7 February 2013

Making butter and cultured butter

Hanno and Kerry drove to Toowoomba at 2am this morning so Kerry could board the plane to take him out west to work. Sunny needs the car during Kerry's two weeks away and she's still a bit apprehensive about driving, so Hanno was happy to step in. He got up at 1am and after that I just tossed and turned. I woke up tired and wandered around the house like a ghost for a few hours. I couldn't concentrate enough to write my blog and ended up knitting. Then I had to talk to myself to tell me to stop being lazy and to get on with it. Millions of people have it much harder than I do, I just had to step up, shut up and start work. 

So I got my vegetable seeds out and started the annual garden plan. After breakfast I finished off making the butter I started yesterday. I now have enough good butter in the freezer to last us two to three months. All this butter is made using the cream of Guernsey cows living on pastures in the hills behind our home. I picked up four litres of cream from Maleny Dairies on Monday and with it I made cultured butter and plain, slightly salted butter.


To make the cultured butter I used an eighth of a teaspoon of Flora Danica culture, the same one I use to make sour cream.
The cream had to be held at 25C/77F for 24 hours for the culture to work and then the process was the same as for making regular butter.
Here you can see the butter with the buttermilk at the bottom of the bowl. 
All the buttermilk must be drained off because if there is too much liquid left in the butter it will go off quickly.

 These two little bottles of buttermilk will be used in the coming days in my baking.

 When I had all the butter portioned out, I wrapped the portions in two layers of greaseproof paper.

Now these two packs of butter are in the freezer.

All that butter making got me back to normal. It always does. I'm no saint when it comes to house work and I have bad days just like everyone else. But making butter or cheese, baking, mending or gardening usually gets me back on track and when I'm am, I can't imagine being anywhere else. So of course I had to do a late blog. I guess it's better late than not at all.

ADDITIONAL READING

41 comments:

  1. Thank you for showing how you did that, Rhonda. I have no experience with it but I would love to try someday.

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  2. I make quite a few household bits and pieces now, but it has never occurred to me to try my hand at butter (and least not deliberately!). Just wondering how much butter your 4 litres of cream ended up yielding. Looks to be quite a bit!

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    1. Sharon, I didn't weigh it but there is about 3½ kg/8 lbs of butter there.

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  3. Ooo I must search around locally for some good cream at a good price. Love what you paid!

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  4. I really enjoyed this post. It helps you feel like your not the only one who gets tired and cranky:) I have two boys. 3.5 and 6 months we just finished making some biscuits and they are now in the bath washing half the mixture off themselves:). I will give the butter a go shortly!

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  5. rhonda, what is cultured butter? Do you use it the same way as regular butter or does it have a special purpose? amy :)
    p.s- hope hano is back safe and sound soon... my hubby travels for work (1 week out of every month) and i go out of my mind worrying and have trouble sleeping- but my children depend on me so i have to pull it together as well and just get on it with it!

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    1. Amy, I use cultured butter on bread and in cooking just as I would regular butter. It contains beneficial bacteria similar to that in yoghurt. Hanno is back now. He's just gone over to give Sunny the car.

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  6. I second Becci- must find lovely cream at a good price!

    I had a similar day yesterday. I just couldn't get motivated to clean etc so I baked a carrot cake to use up some carrots that were looking a little sad. Of course once I had baked I had to clean that up and I ended up thoroughly cleaning the kitchen. I guess it's not so bad a chore when you have a delicious cake to look forward to!

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  7. you sound like you made the best of your day even after an early start.I'm glad Hanno is feeling well, butter making is such a satisfying job, I made butter years ago but have not for a long time, I think to have butter made from the cows just close to your home is such a wonderful thing, healthy as well!I hope you sleep well tonight,

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  8. When I worked in childcare, we always did a farm theme month. I used to always incorporate butter making. Although we did it a very simple way. We took heavy whipping creme and placed it in a baby food jar. We then would shake it up until it started to form into butter. After that, we would have crackers with our home made butter spread on top for snack. The kids would always go home and ask mom and dad to make butter. LOL.

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  9. Julie ... Barossa ValleyFebruary 07, 2013 1:51 pm

    Good Afternoon Rhonda & Hanno ... just popped in to let you know your blog received a mention today in the 'Barossa Farmers Market Facebook page ... all very exciting that "I" know this wonderful family already *brushing tags off shoulders" :) hope your having a lovely day.
    Cheers

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    1. Oh that's nice. I'll have to pop over an say hello. Thanks for letting me know Julie.

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  10. Look at the beautiful color of your butter! You can definitely tell those cows were fed on good pasture. I love making butter, too. Thanks for showing how you make cultured butter, and also for sharing how you overcame a rough start to your day.
    -Jaime

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  11. Was just wondering how you managed to keep the cream at 25C for 24 hours?

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    1. Like most of these homemade things, it's not rocket science. Close enough is good enough. All I did was heat up the cream from the fridge then left it on the bench, covered. It was 30C here. At night I wrapped a towel around it and put it in the oven. Next morning, perfect.

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  12. Oh, I bet that's delicious on freshly baked bread! Does the "c" on the packet stand for "cranky" butter? ;-) Glad your day improved! Kirsten x

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    1. I was over myself by then, Kirsten. It was C for content. :- )

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  13. This is the first time that I have seen this method! We just blend our cream in our food processor to make our butter. Will your cultured butter have a different texture?

