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How To Make Fermented Butter (Cultured Butter)

Cultured or fermented butter is the most delicious fresh butter ever! It has a beautiful light tang and a silky smooth texture.

homemade cultured butter on butter paddle.

Fermented butter is made from cream lightly fermented with live cultures (like from yoghurt). This fermentation process gives the butter a slight tangy taste.

This fermenting process increases the fat content in butter. creates a more ‘buttery’, and rich result. It adds a slightly tangy taste too.

Making cultured butter at home also gives you the bonus of homemade buttermilk! This is the liquid left behind after the butter has been formed. I actually love drinking it as it is, but it’s also delicious in baking because the acid in it adds tenderness. I use it in these white chocolate blueberry muffins.

Timing and Ingredients

To make cultured butter, you’ll need heavy cream and fresh yogurt (plain, with live cultures). If you don’t have yogurt, kefir yogurt or sour cream can be used; just ensure that what you use contains live cultures.

The cream needs time to ferment before being whipped – at least 24 hours but up to 48 hours.

Method

  1. The first step is to ferment the cream. Pour cream into a bowl and add in yoghurt. Stir it together, cover it, and leave it at room temperature. At least 24 hours, but it can be as long as 48 hours.
fermented butter being made.
  1. I always use the mixing bowl from my stand mixer that I will be whipping the butter in later on. It saves on dishes and it comes with a lid to cover it.
cultured cream in a silver bowl.
  1. Once the cream has fermented, it should smell slightly tangy. It will have formed a thick cream layer on the top.

Churning

  1. Place the bowl in your stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Alternatively, you can use a hand-held beater or pour the mixture into a food processor.
whipping cream.
  1. Start on low-medium speed, whisking until the cream thickens. If your mixer has a splash guard, use that.
beaten cream until lumpy in a mixer.
  1. The mixture will thicken, then become grainy. Keep on mixing and soon the yellow clumps of butter will form.
butter formed.
  1. This part can become a bit splashy so don’t have the mixer on too high.
pouring off buttermilk.
  1. Once the butter has formed it’s time to to strain off the buttermilk. Tip the mixture into a colander over a bowl to catch the milk.
  1. Save the buttermilk in a jar in the fridge or the freezer to use later. Place the butter clumps back into the mixing bowl whisk it again, or use your hands to squeeze and knead the butter to remove more buttermilk.
butter pieces In ice water.
  1. Now rinse the remaining butter in the colander under cold water, then pop it into a bowl of ice-cold water.
hand kneading butter.
  1. Use your hands to squeeze and knead the butter to remove the remaining buttermilk.
a mound of yellow butter in water.
  1. Refresh the cold water and keep repeating this process until the water in the bowl is clean. Ensure the water stays cold throughout this process by adding ice cubes as needed.
  2. Place the butter on a clean bench or board. If you are working in a hot environment, it’s helpful to work on a marble or stone board that can be chilled in the fridge or rubbed with ice blocks before use.

Salting the butter

If you want to add salt to the butter for storing purposes and taste, weigh the butter first. Then, flatten it on the bench and sprinkle over a little unrefined salt—around 1.5% percent of the total butter weight. Fold the butter over itself a few times to incorporate the salt. If the butter has warmed too much, place it in the fridge and let it chill.

Shaping the butter

Butter being pushed between paddles.
  1. Now use butter paddles or wooden spoons to flatten and squash the butter over and over again. This removes those last remaining drops of buttermilk.
  2. Take your time doing this because any buttermilk not removed can cause the butter to go rancid faster.
homemade cultured butter
  1. Once all the buttermilk has been removed, use the paddles to shape the butter into a block.
  2. If you don’t have paddles you can wrap the butter in parchment paper and roll it into a shape.

Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. The butter can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

Related recipes

homemade fermented butter on butter paddle.

Fermented Butter (Cultured Butter Recipe)

Elien
Cultured or fermented butter is the most delicious fresh butter ever! It has a beautiful light tang and a silky smooth texture. 1/2 litre of cream makes around 170g of cultured butter.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Fermenting Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 20 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine European
Servings 12
Calories 145 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 500 ml heavy cream
  • 50 g plain yoghurt with live cultures
  • unrefined salt

Instructions
 

  • Pour the cream into a bowl and add in yoghurt. Stir it together, cover the bowl and let it ferment at room temperature for 24 or up to 48 hours.I always use the mixing bowl from my stand mixer that I will be whipping the butter in later on. It saves on dishes and it comes with a lid to cover it.
  • Once the cream has fermented, it should smell lightly tangy and may have formed a thick cream layer on the top. Place the bowl in your stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Alternatively, you can use a hand-held beater or pour the mixture into a food processor.
  • Start on low-medium speed, whisking until the cream thickens. If your mixer has a splash guard, use that.
  • The mixture will thicken, then become grainy. Keep on mixing and soon the yellow clumps of butter will form. This part can become a bit splashy so don’t have the mixer on too high.
  • Once the butter has formed it’s time to to strain off the buttermilk. Tip the mixture into a seive over a bowl to catch the milk. Save the buttermilk in a jar in the fridge or the freezer to use later. 
  • Place the butter clumps back into the mixing bowl whisk it again, or use your hands to squeeze and knead the butter to remove more buttermilk.
  • Now rinse the formed butter in the seive under cold water, then place it into a bowl of ice-cold water.
  • You can use your hands to squeeze and knead the butter to remove the remaining buttermilk. Refresh the cold water and repeat this process until the water in the bowl is clean. Add ice cubes as needed to ensure the water stays cold throughout this process.
  • Salting the butter – If you want to add salt to the butter for storing purposes and taste, weigh the butter first. Then, flatten it on the bench and sprinkle over a little unrefined salt—around 1.5% percent of the total butter weight. Fold the butter over itself a few times to incorporate the salt. If the butter has warmed too much, place it in the fridge and let it chill.
  • Now use butter paddles or wooden spoons to flatten and squash the butter over and over again. This removes those last remaining drops of buttermilk. Take your time doing this because any buttermilk not removed can cause the butter to go rancid faster.
  • Once all the buttermilk has been removed, use the paddles to shape the butter into a block. If you don’t have paddles, you can wrap the butter in parchment paper and roll it into a shape.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. The butter can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 145kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 1gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 13mgPotassium: 46mgSugar: 1gVitamin A: 620IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 33mgIron: 0.04mg
Keyword Butter, Buttermilk, Cultured, Fermented
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