Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The greatest of feasts

“Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.” 

―James Beard

I mentioned last week that I was baking bread and making butter as part of the "projects" section of my menu.  It's not a routine (or even common) event in my kitchen, but when I do happen to pull out the yeast and cream, it certainly results in a very happy me.  I end the day feeling accomplished  and as though I am truly living the simple, beautiful life.

For what is it to bake one's own bread and churn (mix) one's own butter?  What makes these used-to-be menial, weekly tasks so jaw-dropping?  Are we so accustomed to mediocrity (bread that tastes like nothing good and margarine standing in) that things which used to be normal and routine are now something to be cherished.  Can you imagine 100 years ago, saying "oh my goodness, you bake your own bread?"  

How things have changed.

2-4 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
Salt, if desired

Pour whipping cream into a mixing bowl and add a touch of salt, to taste (if desired).  Mix on high speed for 2 minutes, then switch to medium low for the time remaining.  You will know when you're done mixing when solids suddenly separate from liquid.  Scoop out the butter (solids) and strain the buttermilk (liquid) into a container.  Set buttermilk aside for other recipes and add any solids to the rest of the butter.  Rinse butter under cold water through a fine mesh strainer until water comes out clear.  Store in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks.

I use a recipe from Betty Crocker's cookbook whenever I bake bread.  The recipe can be found here.


  1. haha they really have changed when you put it that way. and i'm always happiest when i break into a fresh roll coming out of a bakery, there's nothing like that smell and warmth. i'd make it more often :)

  2. I know, when people will say, "wow, that's so cool!" I just wonder what all those women from a time or two ago would be saying haha.


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