Modern buttermilk is produced by fermenting milk with lactic acid bacteria, whereas originally buttermilk was a byproduct of manufacturing butter.
It has a more sour taste and a more viscous texture than milk, and it is typically employed in the preparation of baked goods including biscuits, pancakes, waffles, muffins, and cakes.
Baked items made with buttermilk have a texture that is airy and moist due to the buttermilk. Its acidity is what makes baking soda work as a rising agent in recipes, and it also helps activate other baking ingredients.
Despite this, a significant number of people do not keep it in their homes, while others do not make use of it because of dietary constraints.
Surprisingly, you can manufacture buttermilk alternatives — either dairy-based or nondairy — using products that you likely already have in your cupboard or refrigerator. These ingredients can be used to produce either buttermilk or buttermilk substitutes.
The following are some excellent alternatives to buttermilk:
Yes, you can replace sour cream! To achieve the desired consistency, you can thin it out with milk or water: Use three quarters of a cup of sour cream in place of each cup of buttermilk that is required, along with one fourth of a cup of liquid. Note that because sour cream contains a larger percentage of fat than other types of cream, the foods that contain it will have a more decadent flavor. For a mouthwatering flavor, include this component into dipping sauces and salad dressings.
The combination of milk and lemon juice.
Because I always have milk and lemons in the house, this is the most common alternative to buttermilk that I use. Making buttermilk through the use of an easy and dependable hack that involves sour milk produced through the use of an acid.
To make, put 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into a liquid measuring cup, then add enough whole or low-fat milk to bring the total up to 1 cup.
After giving the mixture a quick stir to integrate the ingredients, leave it to sit at room temperature for a few minutes so that it can become thicker and curdle.
This mixture can be substituted in any recipe that calls for 1 cup of buttermilk to achieve the desired results.
Because of the chemical reaction that takes place between baking soda and lactic acids, many different recipes for baking call for the inclusion of buttermilk as an ingredient.
Do you remember creating model volcanoes in the science class when you were in elementary school? When vinegar is added to baking soda, a significant number of bubbles will quickly rise to the surface of the container.
Similarly, although not quite as drastically, when you combine baking soda and acidified dairy in a batter, they generate carbon dioxide bubbles that assist leaven and lighten whatever it is that you are making — this is the real grown-up baking magic!
In order to create a substance that is functionally equivalent to buttermilk, take a liquid measuring cup and add one tablespoon of lemon juice, white vinegar, or apple cider vinegar to the cup. Next, fill the cup with enough whole milk to bring the total volume up to one cup.
After stirring the ingredients together, set them aside for five minutes before using them. If you wait too long, the milk may start to curdle; all you need to do to recombine the ingredients is whisk or shake the mixture, and then you can continue with your recipe. As a point of information, this buttermilk alternative can also be used in place of a vegan buttermilk substitute by substituting it with a non-dairy milk such as oat or almond milk.
Using white vinegar and milk
Add one tablespoon of white vinegar to a scant cup of whole milk or milk with a percentage of 2 percent that you have previously measured out. After stirring it, let it remain at room temperature for ten minutes to allow the flavors to develop. Because vinegar contains acid, the milk will get slightly curdled as a result of the vinegar.
Powdered buttermilk and water
You can purchase buttermilk in powdered or dried form, and then get it back to its original consistency by mixing it with water as directed on the product’s packaging.
Buttermilk should result from the combination of approximately 1/4 cup (30 grams) of powdered buttermilk and 1 cup (240 mL) of water. This should result in 1 cup (240 mL) of buttermilk.
In baking, if you are going to use powdered buttermilk instead of liquid buttermilk, it is recommended that you first combine the powder with the other dry ingredients, and then add the water at the point where you would normally add the liquid buttermilk.
Kefir is another fermented milk product, just like buttermilk. Since both buttermilk and kefir are made from fermented milk, they have a flavor profile and texture that are extremely comparable to one another.
Because of this, it is an ideal choice to use in place of buttermilk in recipes that call for the exact same amount of each ingredient.
You may use either whole milk or low-fat kefir; however, you must ensure that neither of these ingredients has been flavored or sweetened in any way.
Don’t forget to use up any buttermilk that may be left over.
In the event that you can only use buttermilk, and you buy some, only to realize that you have a lot of it left over, you will discover that buttermilk keeps for a longer period of time than milk does. In the event that it becomes separated, giving it a rapid and vigorous shake will help it come back together.
You have the option of freezing any leftover buttermilk in the event that you won’t be able to use it up in a timely manner (we recommend freezing in 1-cup servings or by the tablespoon in an ice cube tray, so you can defrost only what you need).
You can also have powdered buttermilk in your pantry if you like. Because it can be kept at room temperature for an extended period of time, all you need to do to prepare it is add water and measure out the exact amount called for in a recipe.
If you don’t typically buy buttermilk or have dietary restrictions, it’s not difficult to make buttermilk substitutes at home. Buttermilk is a useful ingredient for giving baked goods a rich texture and depth of flavor, but if you don’t typically buy it or have those restrictions, you can easily make substitutes.
An acidic component, such as lemon juice, vinegar, or cream of tartar, and a watery component, such as milk made from dairy cows or milk made from plants, are required for the preparation of a buttermilk alternative.
If you are interested in exploring one of these possibilities further, give it a shot the next time you are in the kitchen making baked goods.