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    1. Nadene, for the regular butter I just mixed it with the Kenwood. The cultured butter needs slight fermenting, like yoghurt. The texture remains the same but it has a very pleasant slightly sour taste.

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  14. I LOVE homemade butter, I haven't done in for about a year now. I always keep the buttermilk too if I do make it. Buttermilk makes the fluffiest pikelets and it's really lovely in homemade icecream as well.

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  15. We make butter whenever we find cream being sold off cheaply too Rhonda. Not having a stand mixer though we have to use a slightly more hands-on method. We pour the cream into a large glass jar, screw the lid on REALLY tight (Trust me, you learn about the importance of that) and then shake, and shake, and shake.....eventually, with a nice rewarding thud, you hear the separation happen. It tastes so lovely!

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  16. Hand in there Rhonda. Some days are just like that!

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  17. As a little girl my Swedish Grandmother taught me how to make butter. While I rarely do it now, it is something I would like to get back into doing because the cultured butter I purchase at the store is extremely expensive. I have never made cultured butter, so I am excited to try that next! Thanks for the post to remind me how soothing it is to make butter. I may take a trip to the organic dariy this weekend to get some cream.

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  18. Rhonda- I had a hand cranked butter churn made for me in the USA but it proved to be just too much of a chore for me to manage so I on-sold and and now I brought an----- ice cream maker to make my butter in. It churns beautifully. Here in NZ I noticed butter was up to $6.50 lb in the supermarket last week so even with you buying the cream making it was worthwhile $ wise for you.
    We live on a farm and next year are moving to another farm that has jersey cows so there will be more cream for butter :-)
    Karen - NZ

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    1. Hi Karen, I don't buy the cream, I have a barter arrangement with the dairy. You can buy regular butter here for about $4 for 500g/1 lb or cultured butter for about $7 for 500g/1 lb so it wouldn't be a saving to make the regular butter yourself at $11 for 2 litres of cream, but it is for the cultured. Having said that though, I have no doubt the butter I make is a healthier option because I know where the cream comes from, I know it contains all the extra vitamins and omega oils that pasture fed cows have in their milk. You'll get all that too when you have your Jerseys

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  19. Can I ask how you make the regular butter? Is it literally just cream and salt? Do you just beat it with an electric mixer til it's ready (presumedly looks like butter!) and then just wrap it up? I'm keen to try making some but don't want to muck it up :) It looks delicious!

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    1. yes Larissa, that's it. You only need a mixer, not any special equipment. There is a step-by-step guide here:
      http://down---to---earth.blogspot.com.au/2009/11/making-butter-easy-way.html

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    2. Thanks for the link Rhonda, I will have a read and give it a shot!! :)

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  20. Where can you purchase the Flora Danica culture from?
    I love your blogg and follow it everyday.

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    1. It depends where you live. Just google "flora danica" with your city and it should give you the closest place. There are a lot of online sellers - they also sell yoghurt and cheese cultures.

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  21. Your post is very inspiring to me. I really should start making our butter here too and cross another store bought item off the list! Thanks for the inspiration :) Great job on getting your day started.

    Hugs,

    Amy :)

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  22. Oh wow I bet that tastes awesome! I also think we might be seeing some photos of your lovely buttermilk scones featuring soon!

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  23. I don't think I've ever tried cultured butter before. Does the fermentation step add much sourness to the taste? Does it store any better in the freezer than ordinary butter?

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    1. Tanya, like yoghurt, the taste depends on how long you ferment it. A short time - not much sourness, a longer time - more sourness. Your freezing butter question implies butter doesn't store well, I've always found it does. This butter stores well in the freezer.

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  24. Hi Rhonda,
    Thanks for the pictures, I've never made cultured butter but as soon as I can get cream from the Amish organic farm and the culture, I'm going to try it. Yours looks fantastic and is much healthier than store bought. It reminded me of a Thanksgiving when one of my daughters was whipping cream for on the pumpkin pies, and got carried away and we ended up with butter instead. We still laugh about it!

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  25. Rhonda, what does it mean when you have a comment published and then it disappears. I was trying to be humerous, did i offend?

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    1. I'm not sure I know what you mean, Lynda. Is it your last comment you're asking about - the one where you were smacked with the butter pats? If so, that is still where you put it, with the ginger fizz post. If it's another post, you'll have to tell me what you wrote.

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    2. Oh thank goodness, i thought i'd been censored. Im trying hard to get involved and be interesting. Im justing waiting to finish my posts on the garden i started this year then ill send it to you. You have inspired me so much and i thought i'd done something wrong. Goodness, i sound like a five year old instead of 48, still looking for approval. PS. those "pats" were in love and i worship the ground my mother walks on. You cant blame me for being cheaky when i was young, i was knicknamed "ginger megs" and i was living up to it.

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  26. I've often made butter with my son by shaking it in a Mason jar, but had never thought to make it in bulk like this. What a most excellent idea! I completely agree that doing things like this (I make cheese, too) have a wonderful way of pulling us back in when our energies have been scattered.

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  27. Eight pounds of butter! Rhonda, do you freeze it if it is not all used on an intense baking day? It sounds wonderful, but a lot of work when butter is after all, readily available.

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  28. This is a great post on making butter and making the most of cream when it is on special, though I had to wonder if "anonymous Feb 11 3.10am" actually read the post! It was particularly good to see how you package and store it for the freezer.
    I also related to your comment " I just had to step up, shut up and start work". I have to give myself a bit of a talking to just like that sometimes. When I get going and achieve a good days work I wonder why I procrastinate so long.

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