A Bit o' Better Butter: Making Butter by Hand | Janet Hesselberth | Skillshare

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A Bit o' Better Butter: Making Butter by Hand

teacher avatar Janet Hesselberth, Traditional Skills from the Kitchen and Garden

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

5 Lessons (20m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Ingredients

    • 3. Churn and Wash

    • 4. Molding

    • 5. Conclusion

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About This Class

Let's make a Bit o' Better Butter! It's fun, easy, and so delicious. I will review ingredients, multiple methods of churning the butter (for those of us who don't have a churn in the pantry), the importance of washing the butter (no soap, please!), and some creative presentations of your butter. Butter can be molded or sculpted to make it extra special and let your creativity shine.

Meet Your Teacher

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Janet Hesselberth

Traditional Skills from the Kitchen and Garden


I was raised by a Chemical Engineer and an Artist, an interesting dichotomy that led to a wonderful variety of skills in the household. My childhood was filled with projects such as pickling, making yoghurt, home canning, and gardening as well as a variety of crafts. My home is filled with hand-made items, and my gardens are overflowing with herbs, flowers and vegetables. I want to share that enjoyment and knowledge with you.


Be sure to follow Cottage Sage (that's me!) on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube. I post weekly videos to Youtube. Click the icons at the bottom of the left column on this page to visit, and be sure to Subscribe.

