- May 2014
- Makes 2 blocks of butter
- Hands-on time 30 mins, plus chilling
Got into making your own bread? Then do the double, and slather it with your own homemade butter. It just needs one ingredient – Jersey double cream – and a little bit of effort. We’ve included tips from our food team to help make sure you get it right.
And depending on the time of year, maybe you could even make jam.
- 600ml jersey double cream
- To make the butter, pour the cream into a sterilised mixing bowl. Beat with an electric hand mixer on a medium speed until the cream becomes stiff, then continue to whip until the cream collapses and separates into butterfat and buttermilk. Line a sieve with clean muslin or a new J-cloth and set over a bowl. Pour in the cream mixture and allow the buttermilk to drain into the bowl (you can use this for making bread or other cakes). Put the butter from the sieve into another sterilised bowl, then beat briefly to extract even more buttermilk. Drain again.
- Fill a bowl with very cold or iced water. Add the butter and knead it with your hands. If there’s still any buttermilk left, it will come out in the water. Change the water 2 or 3 times. The butter is ready when the water stays clean.
- With cold hands (have a cold tap running or a bowl of iced water to hand), lift the butter onto a board and pat into two even-size blocks. This shaping will help release some moisture. You can then use pre-soaked butter paddles to press the blocks and make them more evenly shaped, if you like. Wrap the butter in baking paper or waxed paper, then chill until needed.
It’s important to remove all the buttermilk from the butter – any left behind could turn the butter rancid. If you prefer salted butter, add sea salt to taste just before shaping. Some people add it to the cream before whisking, but you’ll lose some of the saltiness when you remove the buttermilk.
The butter will keep in the fridge, well-wrapped, for up to a week, or freeze half of it for up to 3 months.
To sterilise a mixing bowl, wash in warm soapy water, rinse well, then fill with hot water from the kettle. Drain and allow to dry, upside-down, on a clean tea towel.
Butter paddles are small, ridged pieces of wood that are used to shape handmade butter. Look out for them at antiques markets, or buy new ones online. They need to be soaked in iced water for at least 30 minutes before using, to prevent the butter sticking.
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