How to make homemade butter.

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.

ButterCurds ButterRinse

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.

5 thoughts on “How to make homemade butter.

  1. Thank you for the butter article and we have done this for years. I put my heavy cream is a big mouth quart jar and just shake it for about 10 – 15 minutes. You are so right about the flavor and it reminds me of fresh cream allowed to clabber and then either a dasher churn or a paddle Daisy Churn,

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  3. It should be noted that making butter with a mixer often results in over churned butter, or butter that has had a lot of the liquid beaten into it, such butter will have a lot of the milk solids visible when melted. Properly churned butter doesn’t have this. Your pictures are excellent noting when the clumps of butter just appear and the dark color indicates it was watched carefully and not over churned. Making butter with a mixer can be done it just requires constant supervision so as not to over mix and it is best to use a slow speed and cooler cream, it is much easier to over churn warm cream. I miss making my own butter, I milked 5 jerseys and made 100-200 lbs of butter a week for 6-7 years, but life happened and I had to stop for a while, still have my cows but they are on vacation for a couple of years until I get things together.

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