Step 1: Raw Milk
Pasteurizing= We DO cook milk! In simplest terms the milk collected from dairies is super-heated then rapidly cooled. This process kills most bacteria & microbes. It also destroys some of the nutritional value & flavor of the milk, but it does however make it safer to drink & reduces spoilage.
Homogenizing= This process essentially prevents the cream from separating by pushing the milk through a series of screens or tubes at high pressures. This causes the large fat globules in the milk to be broken into much smaller globules creating more consistent emulsion, therefore no/ little separation.
As far as butter making goes, you will get a more flavorful product using the cream from raw milk, however it will spoil faster & has more potential pathogens in it. It is also faster to make the butter because the fat globules are still relatively large so half the work is done for you. We always used the cream from raw milk because it was available to us. My mother would literally walk into the barn & scoop some cream from the bulk. Since raw milk isn't easily accessed now a days, I've done this instructable using store bought heavy whipping cream.
Step 2: Getting Started
1 quart jar with lid
1/2 quart of whipping cream (this will make about 1 cup of butter)
Volunteer/ Slave for shaking
OPTIONAL: 3 marbles or a small spoon to aid in mixing in the jar
ITALIAN HERBS: (If you would like to do the flavored butter)
1 Tbs finely chopped sun dried tomatoes
1 tsp italian herbs
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp minced onions
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
To begin. Fill your quart jar about 1/2 way full or less. (you want plenty of room for the cream to "swish" around) & screw on the lid.
Now let the FUN begin! Start shaking it vigorously....
Step 3: The Metamorphosis
When I was a child the butter transformation happened a lot faster. I think this is due to using the raw milk. The processed cream is a little more difficult to work with. With raw milk the transformation takes about 15-20 minutes. With the purchased cream it took me about 35 minutes by hand. With several breaks to rest my arms. Forget buying one of those shaker weights on T.V.! Just make some butter by hand! My conclusion was...If you are using store bought cream use a mixer instead of the jar method!
10 minutes = The cream is thicker with bubbles from the vigorous agitation.
15 minutes = The cream is thick & fluffy whipped cream ( the jar will become silent when shaking it now)
TIP: You need to continue to have some sort of movement occurring when it is thick & fluffy so you can add a few marbles in the jar or a small spoon. The marbles or spoon will continue to churn the cream when you shake the jar.
30 minutes = The cream becomes chunky & curdled looking.
35 minutes = The butterfat & buttermilk have now seperated.
YOU NOW HAVE BUTTER! What next?
Step 4: Finishing Touches
This Italian herb butter goes nicely with warm french bread (perhaps you could try this recipe) or just smeared on some butter crackers.
Enjoy the butter, but more importantly enjoy the process!