Just in time for the holidays – wouldn’t it be fun to make cultured butter? Not the kind of homemade butter that you have to shake in a jar for 45 minutes. (Although there’s nothing wrong with that!) This butter is fermented over a longer period of time but your actual hands-on time is pretty short. It’s easier than you think – and so tasty!
What inspired us to take on this project was a simple butter mold. This butter mold belongs to our sister-in-law. Her family found it in storage in the barn in their 17th century farmhouse. Who knows when it was actually from? We’re fascinated to think how many rounds of butter have been made in this mold.
Homemade Cultured Butter
An easy recipe for making homemade cultured butter.
- 16 ounces heavy cream (2 cups)
- 2 tbsp yogurt (with live cultures)
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream and the yogurt. Cover it and let it sit in a warm (70-75 degrees) place for approximately 8 hours. The mixture should look foamy on top and have a pleasant yogurt smell.
Place the mixture into the mixing bowl of an electric stand mixer. Cover the mixing bowl with a towel (this is important because buttermilk will fly everywhere). Mix the cream mixture on high speed until it forms a ball of firm butter, surrounded by buttermilk. Gently pour off the buttermilk and reserve for other uses.
Place the butter ball into a cheesecloth and squeeze out as much additional liquid as possible. Then place the ball of butter in a bowl of ice water and swish it around until the water is cloudy. Change the water, swish it around again, and repeat until the water is clear. Gently knead the salt into the ball of butter.
To use a butter mold: Soak the mold in ice water for approximately an hour. Remove it from the water and cover it generously with oil (peanut oil or canola oil is fine). Place the mold in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Then press the softened butter into the mold. Return the mold to the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours before unmolding it. Store butter in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Note: It took us several tries to get the butter out of the mold without breaking it. Don’t give up! We found that it worked best when the butter was super-cold and the mold was super-oily.
Why Cultured Butter?
Why do you want cultured butter? Cultured butter, like other fermented foods, contains beneficial bacteria that can boost your gut health, can be easier to digest, and can help your body better absorb nutrients. It also has a tangy taste that elevates the flavor of just about anything you serve it with.
Who knows? You might just become so addicted to the taste that you make cultured butter to have on hand all year long.
For more information on fermented foods, see our story on Sourdough Bread and the Art of Fermenting.
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P.S. What can you use the leftover buttermilk for? Think pancakes, smoothies, and any baking project that calls for buttermilk.
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