Making buttermilk at home is easy, taking just 5 minutes and only two ingredients. Combine staple ingredients, whole milk, and white vinegar, in a bowl to make a quick homemade version for all your baking needs!
I do a lot of baking around here. I love cooking - but I LOVE baking. It is therapeutic and a creative release for me. There are some baking recipes that I make quite often like Oven-Baked Cast Iron Skillet Biscuits that require buttermilk and to be honest with you, I rarely keep a jug of it in my fridge or buy it at the store. And just for the fact that I don't use it all that often. So I don't want to buy it and then just have it sitting in the fridge just to go bad. Plus I HATE wasting money and food - especially with how expensive food (and everything) is right now.
Also, honestly the majority of the time I decide I want to bake something or am in the mood for a specific recipe, which right now in the heat of the summer is strawberry shortcake, and I want to make it right then and not have to go to the store for ingredients I don't have.
So 99% of the time I just make my own - and it is so easy! Making a homemade buttermilk substitute at home just requires 2 ingredients (that you likely already have on hand) and 5 minutes. So no more going to the store for 1 thing - or worse - just not making the recipe at all because you don't have it anymore!
Originally buttermilk comes from the liquid leftover from making your own butter - hence the make BUTTER-MILK...it makes sense lol. But when you need a quick substitution for a recipe all you need is 2 things:
- whole milk
- white vinegar
How to Make
- In a glass measuring cup, pour in 1 cup of whole milk.
- Add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Use like you would buttermilk for any recipe.
This is an easy 1-to-1 ratio. 1 cup of whole milk to 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. You can easily make more or less depending on your recipe and needs. Just convert accordingly (for example: if you need 2 ½ cups of buttermilk for a recipe - you would need 2 ½ cups of whole milk and 2 ½ tablespoons of vinegar).
The acidity of the vinegar will react with the milk and curdle it slightly. This also will give it a slightly tangy taste that we need for recipes like Cheddar Chive Biscuits.
Besides the taste and tang of buttermilk, it's also used in baking recipes to create a light and fluffy texture, like pancakes. When the acidic buttermilk is combined with baking soda in a recipe, there is a chemical reaction that happens to create bubbles, which then results in a fluffy and airy baked good.
What to Use Buttermilk In
Buttermilk that is purchased at the grocery is very thick in texture and not a by-product of making butter. It is typically cultured buttermilk in which lactic acid is added to milk and fermented - making it easier to produce in large quantities. However, traditional buttermilk that is made from making butter is very watery and low in fat.
You can use homemade buttermilk in a number of recipes such as:
- tender southern biscuits
- dips and dressings like homemade ranch
- used to marinate meats like chicken
- quick breads
- and cakes