Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Bit of Better Butter

Okay, how many of you grew up trying to say the following tongue twister or something similar:
Betty Botter bought a bit of butter.
The butter Betty Botter bought was a bit bitter
And made her batter bitter.
But a bit of better butter
Makes better batter.
So Betty Botter bought a bit of better butter,
Making Betty Botter's bitter batter better.
I remember laughing with my mom and grandmother as I tried time and time again to say this tongue twister.  I'm showing my age I suppose.

As I mentioned in my 7 Quick Takes last Friday, I made some homemade butter.  For some reason, I couldn't get my pictures to upload for the Quick Takes.  I think I've figured out the problem, I'm going to attempt to provide the instruction and the pictures.  I actually found the easy instructions on a blog called Crunchy Betty.  She has all kinds of neat ideas and recipes for everything from laundry detergent to shampoo.  I think I may try homemade shampoo next.

Anyway, with the butter, I used heavy whipping cream that you can buy in any supermarket.  She suggested using unpasteurized, but I just used what the store had, which of course was pasteurized - ultra in fact.  Since I was just trying this out and didn't want to make a big batch of something that could potentially be dreadful, I just poured about a cup of cream in a container with an airtight lid.  I then handed the container to one of my sons and said "shake."  He shook it for a few minutes, then got bored and handed it off to his brother.  Brother soon got bored as well, sat the container on the counter and snuck out of the room while I was distracted.  Luckily, they had already shaken the container so much that the cream was at the whipped cream stage.  (They shook it vigorously for probably a total of 5 or 6 minutes.)  With just a few more minutes of shaking, the whipped cream quickly turned to butter.  When I opened the container, this is what I saw.  You can see that the butter and whey have separated.  BTW - you can use a blender or food processor for this as well, rather than shaking.

Pour off the whey and remove your butter.  I know there are probably a ton of things you can use this whey for, but I haven't researched any of that yet.  Instead, I used it in my coffee the next morning.  The butter is certainly edible at this point; however, the recipe that I use suggests you go one step further; an ice bath.  Crunchy Betty noted that in her experience, the butter spoiled faster if you didn't go through the ice bath process to remove as much of the whey as possible.

For the ice bath, just get a bowl containing water and ice.  Obviously, the cold will help your butter firm up just a bit.  Press the butter against the side of the bowl or squeeze it in your fist, squeezing out as much as the whey as you can.  You'll notice the water will turn cloudy with the whey.  You'll change the water and ice and continue this process until the water remains clear.  It won't take as long as you might think. 

Once the water in the ice bath is clear, you can stop there and you'll have unsalted butter.  However, if you prefer salted butter, this is where you should salt to taste, which is what I did.  It's so yummy.  You can make larger batches and freeze the butter if you wish.  See how easy it was??

Now I'm craving some homemade rolls!  Yummy!  Enjoy!