In my attempt to capture some of that Laura Ingalls Wilder prairie nostalgia, we've been whipping up homemade butter to go with our fresh baked bread lately...only I use my Kitchenaid for about five minutes instead of churning for an hour, because that's how we roll. With three impatient kiddos, modern technology is truly a blessing sometimes (though if you'd like to make butter by hand, here's how we've done it before. Big thanks to Christina for that tutorial since I apparently never blogged about it myself! ♥).
Start with two cups of cold (but not too cold) whipping cream.
Start whipping on high speed (I use level 5 to start and then work my way up to level 8 or 9 as it gets more solid and less likely to slosh out of the bowl). First, it will turn into whipped cream (surprise, surprise!).
Keep whipping and soon the cream will start to look chunky and take on a yellowish tint. At this point it's good to turn your mixer back down to medium speed as it will start to get messy and wet again soon.
See what I mean? Those are the butter solids seperating from the buttermilk. At this point you can drain off the liquid buttermilk - into a container, of course, where you can save it for pancakes or scones or something yummy. I usually end up with 1 cup of butter and 1 cup of buttermilk.
Put your butter solids into a piece of cheesecloth (a paper towel will work too if you're out of cheesecloth like I was) and squeeze it all togther several times to wring out all the buttermilk.
Yay, that looks like butter! But you're not done yet...
Fill a bowl with ice water and wash the butter. Gently smash it around with a spoon to get rid of all those last bits of buttermilk. Continue to drain and rinse until the water is clear and there is no more buttermilk. This is a really important step in preserving your butter so that it will last longer!
If desired, add in a pinch of salt to taste. Stored in a sealed container, it will keep up to a week in the refrigerator...if it lasts that long! It tastes amazing on homemade bread, so I'll have to share our favorite bread recipe sometime soon!