Homemade butter is approximately the easiest thing in the world to make (with 21st century technology, anyways!) and is a delicious compliment to our homemade bread recipe.
1-2 cups of heavy cream (aka whipping cream, 35% cream, etc)
Salt, if you like salted butter
Let the cream sit out on the counter for about an hour or so to warm up to room temperature. Pour the cream into a mixing bowl. Using an electric handmixer, whip the cream the way you would when making whipped cream. Continue whipping it until it passes the whipped cream stage, and the cream separates. Once you’ve reached this point, you should have in your bowl a nice, thick, pale yellow buttery substance, and a thin translucent white liquid. That liquid is buttermilk, and it’s perfect for pancakes. Save it in a sealed container and make some delicious pancakes tomorrow morning!
Take the thick buttery mixture and either place it in a mesh strainer (if you have one! we don’t) or wrap it in fine cheesecloth. If you’re using the mesh strainer, use a spatula to press the butter and squeeze out all the excess liquid (over a bowl!). If you’re using cheesecloth, similar concept, but use your clean hands to squeeze the butter in the cheesecloth so all the liquid drains out into the bowl. This is still buttermilk coming out, so add it to your other container to use for another recipe. Keeping the butter in the strainer or cheesecloth, rinse it with cold water and press the last of the liquid out (you can do this last part over the sink, you don’t want the water diluting your buttermilk). If you’re adding salt, sprinkle a bit in now and mix it in with your hands.
Once all the liquid is out, you can use the spatula to shape your butter how you want it. If you get really hardcore into butter-making, you can get all sorts of crazy butter molds and shape your butter into an array of strange shapes, but that’s kind of unnecessary. Store your finished butter in a sealed container in the fridge! Done!