It is funny to realize that buttermilk is not buttermilk or milk and that the milky ingredient used in baking, dressings, and marinades doesn’t contain any butter. This was not true back in the day. Buttermilk was once the liquid left over from butter churning–get it? Butter-milk. Buttermilk is made from naturally occurring bacteria. This would result in the pre-churning of buttermilk, which will be slightly thicker and more acidic. It’s now made commercially by adding a specific type of bacteria to low-fat or nonfat milk to make cultured buttermilk. This gives buttermilk its distinctive thickened texture and tangy taste that we all love.
Buttermilk is a wonderful ingredient in baking. It helps doughs and batters rise when used with baking soda. Buttermilk can also be used to tenderize baked goods by creating carbon dioxide. Because buttermilk’s acidity helps to tenderize meat, it is often used in savory sauces.
How to make buttermilk at home
Don’t panic if you don’t have a quart of buttermilk but are ready to bake a recipe. If you are in a hurry, store-bought buttermilk will be thicker and more tangy than homemade. However, there is an easy way to make it quick and easy. Lemon juice or vinegar can be added to whole milk to curdle it and add acid. This will also aid in baking goods’ rise and tenderness. Clabbering is a method that thickens and curdles milk or cream. It takes only a few moments.
How to Store Buttermilk
It is amazing how long buttermilk can stay in the fridge. Refrigerated buttermilk is able to last for up to four weeks because the lactic acid created by fermentation prevents the growth and development of harmful bacteria. Buttermilk can be kept in the refrigerator for up to three to four weeks. This is why buttermilk can often be used for several weeks after its sell-by date . Buttermilk solids can settle and should be given a vigorous shake before using it.
Look out for signs of bad buttermilk. These include a grainy texture or an unpleasant odor. Buttermilk can last for quite a while. However, its flavor will change as it sits.
For ease of use, leftover buttermilk can be frozen in ice cube tray. While it preserves the flavor of the buttermilk, it can also compromise its texture. It’s an excellent way to avoid waste, even if you don’t have any pancakes or other baked goods. The ice cubes can be added to a smoothie to have a similar flavor as yogurt.
There are many other alternatives to buttermilk, aside from clabbered dairy by adding lemon juice or vinegar. One cup of buttermilk can be substituted for plain yogurt by adding one cup plain yogurt (not Greek). Plain yogurt is a great substitute for buttermilk in marinades. It is less likely that clabbered buttermilk will yield the desired outcome as a buttermilk-based marinade.
Sour Cream can be used as a substitute to buttermilk. To make buttermilk-like consistency, thin it with milk or water. Then, use the exact amount in the recipe. You should aim for 3/4 cup sourcream to 1/4 cup milk, or water.
Cream of tartar, an acid, can create similar light and fluffy results when baked goods recipes call for buttermilk. Mix the cream of tartar into the dry ingredients first, then add the milk to the dry ingredients. The powder may clump if it is added directly to the milk. Use 1 1/2 teaspoons cream de tartar for every cup of milk.
Powdered buttermilk cannot be made into liquid but it can be substituted for liquid buttermilk when baking. It is readily available in grocery stores and can be stored for many years because of its shelf stability. For the exact amounts required for your recipe, refer to the package instructions. The powder is added into the dry ingredients and the water to the wet ingredients. It takes approximately four tablespoons of powdered buttermilk for every cup of buttermilk.