My husband is the bread-maker of our family. As much as I love cooking from scratch and preserving food, I really don’t enjoy baking breads or other treats. Thankfully my daughter loves baking as well, so between the three of us, all the bases are covered.
We’ve been making sourdough for around 10 years now, but my husband started a new tradition of “sourdough Sunday” this past December. Every weekend he bakes a loaf of heavy crumb sourdough bread and/or a pan of focaccia. He prefers the heavy crumb because he uses it for making sandwiches during the week.
The more airy bread with the large holes tends to lose some of the ingredients, so he prefers a more dense sourdough.
This past weekend, it dawned on me that we should make some homemade butter to go with his homemade bread. Why had I not thought of this already? We’ve made homemade butter several times in the past, but it’s usually reserved for holidays or other special occasions.
I remember the first time I had homemade butter. I was in kindergarten and we took turns shaking a jar of milk. Each student took turns with the jar, shaking it until we lost steam and passed it to the next student.
At the end we had butter that our teacher spread over a saltine cracker. I thought it was the most delicious “simple” treat I’d ever tasted. Fast forward 25 years and my daughter had a similar experience in grade school.
So this past weekend I picked up a pint of organic whipping cream. My husband, daughter and I all took turns shaking up our own jar of butter to enjoy over our fresh bread.
Ingredients & Supplies
- 1-pint organic whipping cream
- A pinch of salt (optional)
- 1-quart sized canning jar with lid and ring
- Fine mesh sieve
- Another jar to store buttermilk in
- Parchment paper
Fill a clean canning jar with 2 cups of whipping cream. Add a pinch of salt. Add the canning jar lid and tightly screw the ring on the jar.
Now, shake, shake, shake the jar. Shake it up and down and side to side, but be sure to keep a firm grip on it. You’ll shake for 15 to 20 minutes before it’s finished.
The milk will go through different phases. It’ll become whipping cream, then it begins to break. At this point, just before you’re ready to give up, keep shaking and the cream will break and the butter will separate from the butter milk.
Shake a bit more and use a fine mesh sieve to separate the buttermilk from the butter. Store the buttermilk separately to use for pancakes or salad dressings.
Once the buttermilk is strained from the butter, put the butter on a large piece of parchment paper and form it into a roll. Think of it as if you’re rolling up a large piece of homemade caramel. If you have one of those adorable butter molds stored away somewhere, now would be the time to use it.
Transfer to the refrigerator to set. Skip the roll step if you intend to use the butter immediately.
You can mix the whipping cream with a kitchen stand mixer and save yourself the shaking experience. But, hey, that’s part of the fun!
You can mix in herbs or flower petals into the butter before wrapping it if you want to make a beautiful and delicious compound butter.
If you want to skip the parchment paper, you can just spoon the butter into small dishes and store it away that way.
Consider freezing any butter that won’t be used within a couple weeks.