Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cultured, Raw, Grass Fed Butter

* We linked this post at the Hearth and Soul Hop at Hunger and Thirst *

Butter -- it makes everything better.  So what could make butter better? Culturing it!  Our farmer friends who provide us with delicious raw milk recently fired up their cream separator, which is something we'd been eagerly awaiting for a long time.  At our fist opportunity, we picked up half a gallon of the delicious stuff and after using a quart for various other things, we decided it was high time we had some real cultured butter around here.  Here's how we did it (Check out Nourishing Traditions for more details):

Update:  Here is a really great video about how to make butter from raw milk that I'll be following next time.  I think her method is better than this one (I didn't know about washing butter until I watched it), so I'd say try that one first!

Cultured Raw Cream Butter:
  1. 1 Qt. raw cream from grass fed cows
Yes, it has only one ingredient!  You can also salt the butter if you like, but we didn't do that this time around.  Also, if you want extra reassurance of the type of cultures in the cream, add a tablespoon or two of yogurt to the mix to give the good guys a head start.  First, put the cream someplace where it will stay at room temperature overnight (Warning: don't do this with pasteurized cream -- there's no telling what will populate your butter for you in that case):

After your cream has had a chance to get cultured, put it in the food processor in batches.  It should smell kind of "cheesy" -- if you think it smells bad, rotten, moldy, or otherwise unpleasant, something probably went wrong and you shouldn't eat it.  As with other cultured products, it really helps to be familiar with what smells and textures are normal and which ones indicate spoilage.  I'd highly recommend finding somebody who can help you out if you're at all unsure of your own judgments in this area.

Process each batch for about a minute, until you can see the butter forming:

Take the butter out of the food processor and do the remaining batches of cream until you have a big wad of butter.  Save the liquid that remains -- this is bona fide cultured buttermilk!  It helps to put the butter in a strainer over a bowl to save some kneading later:

Now you need to knead the butter on a clean flat surface to work out the remaining buttermilk.  I do this by hand, but there are many other ways that probably work better (note the buttermilk being squeezed out onto the cutting board):

When you're done, you should have a nice big lump of delicious butter:

I made waffles with the buttermilk, and topped them with homemade strawberry preserves from last year's strawberry crop.  Cultured butter is the ultimate!


  1. Hi Erik! All I can say is yum yum yummy! I am so lucky to have a membership in a dairy club and weekly we get a few gallons of the most creamy and delicious raw jersey milk from our Amish friends! There is so much you can do with raw milk that you simply cannot do with pasteurized and homogenized milk! Yep,I wouldn't trade it for the world and I really love the taste of home made butter! I thank you for sharing this on the hearth and soul hop and just a note, I featured you on my hearth and soul hop highlights at a moderate life last friday! All the best! Alex

  2. wow making your own butter.. i take my hats off to you guys! (:

  3. @Alex: Thanks so much! And thanks for featuring our blog, I really feel honored especially since I'm so new to this whole blogging thing.

    @Shu Han: Thanks! Though I have to say that making butter is WAY easier than some of the stuff I've seen on your blog... :)

  4. I am so hungry after reading this post lol! The waffles took me over the edge though so I'm going to have to make something to eat after posting this comment hehe. Thank you for sharing this, it sounds like a great process and I'd love to have a go one day :)

    I'm also taking part in the Hearth & Soul hop and that's how I found your blog.

  5. This so makes me miss my raw milk - my supplier sold their cow. ;o( I love butter! Thanks for sharing this with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop!

  6. My boys and I love raw milk and have to drive about 20 miles or so to get it....definitely worth the trip!

    Awesome post and thanks for sharing at the hearth and soul hop last week.

  7. @Aurelia: I hope your waffles turned out great!

    @Christy: That's a bummer. I'd be very sad if my raw milk source dried up. I hope you can find some again soon!

    @JL: Thanks! We have to drive about 15 miles to get ours, and I agree that it's definitely worth the trouble.

    Thanks all for dropping by.