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1. Introduction: Hi, My name's Janet Hassle birth, and today I am going to teach you how to make a bit of better butter. So my childhood was very interesting. There were always projects. I learned to do so many things from my family and one of the things that I had hoped to learn a za child was to make butter. We were visiting my grandmother one day and noticed up on the shelf. My sister and I saw ah butter churn, and we were very excited about this. Grandma Grandma, can we make some butter? And she said Yes. Well, I suppose so. And she dutifully went off to the store and got some sour cream that I I thought that choice was a little odd, but Grandma knows everything, right? So she put the sour cream into the butter churn for us, and my sister and I churned and churned and churned what seemed for the longest time. I couldn't get it to make butter. So that evening for dinner, we dutifully poured the liquefied sour cream over our potatoes, declared it to be delicious, but we're rather disappointed that we couldn't get it to make butter. Well, some years later, she gave me the butter churn, and I have it now in my own home. And since that I have figured out it's really very simple to make butter if you start with cream, not commercial sour cream, so that that was kind of a ah, funny introduction to it. The mystery of what Grandma was doing was solved even a few years later when I encountered cultured butter at a farmer's market. And so most of the butter that you buy probably all of the butter that you buy in the grocery store is a sweet cream butter. But in those special places, like Farmers Market, you can find a cultured butter. And what that is is that the cream is inoculated or if it's raw cream, it's simply allowed to age. And so there's, ah, culture going on it. That brings out some other flavors, some richness or cheesiness. So, unlike my first failed attempt to make butter, I'm going to show you how to make better. I'm going to show you how easy it is. We'll make both the sweet butter, sweet cream butter and cultured butter, and we'll talk some about how to make the butter a little more special so we can add some different herbs or spices. You could make it sweet. You could make it more savory and also show you how to put the butter into molds. Maybe you want to make special little molded butters for individual servings. Or maybe you want to make it as part of a big dish of cut bread. So this is where in your project, you can bring out your creative skills and make your project your own special signature butter. So with that, let's get started making butter Uh. 2. Ingredients: So let's talk about the ingredients and the equipment that you need. Now you'll see I have quite a lot of stuff here. You don't actually need most of this. I have it to show it to you so you can get some ideas about what in your kitchen might work . First and foremost, though ingredients I've got the store brand of a heavy whipping cream. You can use a light whipping cream. It could be pasteurized. Or if you can get raw cream from a good source, you can use that to. The important thing is, it has to be a dairy product. It cannot be a substitute. It cannot be some of these, uh, coconut O R almond milk kind of things. It has to be a dairy product. If you're going to do the cultured butter, you need a culture. Yogurt Plain yogurt is wonderful. You could always also use fear. You could use the cultured buttermilk, but make sure to read the label. Make sure they're not extra flavors that you wouldn't want in your butter cherry cherry yogurt. Well, it might make a good butter. I don't know. Try, try plane, but read on the ingredients. It will actually say live active cultures, and it will sometimes name them, and they will be things you can't pronounce. But make sure it's live otherwise. This just isn't gonna work to culture. When you churn the butter, you have a lot of different choices. I'm going to guess that you don't have your grandmother's butter turn. If you have a blender or a mixer, um, or a whisk, those will work even a plane jar with a tight fitting lid. Any of that could be used to turn your butter. So I'm betting you have something in your kitchen that are what work a food processor stick blender. Any of those would work. I have a measuring cup. Um, that'll come in handy a rubber spatula for scraping and stirring. And then I have a couple of large mixing bowls and a colander, and, um, this is a cheesecloth or butter muslin. You maybe don't want the cheap stuff that you find in the grocery store. I'll give you a link where to get this stuff you need, like a fine gauze, and we're going to use that for working the liquid out of the butter and then finally, If you want to make your butter a little extra special, put your individual touch on it. You need a butter mold, and I have to show you this. It's my grandmother's old butter mold. It has a flower pattern cut in it, and it's wood and cracked and warped, and we're not going to use that. I'm afraid to use it. But it's another one of those special things that's come to me and my family. We're gonna use two different kinds of mold. We'll see how they dio. This is, um, but for baking muffins, but it will make a lovely flower pattern on it, and so we could make larger takes a butter like you would might put out on a dish with a tray of lovely bread. And then my daughter went rummaging in her old toy dishes and tea sets and things, and I don't know exactly what this is, Um, but today it's going to be a butter mold, so that's what we need. And, um, so let's get started 3. Churn and Wash: Okay, So culture in your cream is going to take a little bit of time. And, um so we're going to start that and then set it aside for probably 24 hours so that it can , um, culture. And I'm just gonna put some of the yogurt into this jar and set that aside. And then I think I'll culture about a pint. So you want to make sure that whatever you've used to culture is well blended with your cream, And if you're using a more liquid like a fear or, ah, a buttermilk, it'll it'll blend a little easier. But, um, basically, you get that all mixed up, and we're going to set that aside until tomorrow. So in the meantime, we can make a batch of butter, and I'll use this one first, and I'm just gonna pour the cream into a bowl. And we're going to start by using a hand mixer, and that will let you see the texture, the changes in texture as this starts to turn to butter. So I wanted to start showing you the mixer first because you can see the texture of the cream as changes. And of course, as you start out, it's very liquidy, and as I continue to beat this, you'll see that it gets thicker and thicker on and eat. It even gets lumpy like mashed potatoes a bit, until finally you'll see the the butter separate out of the liquid. It will actually become lumps of butter mixed into the buttermilk, and that's that's how you know when you're done. But this whole process using the mixer took about 20 minutes. It was longer than I had expected, so using the blender actually turned out to be a very efficient way of making butter. I've never done it in