With the proliferation of excellent artisan bread in Cincinnati, thanks to Blue Oven Bakery, Anderson Brick Oven, Shadeau Bread and Breadsmith, these wonderful loaves deserve extra-special treatment. To me, there’s nothing better than homemade butter on really good bread.
For several years, I’ve been making homemade butter from Snowville Creamery’s heavy whipping cream. I love working with Snowville cream; in the spring, when the cows are eating dandelions in the field, the butter is almost neon; in the winter, it’s a more mellow yellow.
Making butter couldn’t be easier (it’s fun, too!), and it’s suddenly become trendy (a recent issue of Bon Appetit included a how-to on making butter). Give this homemade butter recipe a whirl!
recipe for making homemade butter
makes about 1 cup of butter
2 cups heavy cream (be sure it doesn't contain thickeners like carageenan; you just want cream)
Sea salt to taste (optional; see notes below)
Take the cream out of the fridge about 30 minutes in advance; you want it at a cool room temperature. Pour the cream into the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a deep bowl and a hand mixer) and begin whipping on high speed. Once you reach whipped cream consistency, keep going ...
After about 6 to 8 minutes (more or less; the process takes less time if the cream is warmer), the butter will begin to separate. You'll see a thin, watery liquid start to accumulate in the bowl, and you'll have small pea-sized clumps of bright yellow solids. At this point, turn the mixer to low and let the solids come together.
Into a strainer set over a bowl, dump the contents of the mixer; strain off the buttermilk. (Save, refrigerated, for another use. Like biscuits.) Retain the butter in the strainer. Place the strainer under cold running water and rinse until the water runs through the strainer clear. Shake the strainer to drain off as much water as possible, then gather the butter into your hands and knead like dough to remove more of the water. To make salted butter, sprinkle salt over the butter and knead it in with your hands.
Salting the butter: For 2 cups of cream, add 1/2 tsp. of sea salt for a fairly salty butter, or 1/4 tsp. for lightly salted; alternately, leave unsalted. To store: Keeps 2 to 3 weeks in the fridge (if it lasts that long!) or for 6 months in the freezer. Note: I wouldn't advise baking with this butter; its water content is higher than stick butter.