Cultured and fermented foods seem to be all the rage. If you’re not entirely sure what this involves, or I lost you at the word “fermented”, I’m going to give you a quick run down. Basically something that has been cultured or fermented has had good bacteria added to it, to both preserve the food and provide health benefits for the consumer.
To begin the culturing process, a form of lactic acid producing bacteria is added to a food product. In the case of this butter, yoghurt provided this bacteria. The bacteria feeds on the sugars present in the food product and multiplies. This process results in acids, alcohol or gases and a general increase in the good bacteria that was added to start the process. The pH is also altered therefore preserving the food product.
The bacteria and acids produced when culturing foods is good for our guts, which some believe is the key to overall health. Me? I just think fermented products taste good. Think sauerkraut, yoghurt, some cheeses and Kimchi (Which Cook Republic has an awesome How to for here!) And of course, this delicious butter. It has a sour flavour and is great for cooking or eating raw.
Makes about 200 grams of butter and 300 mls of buttermilk
What you need:
- 500 mls of single pouring cream
- 90 grams of plain, live yoghurt (make sure live cultures are listed as an ingredient)
- some salt to season the butter
What you need to do:
- Place the cream in a ceramic bowl and gently whisk in the yoghurt.
- Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm room for 12 hours (this may be hard in winter- oven light or top of the fridge is good).
- Once the cream in slightly set, you can begin to make the butter by beating it with a stand or hand mixer.
- The photos below provide a guide, but begin to beat the cream until the butterfat separates from the butter milk. The cream will first thicken, then become grainy, then finally separate.
- Rinse the butter with a fine mesh strainer then roll into a log in some baking paper and store in the refrigerator.
- Don’t discard the butter milk! You can use it as you would buttermilk in scones, pancakes or biscuits but you can also use it to culture more things like sour cream, which I’ll show you how on Wednesday!