“butter” than sliced bread

butter [buht-er]:
An edible whitish-yellow solid made from cream by churning, for cooking and table use. ~ To apply a liquefied bonding material to (a piece or area), as mortar to a course of bricks. ~ “To butter up”; to flatter someone in order to gain a favor. ~ “Look as if butter wouldn’t melt in one’s mouth”; to look innocent, although probably not so.

Butter. You probably don’t give it all that much thought. Yeah me neither, until recently that is. As I mentioned in an earlier post I bought the cookbook “Make the Bread, Buy the Butter”, which I’ve been enjoying flipping through. But as much as the title made me chuckle it also made me think, “But why not? Why shouldn’t I make the butter?” My son (who’s 7) has made butter at school a handful of times, so I don’t imagine it could really be all that difficult. I made a mental note to give it a try one of these days.

Have you ever had one of those afternoons where you feel like you’ve spent more time thinking about everything you need to do, rather than doing it? Thursday was one of those days and before I knew it the day was half over and I still didn’t have anything in the house for dinner. I made a mad dash to the store but with my limited amount of time was forced to buy bland grocery store Italian bread rather than the good bakery stuff. I hate having to settle for bland and mediocre! Not one to be undone by something as silly as bread, I seized this as my lemonade out of lemons opportunity to see what homemade butter really was all about. Could it possibly turn this hum-drum loaf of bread into something you’d actually enjoy eating?

It turns out making butter from scratch is not hard to do at all, especially if you have a food processor. Yes I know, you’re rolling your eyes because who but a crazy person with too much time on their hands would bother to make butter. But hold on a second. It took me all of 10 minutes to turn a little heavy cream into the tastiest butter you’ve ever spread on a slice of bread. Honestly, 10 minutes and a lifetime of difference between anything you could buy at the store. And when I tell you this homemade butter was good, I mean “oh my god” good, “I will always remember this moment” good, and “how can this be legal” good. Yeah, it’s really that good!

Oh, and that lame store-bought bread? There wasn’t an un-buttered crumb left.

Homemade Butter
I added a bit of salt to my finished butter, but you can leave it out if you prefer a sweeter result. I also understand that homemade butter will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, but my family polished ours off in two days.

1 half pint of heavy cream (or 1 cup)
1/4 tsp. fine grained salt
3/4 cup of ice water

  1. Pour the heavy cream into the food processor and turn it on. Let the cream process for 1-2 minutes. You’ll see the heavy cream change first into whipped cream and then into lumps of butter. (You’ll also hear the change in the sound of motor when it goes from whipped cream to butter.) Let it process for another 2-4 minutes, until it becomes smooth and creamy.
  2. Turn the food processor off and pour the liquid that has accumulated out and into a bowl. (This is buttermilk and can be used for a future recipe.)
  3. Use a spatula to press the butter against the side of the food processor bowl, extracting as much of the buttermilk as you can.
  4. When you’ve gotten the butter as dry as possible pour in 3/4 cup of ice water and run the processor for about 30 seconds. (What you’re doing is rinsing the butter, which flushes out more of the buttermilk and will allow it to keep longer in the fridge.)
  5. Press the butter again and pour off the remaining water/buttermilk. When all the excess moisture has been removed transfer the butter into a small bowl. Mix a 1/4 tsp. fine grained salt into the butter and enjoy the fruit of your efforts. Or store in a resealable container and refrigerate.

*adapted from my earth garden


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