The Road Home

The Road Home
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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Making butter

It's time to make butter again. We tend to buy very little butter - real butter - but try to keep a pound or two on hand in case we run out. Goat milk doesn't make as much cream as cow's milk, but it does rise to the top of the jar in such a way that it can be skimmed. We have found that a gravy ladle is the most effective tool for skimming. It is better for taking just the cream and not as much milk.
Since we don't get much cream from each half-gallon jar of milk, we keep it frozen in pint jars until we have enough to make butter. Then we thaw out 2 pints.

We put the cream into a half-gallon jar, and rock it back and forth until the butter is made.

Sometimes this doesn't seem to take long and sometimes it seems it will never make. We haven't timed it to see how long it actually takes. It works better if the cream is refrigerator temperature, so if it thaws out and I am not ready yet, I will put it back in the frig. One of the nice things about making butter in a jar is I can do it from the comfort of my recliner while using my laptop!

When the butter forms there is a definite 'thunk' that is added to the rocking sound. I used to stop at this point but have found that the butter is easier to work if I shake it a little longer to make sure it has all come together into one mass.

Then I pour off as much of the butter milk as possible into an old peanut butter jar for the chickens or dog. 

Here is the butter fresh from the churning jar.

I don't know if there is a more efficient way to wash butter, but this method has worked well for me. I run a small stream of water down the cutting board and work the butter with a rubber spatula over and over until the water runs clear instead of cloudy. This time, though, I am trying out a new butter paddle I got on sale from Lehman's. It will take some getting used to, but it worked just fine.

I turn off the water and continue to work the water out. When I am satisfied with that I add about 1/2 teaspoon of salt, more or less. It depends on how much butter I have. 

I work that in well, then scoop the butter into a small loaf pan lined with plastic wrap to shape it as it cools. This fits into our butter dish well.

I don't make very big batches of butter because it tends to go bad since we don't use a whole lot. It does not last as long as store bought. The two pints of cream makes about the right size. I have made more in the past and put half of the batch in the freezer until we need it, but I like the smaller batches better. They are easier to work and faster to churn.

It tastes great on fresh homemade bread! But that is another post.


  1. Replies
    1. Yes. If you don't wash as much of the whey or buttermilk out of the butter as you can, it will spoil or go rancid much quicker. It also affects the flavor.
      I like your name - The Flaky Baker - that's creative. Thanks for the question. - Fern

  2. Thank you Fern :) I appreciate that you answered my question and the compliment! There is so much to learn out there that one life is not near enough.