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Cultured Butter (and Buttermilk) with the Aromatic B

by Jerri

I get giddy when I get a chance to make butter! It's hard to find good cream that is not Ultra Pasteurized or a heavy whipping cream, so when you do, you'd better make something GOOD with it. When my kids were younger we'd have a weekly raw cow milk drop, and I would immediately scoop off the cream and we'd have a shake-shake-shake party to make butter. After the butter was made, my kids would do drive-bys with a spoon and it'd slowly disappear before even being applied to a food! And now I have learned that you can culture the cream FIRST, and then make butter “ LOVE that idea! You can use just about any mesophilic culture, but today it's the Aromatic B Cheese Culture. Let's get to it! Gather your tools and supplies: 

handwritten recipe for cultured butter with aromatic B packet on top

Again, good cream is expensive and hard to find. I haven't made butter in years, so I opted for just 2 instead of 4 pints, in case my skills were lacking. Because it's a mesophilic culture, you only have to heat the cream to 70-75ºF. I aimed for 70 knowing my glass stovetop likely would go a few degrees higher.

  1. Heat the milk slowly to 70º
  2. Add the Aromatic B Cheese Culture, but let it sit on top a minute or two 
    cultured milk warming up on the stove
  3. Incubate* for 6-12 hours, ideally a range of just a few degrees above/below 68º. Going longer, more towards 12 hours should result in a more tangy taste.
    incubated cheese culture
    * By the way, in the top right corner, that's a stowaway jar of sourdough starter taking advantage of the heat. The cream should be a bit thicker, smelling good and tangy.  
  4. Fill a jar no more than 50% full of cream. It will take longer to get butter if there's more cream and less movement of that cream. It's ok to do the butter in parts if you have a small jar! 
  5. Shake shake shake shake for 10-20 min. You want the cream sloshing vigorously back and forth, hitting the bottom of the jar and then the lid.
  6. You'll start to hear a difference “ the sound once the butter starts forming is more sluggish. You'll see a difference “ the cream turns a pretty yellow.
  7. Once you have a mass of lumpy fluffy butter, it's time to drain off the buttermilk (yes, this is REAL buttermilk, and BONUS: it's already cultured! It should thicken up a bit more in the fridge, and you can use this in baking or to drink!)
    fluffy butter and buttermilk together in metal container
  8. Rinse the butter so it doesn't go rancid from still containing lactose and proteins. Start by putting the butter into a bowl, and adding cool/cold water. You can use the back of a spoon to press and fold the butter, draining the water as needed and adding more cool/cold water. Two to three times should be sufficient, and you'll see clear water coming off.
  9. You should be able to form a ball by now.  I use cold running water as I form the ball.
  10. You can refrigerate or freeze the butter - it won't affect the texture! 
collage of dough on scale and in glass bowl
Over 6 oz of gorgeous cultured butter! YUM! And remember, you also now have the bonus of cultured buttermilk for drinking or recipes. Give it a try - find some good cream, and GET FERMENTED!