored in the freezer.
Making your own butter probably won’t save you money, but it’s a real treat and makes a meaningful addition to holiday breakfasts, anniversary dinners, or birthday desserts. Making your own butter is definitely a labor of love, rather than a practical way to save time or money.
Wondering what to do with buttermilk from making butter? Buttermilk makes a surprisingly good substitute for cream of tartar in many cases, and for more buttermilk inspiration, check out my 12 ways to use up leftover buttermilk. (Don’t miss the buttermilk syrup recipe from that post — trust me!)
Ideas For Using Your Homemade Butter
How will you use your homemade butter?
Homemade Butter (And Buttermilk)
- Stand Mixer
- Fine sieve
- 6 cups heavy cream organic, if possible
- 1/4 tsp fine salt optional
- Pour the cream into the bowl of your stand mixer, then use the whisk attachment to beat it on a moderately high speed for 10-12 minutes, or until it holds soft peaks.
- Increase the speed to high until the cream separates, about 5 more minutes, into butter and buttermilk.
- Place a colander into a large bowl, then pour the butter and buttermilk into the colander.
- Knead the butter gently over the colander to squeeze out the remaining buttermilk.
- Continue to knead for about 5 minutes until the butter is dense and creamy, then rinse under ice cold water until the water runs clear.
- Knead the salt into the butter (if using) until well distributed.
- Place your homemade butter on a sheet of plastic wrap, then roll it up and twist the ends of the plastic wrap to form a log and chill.
- Pour the liquid from the bowl through a fine mesh sieve, then transfer the buttermilk to an airtight container and store in the fridge.