How to make homemade buttermilk

Written by julie elefante
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Old-fashioned buttermilk was the liquid that was left after cream or milk was churned into butter. Now, buttermilk is milk that has been intentionally soured with lactic acid bacteria. Buttermilk adds rich flavour to baked goods and adds an slightly tangy flavour to marinades and frying batters---many dip chicken and fish into buttermilk before dredging the meat through a flour coating. Because of its wide variety of uses, many recipes call for buttermilk. It can sometimes be expensive or hard to find, though, and even when you can find it, it's often packaged in quantities that are larger than you need.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Glass or plastic container
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Acidic ingredient (such as 1 tbsp white vinegar or fresh lemon juice)

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  1. 1

    Pour the milk into a container.

  2. 2

    Stir the acidic ingredient into the milk and leave it at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes. The milk will begin to curdle.

  3. 3

    Stir the newly made buttermilk thoroughly.

  4. 4

    Use the buttermilk in a recipe, as directed, or store the milk in the fridge until you need it.

Tips and warnings

  • If you have more time and a little bit of buttermilk, you can combine it with regular milk to make more buttermilk. Combine 3 1/2 cups of regular milk with 1/2 cup of buttermilk, and leave the mixture at a slightly warm room temperature for 24 hours. You can recycle 1/2 cup from this batch to make even more buttermilk.
  • You can mix 3/4 cup plain yoghurt with 1/4 cup milk to make 1 cup of buttermilk substitute.
  • Whole milk works best in this recipe, but you can use any milk you'd like, even dry milk. Skim milk will make a lower-fat buttermilk than if you were to use whole milk.

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