Follow the method below for how to make homemade butter and buttermilk from scratch. It's easy to make at home and are great to have on hand for your buttered toast or buttermilk pancakes and creamy bakes.
Not only does homemade butter taste better than the shop bought version but it works out cheaper to make your own. Surprisingly it's much easier than you'd think, all you need is double cream and an electric whisk (plus a touch of salt if you're making a salted version). Originally butter was made by hand, and the basic method involved agitating milk in a dish with a stick but progressed over the years to include plungers, barrels which would be turned with a handle and in large dairies horses would churn the butter by driving the gears. Thankfully it now takes a lot less time to churn butter even if you’re making it yourself at home thanks to an electric whisk or hand mixer.
600ml double cream
pinch of salt (optional)
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Add your double cream to a deep bowl. If you're making salted butter, add a pinch of salt.
With an electric whisk (you can also use a stand mixer here), whisk your cream on a medium-high speed. The cream will start to stiffen and become whipped. Keep whisking. The cream will start to become more grainy before looking like scrambled eggs and then you'll get to the final stage where the butter separates from the buttermilk. You're ready to stop when the butter starts clumping together and getting caught in the whisk.
Set up a sieve over a bowl and scrape the contents out into the sieve. Give the butter clumps a good squeeze. What drains out is the buttermilk - you can store this in the fridge in a clean, airtight jar for up to two weeks and use for Irish soda bread or for buttermilk pancakes.
The fatty solid left in the sieve is your butter. Drop your butter into a bowl of ice-cold water. Wash the butter to get rid of any remaining buttermilk. To do this, press the water through the butter. Discard the cloudy water and repeat a second time. This step will help preserve your butter for longer.
Once washed, use your hands to mould the butter into a block. Wrap in parchment and keep in the fridge. If you've managed to thoroughly extract the buttermilk from the butter, it will keep in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.
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