Better Buttermilk

A glass of milk and a glass of buttermilk
I swear by butter and cream and milk too; buttermilk was new and certainly was a welcome change!

 

“I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.” – Woody Allen
The Fact: To get the amount of calcium in an 8-ounce glass of milk, you’d have to eat one-fourth cup of broccoli, seven oranges or six slices of wheat bread.
The Inspiration:So my research began when I visited about seven dairies and four supermarkets in search of buttermilk, and still didn’t get any. They blamed it on the winter—“Nobody drinks buttermilk in winter, ma’am—and the lack of demand in the winter. And so I gave up. I decided I’m going to make some and I’m going to make it better. And I did.Buttermilk sits right in the middle of milk and cream; it’s slightly thicker than milk and not quite as thick as cream. It’s also more acidic than milk, has a lovely flavor, and is a super alternative for lactose intolerant people because much of the lactose has been broken down to lactic acid. Buttermilk has quite a few benefits—it’s low in fat and calories (lower than that in milk—a cup of buttermilk contains 2.2g of fat and 99 calories while a cup of whole milk contains 8.9g of fat and 157 calories), is cooling for the body (which is why it’s perfect for summers), aids digestion, makes the yummiest, lightest, and softest pancakes and cakes, and lasts much longer in the refrigerator because of its acidity, which inhibits growth of pathogenic bacteria.Since most store-bought buttermilk is quite fake and not quite the real thing, here are some easy ways in which you can make your very own homemade buttermilk.

#1 Super easy, all of 10 minutes, but rather watery kinda buttermilk

Watery buttermlk

This buttermilk is very easy to make at home and takes a maximum of 10 minutes. And although you can use this buttermilk in your baking recipes to make cakes, biscuits and pancakes, I found this version to be very light, watery and rather tasteless. But if you need a substitute, it works.

The Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar
  • 1 cup of milk (minus 1 tablespoon)
The Method
  • Pour the lemon juice or white vinegar in a measuring cup.
  • Add enough milk to bring the mixture up to the one-cup line.
  • Stir once and let the mixture stand for 5 – 10 minutes. You’ll notice tiny curdled bits in you measuring cup. If you do, you have your buttermilk. If you don’t, add a further half tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice and try again.
  • Refrigerate.

#2 Easy, perfect and yummy, but takes 1 – 2 days to make kinda buttermilk

A glass of buttermilk

This buttermilk is easy to make, requires cultured buttermilk (thick, real, buttermilk preferably from a health store or an organic store) and takes a day or two to make. This buttermilk is perfect to drink and use as a substitute in your baking recipes.

The Ingredients
  • 1 cup of cultured buttermilk
  • 3 cups of milk
  • A glass jar with a lid (screwed-on or clipped)
If you want smaller quantities, you can do so by reducing the quantities of the ingredients but maintaining the proportion, which is a 1:3 ratio.
The Method
  • Pour the buttermilk into the glass jar.
  • Next, add the milk, screw the lid on and shake the jar.
  • Leave the jar to rest in a relatively warm place for about 24 hours. You can check whether your buttermilk is ready by tilting the jar slightly. While milk does not coat the glass, buttermilk will (as you can see in the image right at the top of this post).
  • Now pop it into the refrigerator and it will stay for a few weeks.

#3 Not-so-easy, the best, but takes about 5 days to make kinda buttermilk

A glass of perfect buttermilk

This buttermilk is still easy to make, however, it involves you making your own buttermilk culture from raw milk and then takes a day or two to make. This buttermilk is the best buttermilk you could ever have, is perfect to drink, use in your baking recipes, and will make you a buttermilk addict (yes, that’s possible :)).

The Ingredients
  • 1 cup of raw milk
  • 1 cup of regular milk
  • A glass jar with a lid (screwed-on or clipped)
The Method
  • Let a cup of raw milk sit covered, at room temperature, until it has clabbered or thickened. This usually takes about 2 – 3 days.
  • Take a quarter or one-fourth of the clabbered milk in a glass jar and add a cup of regular milk to it.
  • Screw the lid on and shake the jar. Now, allow the jar to sit at room temperature until clabbered.
  • Repeat this sub-culturing process several times until the milk clabbers within 24 hours. To know that you’ve got the right buttermilk, taste it. It should be tart (not bitter), thick, and should not have a bad or off taste. If it’s perfect, you’ve got your buttermilk culture.
  • Now use the buttermilk culture with milk in the 1:3 ratio that was used in the Method #2 above, mix and allow to stand for 24 hours.
  • Refrigerate and use.

#4 Easy, quick, not the best, but makes butter and buttermilk

A bowl of homemade butter

This method is lovely because it gives you lovely homemade butter and buttermilk. The method is simple, quick and gives you buttermilk that’s nice to drink. I haven’t yet used this buttermilk to bake, so you could be my judge??

The Ingredients
  • Heavy cream (as much as you want)
The Method
  • Pour the heavy cream into a blender and blend the cream (with the lid on)
  • When you notice the yellow butter starting to separate from the now formed buttermilk, stop the blender and let the cream sit for a minute or two to allow the butter globules to rise to the top.
  • Pour out the buttermilk. Use a spoon to squeeze out as much buttermilk as possible. You have your buttermilk.

Now for the butter. Your homemade butter is already ready, but if you want it to last longer, wash it with ice-cold water by pouring ice cold water into the blender and blending it for a minute. Pour/squeeze out ALL the water, add a little coarse salt (for salted butter) and mix. Voila! You have your yummy homemade butter ready for use.

#5 Insanely easy, super quick, only for drinking kinda buttermilk

This method is everything I’ve called it. All you have to do is use store-bought curd, add some water to it to lighten the consistency as much as you want. Stir or blend. You have your buttermilk. Once again, I haven’t used this buttermilk to bake, so let me know if you do.

So that’s it from me. I know it’s easy to simply go out and buy fake buttermilk, but you really should give these simple methods a try. I’d love to hear from you on these 🙂



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