Me? Make my own Raw Butter?
Look at it as a butter churning adventure! And churning butter can be a rewarding one at that. Yes, you can make homemade butter. You will be surprised at the ease of making butter. And the simplicity involved in producing raw butter and raw buttermilk will amaze you. Make your own raw butter from 100% Grass Fed Raw Milk. Or even venture a bit further into making cultured butter with raw milk.
You might think it is a lot of bother for the privilege of have raw butter. But with a bit of experience you may find it comes rather naturally. And you will find real satisfaction in accomplishment. The butter will be worth it! Why spend money for recreation when you can make your own?
In fact, it can be a very rewarding family activity to produce your own butter. Ask your small children to watch. Perhaps school age children will involve themselves assistance in shaking or rolling the jar. What an opportunity to create a positive environment for teaching them the skills of producing food for themselves! And don’t overlook the value of creating wholesome, happy family memories. “Remember how we made that good butter every week . . .”
Now to the making butter.
First Collect the Cream
Likely you are getting your local raw milk in containers with relatively small mouth openings. If so, transfer the milk when you first get it into a wide mouth jar or a tall container with an opening large enough to easily get a dipper into it. (A clear glass container works well so you can see the amount of cream you will want to remove.)
Place the milk in such containers in refrigeration for 12 hours or longer to allow the cream to rise to the top. The longer it is allowed to set undisturbed the better the cream will rise to the top of the milk. Once the cream is gathered at the top, carefully move the jar to your table or counter, trying not to disturb the cream gathered at the top.
As cream sets on top of the milk, it naturally forms a skin over the top. This skin will stick to the dry surface of your dipper and may make your skimming process a bit harder. To avoid this problem, run water over the dipper prior to contacting the cream.
Skim the Cream off Gently
Then gently tip your dipper into the cream to remove it in small increments. At first you will be careful as to how deep you go, so as not to disturb the skim milk under the cream. But as more cream is removed, you may eventually move most of the dipper into the skim milk, allowing the thin amount of cream to flow over the top of the up-righted dipper.
Then you may gently move your dipper in a circular motion to encourage more of the cream to flow into your dipper. This is much like you would skim the fat off of broth or other such cooking practices.
Or you may use the method of placing the milk in a container with a value near the bottom. After the cream has risen, you can drain the skim milk off. Then as the cream comes you will collect it in a separate container.
As a general rule, remember you will do better to let some cream in with the skim milk than to get very much of the skim in with your cream. The pure the cream, the better your butter making success will be.
Save the skim milk. There are several ways you will be able to enjoy it if you do not choose to drink it that way. Consider making raw yogurt, raw greek yogurt, or the cream-cheese-style raw milk lebnah,
Pointers for the Raw Cream for Butter
You should let your cream set out a few hours before starting to churn it. Very cold cream may turn into whipped cream more easily. Also the fats in the cream stick together more quickly when they are not as cold. Cream at temperatures of 50 degrees to 60 degrees should produce butter fairly effectively. Even 70 degree cream will not be a problem.
The cream can be a several days old up to 2 weeks and still yield sweet butter. Some folks feel a little older cream gives quicker yields. You may wish to collect your cream over several purchases of milk or milkings if you have your own cow. Mixing the differing ages of cream will be no problem.
You will not need to invest in a butter churn to start with. Use a glass jar for your churn! That’s right, a simple glass jar with a lid that will screw on tightly. And use a jar that you can hold onto as you will be rolling it, or shaking it for a while.
But if you are planning for making butter for the long term, you may wish to consider buying a butter churn. You can purchase a small hand cranking unit. Lehman’s Hardware in Kidron, OH will ship them to you. I have one of their Dazey Butter Churn. This holds up to 2.5 quarts of cream and sells for $199.99.
As for start up, a quart jar works well for 1.5 cups of cream. Larger jars can work for larger amounts but keep the jar approximately only half full for agitating the cream well. The stirring, mixing, jostling of the cream is what disturbs the fat molecules and allows them to lump together into butter.
Making Butter Relationships
When you have the cream in the jar and the lid securely intact, get set, and go. If you do not have some youthful eager eyes watching you, you may just want to invite a neighbor come over for a little chat with you while you roll and shake this jar for 20 minutes of so.
There are lots of ways and patterns to use to keep the cream astir. First you might simply hold it in your hands gently swishing it back and forth. Then you might want to change a bit and roll it on the table, back and forth, back and forth. Massage your foot a bit by placing the jar on the floor, rolling it around this way and that in patterns you find relaxing. If you have children involved, have them gently roll it back and forth across the floor from one to the other.
Yes, just take a moment out of your busy life to live. Enjoy making your own butter. Make memories that will last for years. Use this time as an opportunity to build personal relationships with other. The delectable food will be the side line!
After some time of shaking the cream, you may start to see small flecks of butter in the jar. Keep on going! It’s coming! Then as you continue the process, you will feel the lumps forming. But keep on a few more minutes to be sure you are getting all the fats in the cream collected together.
Wash the Butter
Once you are satisfied with seeing the butter in the jar, you can open the lid and pour the contents into a bowl. Here you will lift the butter out with you hands and place it into cold ice water to wash it. Yes, you will want to wash out the remaining buttermilk from the butter. This will improve the taste and help to have a more pure butter. Work the butter with your hands, squeezing a fist full at a time or punching through it, and so on. Using cold water, even with some ice in it will help the butter to firm up and stir together better as a solid lump. You may want to change your water a time or so until you no longer are getting buttermilk out of the butter in your water
Molding the Butter
As the crowning efforts of making butter, you should plan how you will present your prize culinary feat for consumption. If you have some large candy molds, you may wish to fill them with this home made butter. Or if you would happen on a true wooden butter mold, you will often find these to have a design on the top piece that presses down on the butter to forced the air bubbles out.
But you may simply roll it and pat it into a ball or oval. Try to make sure you work it enough to not have air lumps or cracks in it. This is mainly for presentation purposes. Then you may use a fork or knife to make designs over the surface as you can imagine. Serve it with a sprig of fresh parsley.
Making Cultured Butter
There are several ways to culture your cream for making cultured butter. The most basic way is as the farmhouse wife did it years ago. This is simply letting the cream set out at room temperatures for 12 to 48 hours, adding nothing to it. This wild culture method allows the naturally present bacteria to multiply and thus giving a more pronounced flavor in the butter. Health benefits from the naturally occurring lactobacilli are increased during this fermentation process.
Or you may choose to purchase dried cultures to add to your sweet cream. The easiest available source of such culture for this is in yogurt with active cultures. Choose a plain yogurt with nothing added and with live cultures. It only takes a small amount to get the action going. a 6 oz. cup of yogurt will be sufficient for a gallon of cream.
Set your cream with the live yogurt cultures in a warm place for 12 hours or longer. The longer it sets, the more the lactic acids eat of the sugars and thus the more tart. I suggest using a cool chest and filling it with warm water (approximately 100 degrees) to set your jug of cream into during this incubation time.
When your cream is done with the culturing process, get set and move forward with making butter from it.