Friday, January 10, 2014

Bread and Butter

After searching for a year or more, we finally subscribed to an Ohio "herd share" in order to be able to have raw milk (thank you, Paula and Kim!).  We now own a small portion of the cows on Log Cabin Farm run by the Yoders in Apple Creek from whom we get milk, cream, and yogourt.

We mainly wanted the milk so that we could make cultured butter after reading about it in a NY Times article.  We left our first gallon of milk out on the counter overnight to let the cream rise to the top, then realized that the cream had already been skimmed off.  Oops.  Milk turned a little sour,  not so good for drinking but just fine for making bread, and it led us to discover a fantastic and ridiculously fast and easy soda bread recipe in our "Forgotten Skills" cookbook.

The following week we ordered a pint of cream.  It was unbelievably thick and luscious, so much so that when we made butter, there was absolutely no buttermilk and no kneading required.  It was delicious.

We ordered another pint this week but this cream was a little more liquidy (is that a word?).  We put it in the food processor and "churned" it for maybe 3 minutes.  Voila! a big lump of butter in a puddle of buttermilk.  We kneaded the butter to get all the milk out, which took about 10 minutes.

It was fun to do by hand but it's easy to see why butter paddles might be useful.  Unfortunately, we forgot to add salt so we had to knead it a second time.

In the end, we had a crusty but light-crumbed soda bread, about a pound of the best-tasting butter ever, and a small glass of buttermilk.  What a breakfast!

Next stop:  an antique store to find butter molds!  But note the pretty butter dish that we recently inherited from Dominique's mother.

Improvements:  a tad less salt.

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