Introduction: How To: Make Your Own Mustard!
Making mustard at home is not as hard as you think - in fact, with less than a half hour of actual work, you can have mustard!
The worst part is the waiting - you can't eat the mustard right away, and it's best to wait a couple of days to really dig in. :)
Step 1: What You'll Need:
- 1/2 cup mustard powder
- 6 tablespoons mustard seeds
- 3 tablespoons vinegar (I used white wine vinegar)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1-2 teaspoons salt
- additional spices and herbs as desired
As you can see, the ingredient list is very simple. I'll talk more about choosing what mustard to use and how to prepare it in the next step.
You'll also need a mortar and pestle OR food processor, bowls for mixing, glass jars for storing the mustard, and possibly a sieve.
Step 2: Choosing Your Mustards!
There are three major varieties of mustard out there - white, brown and black.
White is very mild and the base for the bright yellow mustard most Americans are familiar with, and mustard powder is made from white seeds. Brown is spicier and used in dijon mustard. Black is the most pungent of them all.
Brown is the easiest to find, so I recommend going that route.
It's also important to use a good mustard powder. Try to buy from a company you trust, or buy from a place where you can sample before you buy. Or, make your own. All you really need is a spice grinder, which you can get for under $20 and use for all sorts of fancy kitcheny things. :)
Step 3: Preparing the Mustard, Part 1.
There are a few ways to go about this, depending on what tools you've got at your disposal.
You can make mustard easily using a food processor or a pestle and mortar, but the way you go about it is slightly different.
You will need to soak the mustard seeds for at least 18 hours or until you can crush them using just your fingers. They have to be soft so that the food processor can break them up easily - otherwise they'll just go bouncing around in there and you won't accomplish much of anything.
Using a food processor will result in a creamier mustard.
All you really need to do is pulse the mustard seeds (no liquid needed) until you get the consistency you want - leave more seeds whole for a chunkier mustard, crush them for a finer mustard.
Mortar and pestle:
This is the way I went about it - no soaking is necessary, but you can if you'd like to make it easier! - just grind the mustard seeds (in batches if you need to) until you like what you see and continue on. I left mine quite chunky as you can see in the second photo. :D
A note about creating even smoother mustards:
If you're not a fan of whole grain mustards, crush/process the mustard seeds finely and find yourself a sieve with very fine mesh. Push the mixture around in the sieve with a spatula, leaving the husks behind and pushing the inner parts of the seeds through to a bowl.
Step 4: Preparing the Mustard, Part 2.
This part is up to some debate... but I'll tell you how I did it. :)
Once your mustard seed base is lookin' fancy, it's time to add the mustard powder, salt, and water. Let this hang out for about ten minutes, and then add the vinegar and mix well. Make sure to get out all the mustard powder clumps!
If you would like to add in fresh herbs, spices, onion, garlic, etc - feel free to do so. But if it's your first go I'd say stick to the basics and see what you like. I only added in a little bit of fresh cracked black pepper. :)
Mustard and water temperature:
Keep in mind that warmer water with yield a milder mustard, and cold water will give you the maximum kick. So alter the temperature to suit your tastes. I used cold water.
Step 5: The Waiting Game.
Your mustard will be very bitter at first. Try a bit if you don't believe me. ;)
This is normal, and within a couple days it'll pass.
Also, if it's too spicy or the flavors are a bit too much, no worries - that'll pass with time. Mustards mellow as they age, so within a week or two your mustard might get right where you want it to be. Just keep trying it and feel free to adjust it - add more salt, water or vinegar... add some spices, honey, a bit of citrus juice, whatever you like.
This is your recipe - tweak it!
If you follow what I did exactly, you'll get a very hot, very chunky mustard. On day number three I'm loving it. All the bitterness is gone. :D
Step 6: Additional Reading + Info.
Other things to keep in mind:
- you can soak your mustard seeds in grape juice, vinegar, half water/half vinegar, and even in liquid with spices and herbs. It's up to you! I chose water because it was easy.
- your homemade mustard will never be the bright yellow that you might be accustomed to, but you can add a little turmeric to perk up the color and flavor considerably. No more than a teaspoon at a time, though... and keep tasting - turmeric is strong stuff!
- homemade mustards will always be thinner than storebought, but they will thicken up a bit after being in the fridge a few days. I've found that shaking mine helps a lot.
- you can use all kinds of vinegars, I just found white wine and cider to be the most widely used. But feel free to mix and match and play around. I don't think there are any hard and fast rules!
- mustard will last forever in the fridge thanks to all the salt and vinegar, so really no need to worry there.