Dairy Dilemmas

I had some trouble making butter. I know weird, right? It’s so easy! For some reason, my butter won’t separate from the buttermilk until it’s been beaten for 2-3 HOURS.

The first time I made it, it took about half an hour.  The 3rd or 4th time I made it, it took 10 minutes. Every other time I’ve made it, it takes a LONG time.  I pick the oldest jar from the fridge and leave it out overnight to culture, then pour it in the mixer and let it do it’s thing. Sometimes it works quickly, sometimes it doesn’t.

I tried everything I could think of. Older cream. Fresher cream. Different beaters in the mixer. Cultured longer. Chilled!

Nothing worked. So frustrating. Even Google couldn’t come up with any ideas.

On a whim, after my cream had been sitting around while I watched (in envy) a video of a lady making butter, I pulled out the noisy hand mixer and snapped the whisks into it.

5 minutes later, it was whipped cream.

A minute after that, it started looking grainy so I put it back in the stand mixer to let it finish the job, since it runs slower and doesn’t splash like the hand mixer.

I separated in half a minute and I had butter.

After a few minutes of washing and squeezing and washing and squeezing…

…I had over 2 cups of lovely butter (from about a half gallon of cream).

What a process.

Just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke, I made it again the next day using the noisy hand mixer. 6 minutes.

Then I made it again today. 6 minutes.

Now I’m starting to wonder why the 2 previous batches that worked, actually worked at all. Clearly my beloved stand mixer is not the best at butter-making. I didn’t even get it out today.  I left it out in the store room on its shelf and borrowed the bowl to beat the butter in. I kinda felt bad for taking the bowl and not letting the mixer-the-bowl-was-made-for do the mixing. But spending half the day listening to the mixer stirring cream around is not my idea of a productive, relaxing, non-chaotic day.

Sorry Kitchenaid. Black&Decker wins this time.

And now that I’ve figured out the butter, I can try cheese!

Anyone know where I can buy rennet?


4 thoughts on “Dairy Dilemmas”

  1. Your butter looks so nice and yellow! I’m really hoping that we’ll be able to find a source of raw milk out here soon. I’m a little jealous. Good luck finding rennet!

  2. I’ve never had trouble making butter in the KitchenAid, but I’m using commercial, store cream, so that’s not a fair comparison. Is it possible you had too much milk in your cream when you separated it? Rennet: I bought mine at Planet Organic, a natural food store. I’d suggest getting on the phone and calling all of the health food/natural food stores. It’s just a tiny bottle, so it’s worth just asking instead of searching the store yourself. Otherwise, you can order it online here: http://www.cheesemaking.com/cheeserennets.html

    I’m very jealous of your cow and raw milk source.

    1. I think storebought cream definitely whips up better, but even so, the hand mixer is faster, unfortunately. Thanks for the tips for where to get rennet. Do you make cheese? A cow is not for everyone. There’s a lot of extra work bottling milk and washing pails. If I’m on the ball and have all the bottles ready, it only takes 10 minutes to filter the milk into bottles, label, take to the freezer, and wash the pail. Some days I’m working in the kitchen (lots of the time with the milk) for the entire morning! But I wouldn’t trade it right now. I love having all this milk!

      1. I’ve tried to make mozza a few times. Once it worked, but it was supposed to take 30 minutes and actually took forever. I’ve not successfully done it since. And I made paneer once that was really easy but it took so many ingredients that it didn’t make sense to do it again (although I enjoyed the process). Without a cow, I don’t know if it makes sense to make cheese but it’s fun.

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