Homemade Butter - getting the water out after washing?
I am hoping that some of you make your own butter at home for your families and perhaps could share your tips on techniques or equipment for the following two issues I am having.
I am lucky enough to have a local organic farmer with a pedigree herd and he low-temperature pasturizes his cream and sells it in one pint bottles as "double" or about 50% fat so it is perfect for making butter. When I do make butter by beating it in my KitchenAid mixer of course I can get the raw butter made but it does not last much longer than one to two weeks in the fridge and seems to have quite a bit of water left in it. I suspect both my rinsing and forming need some work.
I am using the KitchenAid with the K-Beater to beat the cream until it just separates. I then slow right down and allow it to form chunks in the bowl. I pour off and keep the lovely buttermilk for baking. So far, so good.
I then add some ice cold water and set the motor to the lowest speed to move the pieces of butter around in the bowl till the form a larger clump in the milky water. I discard and repeat this stage about five times by which time the water is fairly clear. A lot of the butter clumps around the K-Beater so I do scrape it down and try to raise the speed a little until the splashing is too much to help the butter rinse out the whey. I am concerned that I might be beating water INTO the butter at this stage.
Next I place the wet butter on a plate and put it in the fridge to firm up a bit. After half an hour I take it out and place portions onto a cold baking stone and use a pair of wetted wooden butter paddles (the ones by Kilner) to squash the butter about a bit until a little clear water is forced out. If it gets too soft I return it to the fridge for a while.
Next I weigh the butter and add crushed sea salt to 2% by weight and fold it in with the paddles. At this stage a bit more water is expressed as the brine is forced out. No matter how much I fold and squeeze the butter, not much water is expressed but if I slap the paddles into the sides of the block, some does emerge and flick off the ends but it does not seem to be very much.
When I stop working the butter it is very soft so I have to let it firm again before forming it into blocks of about 150g each. These get wrapped in greaseproof paper and then cling film and placed in the fridge to chill. Any that I won't be using quickly go in the freezer.
When I take the butter out of the fridge to use, I notice water beads being expressed when I cut it with a normal knife. This tells me that there is probably more water in the butter I should be removing. If it is a warm day (24C / 75F) then the butter in the dish goes very soft and almost collapses.
Please could yo review my technique and give advice on how to improve my butter. If there is a piece of household equipment that can be used to squeeze the butter then I would be interested to hear about it.