Monday, 26 March 2012

Butter up with the real thing - cultured butter

I started breathing quickly with the words 'spread it so thickly you can see your teeth bite marks'.

With those simple words Pepe Saya gave me permission to indulge in the guilt-free, sweet pleasure of a mouthful of the most deliciously creamy butter I've tasted.


Then Pepe showed us how to make butter using a kitchen aid, a couple of stainless steel bowls and a strainer, plus some bottled water.  He made it sound oh-so-simple but there were a few words like 'ageing for several weeks' that hinted that Pepe has a few secrets up his sleeve.


Pepe's cultured butter is very different from the stuff you normally see on supermarket shelves.

Average butter has a uniform dispersion of water in oil but home churned butter has a more marbled texture, with grains of pure fat mixed with areas with higher water and milk solids. With a low moisture content producing flakier pastries and a high burning point, the butter is perfect for not only serving fresh with bread, but also for use in finest baked products. That aside - I don't think I could to use it for baking when it is so delicious to eat.



How is it made? The cream is separated from the milk and lactic culture is inoculated into the cream. It is then allowed to ferment and sour over a two-week period. The culture converts lactose into lactic acid which produces additional aroma compounds (such as diacetyl) which causes the extremely buttery scent and flavor that uncultured butter does not normally possess. The sour cream is then churned until the butter is formed, which is then kneaded and hand worked to remove water and achieve the perfect consistency that cultured butter is known for. 



I came home with a small sample that I'm going to use on some very good bread.
 
Where can you find Pepe's butter? Check this website   In Queensland you can chat to Michael Dalton at Fino Fine Foods. 

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