How To Make Buttermilk
For those who love to cook, they know how useful buttermilk is for a lot of dishes. As for the rest of us, we do not usually have buttermilk lying around in our house. Buttermilk is a very common household food item found in the Indian subcontinent as they consume buttermilk on a regular basis. It has significant health benefits and helps to keep the body cool.
In this article, we will guide you through the whole buttermilk making process as well as the benefits and the importance of buttermilk. By the end of this article, you can call yourself a buttermilk expert and help your friends become one too!
What is Buttermilk?
Traditional buttermilk is a by-product of churning cream into butter. It is a thin liquid filled with probiotics and. Buttermilk contains good bacteria, enzyme and important lactic acid. The ”real buttermilk” is very rare to find. So, your best option is to make your own buttermilk if you want to enjoy the real thing.
One of the most important health benefits buttermilk can offer is helping you digest food easily. It cools down the digestive tract and also contains essential macronutrients to help balance our diet.
The most effective and vast use of buttermilk is in cooking. Baking cupcakes, pound cakes or cooking finger licking good chicken fries require good quality buttermilk. You can also use buttermilk in common food items like good old mashed potato, waffles and donuts.
The problem arises when do not have buttermilk ready to go. There are a few ways you can fill the void. The best option is to make your own buttermilk at home. It is way healthier and organic than grocery store ones. You don’t need any special ingredients to make good buttermilk at home.
Make Your Own Buttermilk
The first step to making your own buttermilk at home is to gather the ingredients first. Traditional buttermilk making process might seem a little expensive, but it is worth the price considering the authenticity and unmatched health benefits. You need only two ingredients to make buttermilk from scratch.
- A pint of raw/grass-fed cream
- A blender or a food processor
- Step 1
Take the cream and pour it into the blender. Slightly sour unpasteurized cream is very rich is bacteria and enzymes. If you churn this you will get raw butter and buttermilk as a result. The more accepted option is to take raw cream in order to get the full experience of buttermilk.
If you have only pasteurized milk available, you can still make it but you will need to add buttermilk starter culture to turn the final product into cultured buttermilk.
Now, you have the cream in the blender or the food processor, secure the lid properly and you are done with the first step!
- Step 2
Turn the blender on. Put it in the lowest possible setting. Depending on how fresh your cream is, it will take 15-20 minutes of churning before you see it turning into butter.
- Step 3
If you have done it right, you should see butter separating from the cream. After the complete separation, turn the blender off. Carefully take off the off and separate the buttermilk from butter. You can use a fine-meshed cloth to refine the buttermilk completely.
- Step 4
If you have used raw cream to churn your buttermilk, pour it in a sealed container and wait 24-48 hours to let it ferment. After completing the process, you should have a cup of butter and a cup of buttermilk.
- Step 5
If you have used pasteurized cream as your raw material, you need to perform this additional step to add the buttermilk starter culture after separating the buttermilk. You can buy buttermilk starter culture from your nearest grocery store.
Congratulations! You have successfully made your own “traditional” buttermilk at home. Real buttermilk is very low in carbohydrate and high in protein. It works great with hundreds of recipes like pancakes, waffles and different kinds of bread. Real buttermilk is also very low in lactose, so if you are lactose intolerant you got nothing to worry about!
Let’s face it. Not all of us have the time and patience to make real buttermilk from scratch. Although it is advised to use churned buttermilk whenever possible, buttermilk replacements work just fine. The best thing is, you can make it on your own very easily in less than 15 minutes.
- A cup of whole milk
- Some form of acid (lemon juice/white vinegar)
- Measuring Spoon
- Stirring spoon
- Step 1
Pour the milk in a glass container. Whole milk is best to create the closet form of real buttermilk, but 1% milk works fine as well.
- Step 2
Pour 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice or 1 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar into the milk.
- Step 3
Stir the milk to mix it with the acid until the mixture is even.
- Step 4
Leave the mixture for 10-15 minutes up to 1-2 days depending on the thickness and flavor you like.
Other Buttermilk Alternatives
There are plenty of products available to recreate the buttermilk experience. You just need to find the real combination that you like most. We are listing a few buttermilk alternatives to use as buttermilk the next time you need it.
- Potassium Bi-tartrate
Potassium Hydrogen Tartrate, commonly known as cream of tartar is a by-product of winemaking. You can simply mix a cup of milk with 1 ¾ tablespoon cream of tartar and stir it. After 10-15 minutes the mixture will thicken and you are ready to go.
Kefir or Kephir is a drink made from kefir grains which is a symbiotic culture. Regular milk is mixed with kefir grains to make the drink. As the drink is fermented, you can either mix it with milk or plain water to use as an alternative of buttermilk.
If you need buttermilk immediately, the good old yogurt might be your best friend. Just mix a ¾ cup of plain yogurt and water it down to your desired thickness to use as buttermilk.
- Sour Cream
Thin down ¾ cup of sour cream with plain water to your liking and use it as buttermilk.
Dairy – Free Buttermilk
Those who are lactose intolerant, real churned buttermilk is the best option as it is very low in lactose. But don’t worry, there are buttermilk substitutes for lactose intolerant people as well.
- Milk of choice (soy milk, flax milk, coconut milk, etc.)
- 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice or white vinegar
The process is the same as making buttermilk from whole milk. Just use your favorite milk and pour the acid into the mix to create your own custom buttermilk.
Many delicious dishes ask for buttermilk to create amazing texture and add the flavor. Whether you want to take the authentic road to make your buttermilk or use substitutes on the go, is completely your choice.
Now you know how to make the real buttermilk and possible alternatives that work great as buttermilk as well. You know why buttermilk is great for recipes and holds great health value too. So, don’t panic the next time you see buttermilk listed in any recipe, just make your own from now on.
- How To Make Buttermilk from Plain Milk with Lemon Juice or Vinegar – The Kitchn
- How to Make Buttermilk – How Stuff Works
- How to Make a Buttermilk Substitute – Genius Kitchen