We explore the wonderful rich, delicious milk fat, butter, today with EL The Cook’s, Pro-Cooking Tips!
These days, if a cook actually manages to make this delicious fat in the kitchen, it’s most likely a disaster! That’s a shame: all cooks should relax now and then and intentionally overwhip some cream!
The coming of butter is an everyday miracle, an occasion for delighted wonder at what the Irish poet Seamus Heaney called “coagulated sunlight”
Churning milk or cream damages the globules of fat to stick together which imparts a warm, sweet richness to many foods.
It has long been important from Scandinavia to India, where nearly half of all milk production goes to making butter for both cooking and ceremonial purposes.
Its heyday came much later in northern Europe, where throughout the Middle Ages it was eaten mainly by peasants. It slowly inﬁltrated noble kitchens.. Soon the English were notorious for serving meats and vegetables swimming in melted butter, throughout Europe exploited the fat in a host of ﬁne foods, from sauces to pastries.
Around 1870, a shortage of butter in France led to the invention of an imitation, margarine, which could be made from a variety of cheap animal fats and vegetable oils. More margarine than butter is now consumed in the United States and parts of Europe.
Home-Made Butter? Here’s How!
In essence a simple but laborious operation: you agitate a container of cream until the fat globules are damaged and their fat leaks out and comes together into masses large enough to gather..
Preparing the Cream: Whole milk cream is agitated and concentrated to 36–44% fat. The cream is then cooled to about 40ºF/5ºC and “aged” at that temperature for at least eight hours.
Churning: Churning is accomplished by a variety of mechanical devices that may take 15 minutes or a few seconds to damage the fat globules and form the initial grains of butter. Because of aging, the fat crystals are weakened and churning the cream, results in a smoother spread.
Working: Once churning generates the desired size of grains, often the size of a wheat seed, the water phase of the cream is drained off. This is the original buttermilk. The solid butter grains may be washed with cold water to remove the buttermilk on their surfaces. The grains are then “worked,” or kneaded together!
So enjoy your weekend!
Enjoy Responsibly! Cheers From EL The Cook!