A few weeks ago 6 pints of Organic (co-op!) Heavy Whipping Cream went out of date. One of the grocery guys who I've become friends with came up and off-handedly asked me if I wanted them. Umm. Yes. He looked at me like I was insane, but I thought it would be a good opportunity to make butter with the spawn. Besides, homemade butter is SUPER tasty, and unless you've got farmer friends, get a realy good deal at a farmers' market, or you come into some out of date cream, who's gonna spend the money on cream just to MAKE butter?
It's totally worth it, mind you.
But I digress. Back to butter.
First: get a butter churn. You can also use a mason jar and shake, but let's face it. This is tiring, and not nearly as fun as this:
|The Modern Butter Churn. Or a stand mixer, if you will|
I might have to interject that you really can't screw this up - in fact, if you've ever screwed up whipped cream and gotten a dry mass, or worse, a broken mass, then you've already embarked upon the journey of butter making. Relax. You got this.
|And now the Whipped Cream is starting to look dry....|
|You can kind of see liquid pooling up...this is buttermilk.|
You'll see yellow clumps forming up here and there amongst a pool of white liquid. This, my friends, is what you've been waiting oh so patiently (yeah - like 5 minutes if you've used a mixer) for. The yellow clumps are butter. The white liquid is buttermilk. This is NOT the cultured buttermilk that you can buy, and unfortunately is an uncommon item here in the west. I love it. I use it in all sorts of baked goods. Umm. Yum.
Next up: strain the buttermilk out from the butter. (and save the buttermilk!). I put a strainer over a (usually too small bowl), line it with a floursack towel (traditionally butter muslin or real cheesecloth. Do not use 'cheesecloth' bought at the supermarket. We will no longer be friends.). Then instead of patiently waiting for most of the liquid to strain out, I gather the corners and squeeze, getting all of the buttermilk out of the butter, and a fair amount of it all over my counter.
|Strained, unwashed butter|
What I do is put the butter in a bowl, run cold water into it, knead it a few times with my hands, rinse, repeat. After 2 or 3 times the water will run off clear - and then you're done!
One thing tends to lead to another, and now that you've made tasty tasty butter, and you have tasty tasty buttermilk, you gotta make tasty tasty bread.
I make cloverleaf rolls out of the Joy of Cooking, but this recipe is similar. The main difference seems to be that JOC uses butter, not shortening (butter!). Regardless, you're replacing the milk in the recipe for the buttermilk you just made. I ALSO highly recommend making pancakes with said buttermilk. Awesome.
Oh - and I ended up making the butter myself and without the Spawn, although he and the Man both thoroughly enjoyed the final product. I did tell the little guy all about the process, and much to his boredom and my surprise - his class ended up making butter at school the next day. Hehe.