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 butter thousands of years ago. (Records of people making and using butter date back to about 4,000 years ago, but it was likely discovered long before that!)
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 butter with an old-fashioned churn, or with a stand mixer – like we did – 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!
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.
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 remaining buttermilk through a fine mesh sieve, then pour into an airtight container for storage.
The fresh butter and buttermilk will keep for a week in the fridge, or about a month if stored in the freezer.
I’m sure we can all imagine a million tasty ways to use fresh, homemade butter, but what about the buttermilk? If you’re in need of some buttermilk inspiration, check out my 12 ways to use up leftover buttermilk. (You NEED the Buttermilk Syrup recipe from that post, trust me!)