The biggest hurdle I can foresee in regards to baking independently again will be reminding myself not to be too critical or set the bar too high, to breath a little, slow down a bit and enjoy the process. I must do my best to stay focused on maintaining the integrity of what I'm doing. I want to set my intention for each day, but also leave room for the unknown.
Everything seems to be serendipitous. I'll give you an example. A couple of years ago when I first moved to this area after leaving California, I started a small little business selling baked goods online and at one of the markets in town. I had applied to one market that was particularly desirable, but nothing ever came of it.
Recently I received a call from one of the members of that market, informing me that I had been accepted. My two-year old application had been reviewed and a spot was available. It didn't matter that I now bake under a different business name and have different offerings. If I wanted the spot, it was mine for the taking. Everything in its place. And so, THE BACREY at Ardry Farms will be happily present at the following markets:
Boalsburg Farmers' Market
Military Museum Parking Lot (Summer/Fall)
St. John's Church (Winter/Spring)
Tuesdays 2 PM - 6 PM
Bellefonte Farmers' Market
Centre County Courthouse (Summer/Fall)
Wednesdays 7 AM - 12 PM
Downtown State College Farmers' Market
Locust Lane, State College (Summer/Fall)
Municipal Building, State College (Winter/Spring)
Fridays 11:30 AM - 5:30 PM
North Atherton Farmers' Market
Home Depot, State College (Summer/Fall)
Saturdays 10 AM - 2 PM
if it had not been for the long winding road behind me. I suppose that is a lesson that can’t really be taught. Making butter is such a wonderful example of process. When you find your own way of how to make or do something that works consistently for you, there is no greater discovery (and I'm not just talking about cooking or baking). There are obvious things like the butterfat content of the cream
and the culturing that make the butter richer and of higher quality, but there is something more. There is something about the process of making that imparts magic in something from the very beginning. Something from the hands and from the heart.
Makes about 2 lbs of butter
(Adapted from The Kitchn)
1/2 cup yogurt (optional)
1/2 gallon cold heavy cream
1 tsp salt (optional)
Ice water, for washing (optional)
If you would like to culture your cream before making butter, it will yield a very wonderful and distinct flavor to your final product. However, this is not necessary. If you would like to make butter right away, skip down a paragraph.
To culture the cream first, add the cup of yogurt to a container large enough to fit the cream. Combine the yogurt and the cream, place a coffee filter, towel or cheesecloth over the container, and let it ferment in a warm, draft free place (about 70-75 F) for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours. Refrigerate your cream for at least an hour after fermentation before you make butter. The colder the better.
To make butter, pour all of the cold cream (or cultured cream) into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Lock your mixer into place and cover it with a clear plastic bag, plastic wrap, guard or a towel. You may get some splattering action, especially toward the end of churning. Begin to whip the cream on low speed to get things going and then slowly increase the speed to as high as you can without making a total mess.
Let the mixture whip away for 5-10 minutes. You will see the cream thicken and increase in volume and then at the end the solids will separate from the liquid and you'll hear a lot of sloshing going around. At this point, place a large strainer lined over a bowl. Strain the solids from the liquids, pressing and squeezing the solids to release as much buttermilk as you can. You can save and use this buttermilk if your heart desires! Transfer the butter to a cloth and squeeze any excess buttermilk over the strainer.
Once it is strained well, I advise washing your butter. It sounds crazy but it is well worth it. Washing your butter with ice water removes any excess buttermilk so that your butter will have a longer shelf life. What I like to do is place the butter into a bowl in a sink. Add about 1 cup of ice water to the butter and begin to press and massage it with your hand. You will see cloudy buttermilk release into the bowl.
Discard the liquid and continue this process until the water runs clear. I like to do 10 washings every time.
If you would like to salt your butter, now is the time to do it. Sprinkle the salt over the clean butter and knead it in with your hands. The butter will keep in the refrigerator for about 3 weeks to 1 month or it can be frozen.