If you have ever wondered how to make buttermilk from scratch, get ready to learn about the process, vegan substitutions, recipes that use it, and more.
It's only two ingredients and once you know how to make this popular recipe ingredient, you will never have to purchase it again!
How many times have you been preparing to bake and realized the recipe called for buttermilk? Chances are, you do not have it or if you do, it's expired because most recipes only require a little bit.
Instead of running to the grocery store for that one ingredient, you can just make homemade buttermilk! This how-to guide for making buttermilk proves how quick and easy the process is.
Buttermilk is a fermented dairy product.
Although from its name you would assume that buttermilk has a buttery taste and is high-fat, it is actually neither. In fact, “butter” refers to the remaining liquid after butter is churned. Traditionally, that is how buttermilk used to be prepared. However, in modern times, buttermilk has nothing to do with butter.
Today, the buttermilk commonly found in North American grocery stores is cultured, which simply means it has been fermented with lactic acid bacteria.
In even simpler terms: Milk + Acid = Buttermilk
Adding lactic acid to milk results in curdled milk with an extended shelf life. Buttermilk is thicker than milk but thinner than yogurt. The flavor profile is similar to plain yogurt or sour cream. It has a tangy acidic taste and a creamy consistency that makes it an essential baking ingredient and ideal for batters used for frying food.
Besides the taste, buttermilk contains acid which reacts with baking soda and baking powder. That reaction results in baked goods rising and being the fluffy, moist texture we all love.
With just two ingredients, this DIY recipe is so simple!
Mix 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of either vinegar or lemon juice. Then, let it sit for 15 minutes so that it can curdle.
You will know it's ready when it appears to be slightly separated with light curdling. It doesn't get easier than that!
If you need to make a dairy-free alternative, simply swap out cow's milk for a non-dairy option. The "milk" will react the same way once combined with an acid. Here are my suggestions for vegan buttermilk:
If you need don't have the ingredients listed above, here are some alternatives to produce one cup of buttermilk:
Buttermilk lasts up to a week in the fridge. When you are ready to reuse, just stir it to recombine.
Yes! Surprisingly, it freezes well. When properly sealed and stored, it can last up to 3 months in the freezer.
Pro Tip: Use an ice cube tray to freeze 1 tablespoon portions. Then you can just pop one out when you need a small amount.
Buttermilk is a versatile ingredient that works in both sweet and savory recipes. Here are some delicious ways to use it:
Here are some of my tried and true recipes that incorporate it:
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