Homemade cultured butter is rich, silky, creamy with a fresh, tangy twist. Cultured butter has the same uses as standard butter. However, homemade has much more a charm and character. Fermented butter contains beneficial bacteria, enzymes, and other important nutrients.
Fermented cream the basis for making cultured butter
I have often ordered raw cream from a farm that I trust. By the time I receive the cream, it has already started to fermented naturally. The thickness of the cream is how I determine this.
Butter from unfermented cream is sometimes called “sweet cream butter” i.e. it has not be allowed to sour or ferment.
Why does raw cream start fermenting naturally?
Because unpasteurised cream contains bacteria that convert milk sugars into lactic acid. You don’t need to add a culture starter for this to happen. In just a few days the cream becomes similar to crème fraîche, a thick, fresh, tangy, soured cream.
This fermentation process produces several aroma compounds, including diacetyl, which creates a full-flavored and more “buttery” taste that many love, however not everybody appreciate it. For example, my wife loathes the taste.
Using pasteurised cream from the grocery store
Adding bacteria to commercial cream from the grocery store will allow the cream to ferment. Keep it at room temperature for a day or two until it become thicker.
When making cultured butter from pasteurized cream, we add Lactococcus and Leuconostoc bacteria strains, but other probiotic bacteria also work well. Try using a starter culture. These are available on Amazon.
What you need to make cultured butter
- Full-fat cream that has fermented.
- A food processor.
Time to prepare: For this batch, it took about 30 minutes until the butter was packed in jars.
Cultured butter step-by-step
I here used about 3 quarts (3 litres) of raw, cultured cream for my batch. This gave about 3 pounds (1.5 kg) of butter.
Use a mixer or food processor
Some say that the temperature of the cream determines how long it takes until butter forms.
Well, I decided to test this claim with a few batches of cultured cream. Though this wasn’t a scientific study, still the results below might give a hint.
1. Cold cream: When the cultured cream was cold, I t took 22 minutes before the cream turned into into butter.
2. Cool cream: After about two hours in room temperature, it took only 3 minutes until butter formed.
3. Room temperature: When I left the cream at room temperature for the night, it took only 1 minute and 15 seconds before butter was formed!
- Conclusion: The temperature of raw cream determines how fast butter will form!
When the cream thickens, you may want to slow down the food processor. The butter is very heavy and you might end up splashing buttermilk all around your kitchen (happened to me a few times : )
Separate the buttermilk
Buttermilk is like a low-fat leftover product, nutritious and easy to use. Use a strainer to separate the butter still left in the buttermilk.
You can also make cultured buttermilk. It’s similar to yogurt.
The buttermilk is now poured into another bowl so I can deal with it separately later. But you’re not done yet with the butter.
There’s still some buttermilk left in the butter and this must be removed. The less liquid that remains in the butter the better. If buttermilk is left in the butter it can add an unwanted taste to the butter. Buttermilk also spoils faster than butter. So try to remove as much as you can. How can this be done?
This demands some kneading and rinsing!
Knead the butter
Knead the butter under cold water for a few minutes to work out the remaining buttermilk. This makes butter taste better, stay fresh longer, and have a nicer texture. Remove as much buttermilk residue as possible. Try also to put the butter in a cloth and squeeze out the buttermilk. After this, add salt.
Store in tight jars
Cultured butter can be stored in the fridge for one to two weeks. Butter easily picks up flavors from other foods so use air-tight jars. Cultured butter can be stored in the freezer for much longer.
Adding taste and color
Try adding flavour to cultured butter: curry, red pepper, cinnamon, lemon or bacon are some options. Here I added coriander leaves. It looks beautiful!
I’ve saved cultured butter for a several month in the freezer without loss of taste or texture. It is best to take it out from the freezer and put in in the fridge a few hours before you want to use it.
Benefits of cultured butter
Cultured butter is packed with nutrients. Here are a few:
|Vitamins A, D, E, K||Selenium||Conjugated linoleic acid|
Enjoy cultured butter
For those on a keto diet (low carb) or doing intermittent fasting, fat intake should cover 50-80% of the daily calorie intake. Cultured butter is an excellent source of healthy fats.
And even if you’re not low-carb, still healthy fats are essential. Homemade cultured butter is great-tasting and addictive.
Below our keto lunch lunch: homemade cultured butter with egg omelette, coriander, garlic and olive oil, mung bean sprouts mixed with pumpkin seed sprouts.