Thursday, February 9, 2012

Homemade butter

We Bushmans haven't bought cow's milk for quite some time. However, since moving rurally, we discovered a local dairy that sells raw, organic milk for $2.50 a gallon. Since we're not big milk drinkers, at first I didn't think too much of this.

It wasn't long before all those trips to the store to buy butter for $3/lb and sour cream for $2/lb had me wondering if I could make those things for less money. I realized, if I buy one gallon of raw milk and make my own butter and sour cream, then my gallon of milk has already paid for itself. Whatever milk I have left is essentially free at that point.

A friend was talking to me about the health benefits of yogurt and kefir so I decided, if nothing else, I could use the leftover milk after making butter and sour cream for those things. So, prepare yourself for an onslaught of posts about homemade dairy products to come! But first, the butter . . .
 
Here's the raw milk we started with. We let it set for about 12 hours so the creme would rise to the top.

Can you see where the creme has seperated?
Next, I ladled the creme out and put it in its own jar.

Then I let it set out on the counter until it reached room temperature, (although I'm not sure this step was necessary). Next I started shaking it. I got tired after about 2 minutes so I gave it to my husband who took over and shook it for about an hour. Later, I learned that it only takes 15-30 minutes of constant shaking to make butter. Hubby and I had a good laugh about me not checking that first. :) Oh well, now we know.

Now, the whole thing doesn't turn into butter like I was expecting. After shaking, you basically end up with butter floating in buttermilk. So, you have to strain the butter from the butter milk, like so:


Our butter was very soft so it went straight from the strainer into a dish for eating. (I'd read that you should rinse your butter because the buttermilk residue can make it funky, but I was worried my butter wouldn't stand up to rinsing). Here's the finished product. Salt and serve.


We certainly didn't get a pound of butter out of this, but I would still say it is very cost effective for us to buy the milk for $2.50/gallon and make our own butter. Especially since we also made kefir, sour cream and yogurt out of this same batch. We also made some amazing homemade granola to eat with the milk. I will share the recipes for all those things very soon.

Do you make butter? Do you think its cost effective to do so?

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