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How to Make Buttermilk

Posted By Peter Jeffries On June 17, 2010 @ 7:04 pm In Cooking & Baking | Comments Disabled

Ever been happily making a recipe only to find that it requires buttermilk? Your first thought is What the heck is buttermilk? Your next, as you almost certainly won’t have any in the fridge, is Where do I get it? If you’ve ever been in this situation our tips on how to make buttermilk will save you time and money…and let you get on with that recipe.

What is Buttermilk?

Real buttermilk is the liquid that’s left over when butter is made. It’s slightly sour, contains fragments of curd and is the consistency of watery cream.

Obviously, selling leftovers from the butter making process isn’t an attractive proposition for many dairy companies, so commercial buttermilk, the kind of buttermilk you find in the supermarket fridge, is actually normal milk that has been fermented with a bacterial culture. The process is similar to making yoghurt, but with a shorter fermentation time of around 12 hours.

Making Buttermilk at Home

All of this sound a bit yucky? A bit time consuming? Don’t worry, the steps below will show you how to make a substitute buttermilk in just a few minutes with nothing more than milk and vinegar.

Sound too good to be true? It’s not. The recipe works on the simple principle that acid will curdle milk and cause it to sour a little. You got sour milk with curds, you got a great substitute for real buttermilk, and certainly one which will work in any recipe that calls for the stuff.

Homemade Buttermilk Recipe

The following recipe will make one cup of buttermilk. If you need more, just increase the ingredients proportionally.

  • Place one cup of milk in a bowl.
  • Add one tablespoon of white vinegar (you can also use lemon juice at a pinch).
  • Allow the mixture to stand for five minutes.

Instant Buttermilk

And there you have it – instant buttermilk. Simply use it as directed by your recipe. Now that you know how to make buttermilk you’ll never be stuck again when you come across a request for this unusual ingredient.


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