Homemade cultured butter is rich, silky, creamy, and a slight tangy twist. Cultured butter has the same uses as standard butter, it just has much more charm and character. Fermented butter contains more nutrients that standard butter.
Fermented cream basis for cultured butter
I sometimes order raw cream from a trusted farm and by the time I receive it the cream has already started to fermented naturally. This can be seen from the thickness of the cream.
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 naturally ferment?
Because unpasteurized cream contains bacteria that convert milk sugars into lactic acid. This happens naturally. After a few days, the cream turns thicker and becomes similar to crème fraiche, a thick, fresh, tangy, soured cream.
This process produces several aroma compounds, including diacetyl, which creates a full-flavored and more “buttery” taste.
Using pasteurized cream from the grocery store
Bacteria can be added to commercial cream to allow the cream to ferment. It usually take a day or two at room temperature until it thickens.
Try adding a starter that includes Lactococcus and Leuconostoc bacteria strains. Other bacteria also work well.
Cultured butter recipe
- Full-fat cream that has fermented.
- A food processor.
Time to prepare: This batch took about 30 minutes until the butter was packed in jars.
Cultured butter step-by-step
I used about 3 quarts (3 liters) of raw, cultured cream. This gave about 3 pounds (1.5 kg) of butter. Fermented raw cream turns thick and easy to work with.
Use a mixer or food processor
Some claim that the temperature of the cream determines how long it takes until butter forms.
I decided to test this claim with a few batches of cultured cream. Though this wasn’t a scientific study, the result gives 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 heavy and you might end up splashing buttermilk all around the kitchen (happened to me a few times).
Separate the buttermilk
Buttermilk is a low-fat leftover product, nutritious and good to use. Use a strainer to separate the butter still left in the buttermilk.
Pour the buttermilk into another bowl to deal with it 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. Buttermilk spoils faster than butter so remove as much as you can. How?
By 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. You can also 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
Some like to add flavor to cultured butter: curry, red pepper, cinnamon, lemon or bacon are some options. Here I added coriander leaves.
Butter can be saved for several month in a freezer. 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 like these:
|Vitamins A, D, E, K||Selenium||Conjugated linoleic acid|
For those on a keto diet (low carb) or doing intermittent fasting, cultured butter is an excellent source of healthy fats.
And even if you’re not low-carb, healthy fats are essential. Homemade cultured butter is great-tasting and addictive.
Below a keto lunch with cultured butter, omelet, coriander, garlic, olive oil, mung bean sprouts mixed with pumpkin seed sprouts.