The Purpose of Buttermilk in Baking

Written by gwen bruno | 13/05/2017
The Purpose of Buttermilk in Baking
Buttermilk adds volume to biscuits. (Image by, courtesy of

Traditionally, buttermilk is the milky by-product of butter making. It adds rich taste and texture to baked goods such as breads, biscuits and pancakes.

What Is Buttermilk?

The fluid remaining when cream in churned into butter is called churn buttermilk. Today churn buttermilk is mainly used in freeze-dried form for baking. Cultured buttermilk, sold for drinking or baking, is lowfat or skimmed milk which has been fermented with lactic acid-producing bacteria, says

Buttermilk Benefits

Although buttermilk is thick and tastes rich, it is actually low in fat. Like yoghurt and sour cream, it is acidic and imparts a soft texture to baked goods. It also helps quick breads rise, according to

Baking With Buttermilk

When substituting buttermilk for regular milk in a recipe, you will need less of both baking powder and baking soda, since buttermilk is acidic, says

Substituting With Milk

To make the equivalent of 1 cup of buttermilk, add enough 1 per cent milk to 1 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar to make 1 cup. Stir and let stand for 5 minutes, allowing the milk to thicken and curdle.

Substituting With Yogurt

You can also use yoghurt as a buttermilk substitute. Mix 2/3 cup of plain yoghurt with 1/2 cup of 1 per cent milk to make the equivalent of 1 cup of buttermilk.

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