There are a lot of reasons to learn how to make buttermilk.
Fluffy whole wheat pancakes. Grandma’s flaky biscuits. Ranch dressing.
Need I say more?
This hero of cultured dairy products makes grains more digestible, salads more tempting, and white sauces more tasty.
It’s a shame that it’s darn near impossible to buy.
A trip into the dairy section of just about any local grocery store will leave the real food lover disappointed. Most buttermilk is fake!
Take a look at this store-bought buttermilk label and see if you can’t spot what’s wrong:
Or, better yet, answer this — what’s right about it?
If you want good, old-fashioned cultured buttermilk, you’ve either got to go to a health food store or make it yourself.
So, here’s how you can do it.
First, the EASY way.
- 1 cup of cultured buttermilk
- 3 cups of whole milk
- 1 lidded glass jar
1) Quantities don’t matter as much as proportion. Stick to the 1 to 3 ratio, and your buttermilk will always turn out well (as long as your starting culture is alive) whether you’re making 1 cup, 4 cups, or a gallon.
2) If you use raw or non-homogenized milk, your cream is likely to separate and culture on its own as well. That layer of cultured cream is creme fraiche (European sour cream). Enjoy!
Next, the (slightly) harder way, which involves making your own buttermilk culture from raw milk.
- Allow a cup of filtered fresh raw milk to sit covered at room temperature until it has clabbered (usually several days).
- Place 1/4 cup of the clabbered milk in a pint mason jar, add a cupof fresh milk (does not have to be raw at this point), cover, shake to mix, allow to sit at room temperature until clabbered.
- Repeat this transfer of sub-culturing several more times until the milk dependably clabbers in 24 hours. Taste a small amount to confirm that it is tart, thickened, and has no off flavors. It should taste tart not bitter, for instance.
- To then make a quart of buttermilk with this culture, add 6 ounces of the buttermilk to a quart jar, fill with fresh milk, cover, shake to mix, allow to sit at room temperature until clabbered.
If you’re looking for a good starter culture for Buttermilk (or any other fermented foods like Kombucha, sourdough, yogurt, etc.), check out the listings on my resources page.