Friday, January 7, 2011

I Heart Butter (specifically cultured butter)

I love butter, there is no hiding that fact. However, I'm pretty picky with the butter that I do consume, especially when I'm at home. For the past several months I have been making cultured butter at home. It takes a couple of days (mostly wait time) but the end results are pretty amazing.

Cultured butter is butter that has some cultures that are added to it to add flavor. I use a mesophilic lactic culture (lactic ferment) which thrives at room temp and imparts this amazingly buttery flavor to well, butter (people also add it to cheeses such as brie and camembert for the same buttery flavor). It's well worth the time and energy it takes.

As I really don't wish to lose this recipe I will document it here.

Cultured Butter (makes a ton of butter and buttermilk)
3 Lt Heavy Cream (I use organic)
Meso II or Aroma B starter culture

1. Cool cream to 14-16C in a cool water bath.
2. Add 1/8tsp culture and gently stir in.
3. Allow to ripen at 14-16C for 20 hours.
4. Place cream in fridge for 4-6 hours.
5. Pour into churn and allow temp to rise to 12C.
Churn at 12C it will take 15-30min. Don't let the temp increase too much (if it hits 13C cool down in cool water bath).
6. Strain butter through cheese cloth and squeeze out excess buttermilk (save the buttermilk!)
7. Knead the butter gently and remove excess buttermilk, add salt then pack the butter and put it away in the fridge.
It has a shelf life of around 4 weeks in the fridge or several months in the freezer.

Use the buttermilk for anything you would normally use it for (cakes, pancakes, scones, biscuits etc).