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BUTTER

Saturday March 29th, 2014 | categories: Uncategorized


We make our own butter here at the restaurant.  It’s one of those things I just won’t stop doing.
Making butter is one of my favorite tasks.  There are few things in life that are as easy, as dependable, or as delicious as fresh handmade butter from local pastured healthy cows.
Over the years, I’ve had a lot of jobs at the restaurant; chef, plumber, farmer, phone technician, dishwasher, graphic designer! But, making butter is still my favorite.

BUTTER

Cream
Always start with cream from pastured animals.  Pastured animals are exposed to sunlight & eat
grass, resulting in a product that is rich in vitamins and minerals.

Culture
Add a couple of table spoons of yogurt or cultured raw milk to your fresh cream, and let it sit on the counter overnight.  In the morning, your cream will be thick & slightly sour.  This step is not essential for making butter, but is essential for making butter milk, which is useful to have in the kitchen.  You could skip this step and still have delicious sweet cream butter.

Churn
Heavy cream is made of fat and sugar with some proteins. If you’ve cultured the cream, you’ve transformed the sugar and thickened, or padded, the protein particles.  Churning the cream, agitates the fat molecules, forcing them to rub against each other.  Fat is sticky, so eventually the tiny fat molecules become particles, and the particles eventually grow into visible tangible masses.

Using a hand mixer, a whisk, robot coup, food processor, or an old fashioned churn; beat the cream.  The cream will thicken to whipped cream after about 3 minutes, then it will become VERY thick cream- or what appears to be whipped butter. If you stop the beating now, you have an edible sweet
 or slightly tangy (if using cultured cream) creamy colored dairy topping that is delicious on cobblers.  But it is not very stable, and will begin to loose its body after a few hours.  Keep beating the cream, until the fat and the sugars separate, and the buttermilk begins sloshing around.  THIS is my favorite
part!

Washing
Dump the contents of your churning device into a bowl lined with a colander. If you cultured your cream, you now have butter in the colander, and buttermilk in the bowl. If you did not culture your cream, you have butter and un-cultured whey, which you can feed to your pigs or pups, or use in baking.  Regardless, separate the butter from the non-butter liquid.
On it’s own, butter fat is a very stable food, but it will go rancid rather quickly if it is not handled properly. Washing the fat solids removes residual milk sugars and the butter will have a cleaner, sweeter flavor.
Keep the butter solids in the colander, and place in a new clean bowl.  Stream in cold water and gently knead the butter under the running water.  Occasionally, empty the bowl below, and con tune until the water In the bowl is clear.

Drying
Place a clean dish towel on your work surface. A wood surface is best.  Place your butter on the clean towel, place another clean towel on top, and press the butter between the two layer- expressing any water or moisture.  Remove the top towel, fold the butter as you would pastry dough, and place a new clean dish towel on top.  Press the butter between the two layers.  Now that the butter has been pressed twice, remove the top towel & sprinkle the butter generously with sea salt or powdered sea vegetables. Fold the butter again and incorporate the seasoning by if kneading the butter with the towel as your tool. Taste the butter & add more salt if needed.

Storing
I like to roll my butter into a log shape.  It is easy to slice & looks nice as a gift.  The majority of our butter at the restaurant gets packed into clean plastic quart containers.
It’s ok to leave butter at room temperature for long periods if you’re room is below 80.
In lots of placing in the world, butter is used to make ghee. Ghee is a shelf stable fat that has no protein or sugar.  The proteins and sugars are removed from the butter by gently heating it and skimming the sugars (which foam) and the protein (which turns white and cooks into a loose solid).  The resulting product is light yellow, clear, doesn’t burn when you fry with it, and will stay good forever (even in rooms over 80 degrees).

Eating
Butter is a nutrient dense food. Eating butter, along with a whole food’s diet, protects your body from stress, keeps your cells strong yet supple, and delivers important fat soluble vitamins.

If you want to geek out on butter:

  • Vitamins …
    Butter is a rich source of easily absorbed vitamin A, needed for a wide range of functions, from maintaining good vision to keeping the endocrine system in top shape.
    Butter also contains all the other fat-soluble vitamins (D, E and K2), which are often lacking in the modern industrial diet.
  • Minerals …
    Butter is rich in important trace minerals, including manganese, chromium, zinc, copper and selenium (a powerful antioxidant). Butter provides more selenium per gram than wheat germ or herring. Butter is also an excellent source of iodine.
  • Fatty Acids …
    Butter provides appreciable amounts of short- and medium-chain fatty acids, which support immune function, boost metabolism and have anti-microbial properties; that is, they fight against pathogenic microorganisms in the intestinal tract.
    Butter also provides the perfect balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats. Arachidonic acid in butter is important for brain function, skin health and prostaglandin balance.
  • Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) …
    When butter comes from cows eating green grass, it contains high levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a compound that gives excellent protection against cancer and also helps your body build muscle rather than store fat.
  • Glycospingolipids …
    These are a special category of fatty acids that protect against gastrointestinal infections, especially in the very young and the elderly. Children given reduced-fat milks have higher rates of diarrhea than those who drink whole milk.
  • Cholesterol …
    Despite all of the misinformation you may have heard, cholesterol is needed to maintain intestinal health and for brain and nervous system development in the young.
  • Wulzen Factor …
    A hormone-like substance that prevents arthritis and joint stiffness, ensuring that calcium in your body is put into your bones rather than your joints and other tissues. The Wulzen factor is present only in raw butter and cream; it is destroyed by pasteurization.

Butter and Your Health

Is butter really healthy? Let us count the ways …
  1. Heart Disease
    Butter contains many nutrients that protect against heart disease including vitamins A, D, K2, and E, lecithin, iodine and selenium. A Medical Research Council survey showed that men eating butter ran half the risk of developing heart disease as those using margarine (Nutrition Week 3/22/91, 21:12).
  2. Cancer
    The short- and medium-chain fatty acids in butter have strong anti-tumor effects. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in butter from grass-fed cows also gives excellent protection against cancer.
  3. Arthritis
    The Wulzen or “anti-stiffness” factor in raw butter and also Vitamin K2 in grasss-fed butter, protect against calcification of the joints as well as hardening of the arteries, cataracts and calcification of the pineal gland. Calves fed pasteurized milk or skim milk develop joint stiffness and do not thrive.
  4. Osteoporosis
    Vitamins A, D and K2 in butter are essential for the proper absorption of calcium and phosphorus and hence necessary for strong bones and teeth.
  5. Thyroid Health
    Butter is a good source of iodine, in a highly absorbable form. Butter consumption prevents goiter in mountainous areas where seafood is not available. In addition, vitamin A in butter is essential for proper functioning of the thyroid gland.
  6. Digestion
    Glycospingolipids in butterfat protect against gastrointestinal infection, especially in the very young and the elderly.
  7. Growth & Development
    Many factors in the butter ensure optimal growth of children, especially iodine and vitamins A, D and K2. Low-fat diets have been linked to failure to thrive in children — yet low-fat diets are often recommended for youngsters!
  8. Asthma
    Saturated fats in butter are critical to lung function and protect against asthma.
  9. Overweight
    CLA and short- and medium-chain fatty acids in butter help control weight gain.
  10. Fertility
    Many nutrients contained in butter are needed for fertility and normal reproduction
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