Saturday, July 12, 2014

Homemade Butter on Homemade Bread.

Earlier this week I mentioned my new cheesemaking kit. Well, “shake butter” is the first recipe in the kit…which is only slightly odd, since it doesn’t actually require anything FROM the kit to make it.  It’s SUPER simple, and requires three things:

  • A clean, empty 16-20 oz water bottle;
  • 4-5 oz heavy whipping cream; and
  • A working arm.

To make “shake butter”, you pour the heavy cream into the water bottle, close the top…and then shake…once per second…for a long time.  In fact, a backup arm to take over when you get tired/frustrated might be a good option as well.  After a minute or so of shaking, the cream will become whipped.  At which point, you’re all “WTF?  How can I SHAKE WHIPPED CREAM????”  And then you hand the bottle to your husband, and he gives it all of about 5-6 really strong whips, and BAM, the whipped cream separates into butter and buttermilk! 

You then pour out the buttermilk (save it if you like), then add some ice cold water to the bottle and give it a few shakes (this helps the butter solidify & washes off the excess buttermilk), then pour out the water.  Then cut the top half of the bottle off, and your freshly made butter comes tumbling out!

At this point, you can earn what my friend Babsy calls “hippie-cred” and add some salt, fresh herbs, citrus zest, honey, etc.—whatever floats your boat.  Or you can leave it as is.  Roll it into a small log, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and store in your fridge.

What shall we put out fresh homemade butter on?  Well, aside from the obvious answer of “EVERYTHING”, there’s homemade bread.  If you’re lazy like me, you’re a fan of “no-knead” breads.  They require more time, but they’re super easy, and this loaf was seriously good.



  • olive oil mister
  • 2.75 cups bread flour, plus more as needed (I buy wheat gluten separately at the health food store, so I used AP flour with a tablespoon (per cup) of wheat gluten mixed in.  You could opt for whole wheat flour instead of the AP.)
  • 1 cup rolled or quick oats
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1.25 teaspoons instant active dry yeast (this WON’T be a whole packet, so you’ll have to measure it out)
  • 1/2 cup molasses or honey (I used about half & half)
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 1.5 cups + 1 Tablespoon cold water



In a large bowl (I used the bowl for my KitchenAid), mix the bread flour, oats, salt, and yeast together, and then set aside. In a smaller bowl, whisk the honey/molasses and oil together, then add the cold water. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon (or your KitchenAid—my scraper blade worked well). Scrape down the sides as needed with a rubber spatula. If the dough seems stiff, add more cold water (1 Tablespoon at a time) until the dough is soft again. The oats are going to soak up a lot of moisture, so you don’t want the dough to be too dry.

Spray the top of the dough with nonstick spray or lightly coat with oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise at cool room temperature (about 70F degrees) for 12 hours—I let it rise overnight.  The dough will rise quite a bit.

Once the dough has risen, spray a 9x5 loaf pan with olive oil.  Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir in enough more bread flour to yield a hard-to-stir consistency - I used about 1/2 cup more flour. Coat your spatula with non-stick spray or olive oil, and fold the dough in towards the center all the way around the bowl. Then, turn out the dough into the loaf pan. Brush the top of the bread with oil or nonstick spray and smooth out the surface. Using a sharp knife coated in oil or nonstick spray, slash a 1/2 inch cut into the center of the top of the loaf longways. Cover the pan with plastic wrap (that has been sprayed with olive oil—this will keep the dough from sticking to the plastic wrap)  Now, heat your oven to 200F degrees, then turn the oven off and stick the loaf inside, leaving the oven door slightly ajar.  Let rise for another 1-3 hours, or until the top of the loaf has risen about 1/4 inch above the edge of the loaf pan—watch this carefully, because if you let it rise too long the dough might spill over the side a bit.  This isn’t a big deal, but it makes for a slightly less pretty loaf, and can make it harder to get the loaf out of the pan at the end.

Once risen, move the oven rack to the lower third of the oven and heat your oven to 375F degrees.  Remove the plastic wrap and bake the bread on the lower rack for 35 minutes.

Then pull out the loaf, cover the pan in foil & continue to bake the bread for another 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool in the pan, placed on a wire rack, for about 15 minutes.  Then you can remove the bread from the pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.


Positively perfect when lightly toasted and slathered with homemade butter, and a side of Community Coffee.

This bread should stay fresh at room temperature, covered, for 3 days—or you can put it in the fridge, and extend that for about 2 weeks.  It reportedly also freezes well for up to 2 months.

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