Do you love buttermilk pancakes served with real butter and drizzled with real maple syrup? Old-fashioned waffles? Grandma’s biscuits, fresh out of the oven?
It’s a shame people these days don’t know what buttermilk is for. Why did our grandmothers and great-grandmothers add buttermilk to their quick breads?
Here’s a hint. They used buttermilk because their mothers used buttermilk. For many hundreds, if not thousands of years, generations of women ground up wheat into a whole grain flour, then soaked it in buttermilk overnight before using to make quick breads.
These days, we mix in buttermilk to our refined white flour to get that old-fashioned flavor. But we forgot how our grandmothers did it, and thus we do it all wrong.
It turns out that soaking the whole wheat flour in buttermilk not only makes the resulting bread light and fluffy (as airy as white bread), but it also makes the whole grain vastly more digestible by neutralizing the phytic acid and making all those vitamins and minerals accessible to our bodies.
So, in honor of old-fashioned whole wheat buttermilk pancakes, I am going to make buttermilk this week and share the how-to with you all. Stay tuned.