a blender before this class. I actually always used the term from my grandmother. But again, what you see is it goes from a thin liquid, too much thicker liquid. In fact, again, um, you may have to add milk to get it to be thin enough to keep churning, Um, but eventually the volume starts collapsing and you'll see the bits of butter floating in the buttermilk so back to our cultured cream. It has sat around for 24 hours, and it's really gotten kind of thick, so because it's it's so thick I'm gonna have to add some regular milk to it. So I could even have a chance of shaking this because it's culture to a little sniff test. Yes, smells lovely. And so I'm gonna fill this up with a little additional milk. Not all the way. I still need room to shake. And again, I'm gonna be watching for the changes in texture as I shake. And this is a great way to do this if you have lots of little kids with lots of energy. Unfortunately, I've not been able to corral any little kids with lots of energy, So it's up to May. Here we go. All right, I can tell it's getting close because the volume is starting to collapse now. It actually expanded and thinking so much, I had to pour some off to get room to keep shaking. So we're really close. I'm gonna keep shaking just a little bit longer, and then we'll pour it in and drained it off. So now we need to wash the butter, and that's just rinsing the butter in a series of baths of water to draw out the rest of the buttermilk from it. Because if you leave the buttermilk in the butter, your butter will tend to go rancid and spoil very quickly, and we don't want that. And interestingly, I always have to try different things and try to learn as I'm going, if it's just one in my nature. And so when I was researching double checking my facts, I saw all these different ways of washing butter and I said, Oh, good, I'm gonna try those two. And, um, a lot of them said you should use ice cold water and they suggested washing it with the mixer. And I thought, Well, OK and well, that didn't go so well for me. That's okay. We learned, right? So I'm gonna wash this batch of butter that we made in the blender more along the lines of what I have always done. And that is, I pour the butter and the buttermilk through cheesecloth, and I'll squeeze out as much as I can with the cheese cloth. And I can kind of feel how firm the butter is at the temperature. It it is right now it's it's kind of a room temperature, and I just have cool water from the tap for washing. If the butter's getting to firm, I'll use a slightly warmer water, and if it's too soft, I'll use cooler water. I pour in a little water, and then I'm just going to work it with my spatula to kind of break it up and swish it around in the water. And as the water gets cloudy, I changed the water bath and start again until I'm no longer getting cloudy water. 4. Molding: it was time to make your individuality shine. And so for me, I am going to season my butter with a little bit of rosemary. I have that growing on my window sill. And as assured you before, I have two kinds of molds we're going to try. The one is, Ah, soft rubber. I think it's silicone, and it's designed for making cupcakes in that sort of thing. And the other is our little mystery tray from my daughter's plate, tea sets and such. And today it's going t service butter mold. So let's get started and I'll show you how this works. Okay, so I have already minced up some rosemary in here, and I am going to take some of my butter, which is now nice and soft, and I'm gonna mix it into that, and I'm kinda I'm just kind of guessing about how much butter I'll need for these little individual servings that I want to dio, and I'm also gonna add just a Sprinkle of sea salt, and then we're gonna mix that up there. So one trick to remember when you're seasoning your butter and that is if you are using a water soluble seasoning like, let's say it's just salt. Um, if you get too much, you can actually re wash your butter and get it back out. Now, I probably can't do that with Rosemary, but if this were ending up too salty, I actually could wash it out. Funny little trick. Other seasonings you might use would include maybe a cinnamon and sugar. That would be delicious. Um, you might you might go towards Dill. Um, this This is where your project can really reflect your tastes. All right, so I think that's pretty well mixed. And let's see if I could get it into these molds without wearing too much of it. So now I'm sure you're wondering how on earth I'll ever get it out. And, um, the trick to that is, after I get them filled nicely, I'm gonna put him in the freezer for about 1/2 an hour. You want to pay attention and try to get all the air bubbles out, And if you have any residual water in your butter, try to get that out, too. Otherwise, it'll leave pockets in your molds. Okay, That looks pretty good to me. So we'll put that one aside and clean spoon. No rosemary for the big ones. Now, I'm not going to do all of these. Um, I'm just going to do, let's say two. And again, I'm trying to crush the butter down in to eliminate any air pockets. Okay, so those look pretty good, and I'm going to take those to the freezer and I'll see you again in about 1/2 an hour. So now I've gotten the butter out of the freezer, and it's very nice and hard. So now the trick is getting it out of these molds. So what I'm gonna dio is flip it upside down. And because this is the soft mold, I should be able to pop these right out here. Okay? We're gonna go to plan B. That is a pan of warm water just to loosen him up a little bit. Okay, so it tore up a little bit. Let's see if the other one comes out any better. Oh, that looks a little better. And these others I could take out a little later, but this better looking one I'm going to put on our tray. So for the little ones, I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be able to get them out as easily. So I'm just going to start with the warm water and use a similar trick. We'll see how well they come out there. There are a couple more, so let's put those on our tray and there we are. 5. Conclusion: So I hope you really enjoyed learning about how to make the different kinds of butter with me, ranging from the different ways of churning the butter, the ingredients and how to wash out the butter. So it'll last a lot longer. I hope you enjoyed the different kinds of molds that were used and can find some in your own home. Certainly you can use some some unexpected things. So about your project, I would like you to just give me a few little sentences about your own butter making experience and a couple of pictures. Did you culture your cream? What did you culture it with? What seasonings did you add or digital for a plane? Butter. And what did you find to use as a mold for your butter? And how successful were you in getting it back out of the mold that that can sometimes be a little bit of a challenge? And most importantly, how does it taste, especially if you decided to culture your butter? Let me know what you think of that because it is a little bit different. Make your own butter, load your project and have fun. Thank you very much for taking this class