“Kneading”

Jean-Yves Bordier selects the finest quality churned butter made in Brittany.  This butter is left to rest for 24 hours before being brought into the Bordier workshop for kneading.

Kneading is a technique that dates from the end of the 19th century and served the purpose of both homogenizing and reworking butters coming from different production sites.  Almost phased out in 1975, Jean-Yves Bordier wanted to perpetuate and refine this know-how in his first creamery in the rue de l’Orme in St. Malo to give the butter back its original sensuality.

The butter is worked on by a man, the kneader, who acts as one with his wooden tool—also called a kneader—whose teak frame and wheel turn together slowly in opposite direction.  This open air kneading process lets the butter take on its own flavor through oxidation as well as softening its texture.  Only a gut feeling can decide when the butter has been kneaded enough.   Kneading times differ according to the quality of the butter, the temperature, the weather, the feed given to the cattle (silage in winter, grass and fresh flowers in summer), and the seasons:  around 25 minutes in the winter compared to only 15  in the summer.  It is only at traditional manufacturers’ can one still find a seasonal difference in production techniques.  “Butter is nature’s blotting paper,” underlines Jean-Yves Bordier.