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Buttermilk is a healthy, low-fat addition to baked goods that helps to tenderize yeast breads and makes quick breads, muffins, waffles and pancakes lighter.
When buttermilk is used to replace plain milk in baking, baking soda can usually be used to replace part or all of the baking powder, thereby helping to eliminate one more chemical in the diet. Buttermilk can often serve as a replacement for sour cream, too.
Buttermilk may also be consumed as Kefir or yogurt would and its incorporation into the diet shares many of the same healthful benefits. Here is a simple method for making your own buttermilk at home!
4 cups water (70-80°F)
1 1/3 cups non-fat dry milk powder
1 cup store-bought buttermilk (70-80°F)
Have a clean, 1 quart glass jar ready.
Bring 5 cups water to a boil. Remove 1 cup of water and pour it into the glass jar to sterilize it. Cover tightly and shake it around so that the hot water reaches all parts of the jar. Discard water.
Allow the remaining 4 cups of water in the pan to cool slightly, then stir in the non-fat dry milk powder; stir until dissolved.
Remove 1 cup commercial buttermilk from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature.
When the boiled water/milk powder cools to 70-80°F, stir in the room temperature buttermilk.
Cover jar with cheesecloth (do not cap). Set aside until the mixture is clabbered (about 12-18 hours). The buttermilk will thicken.
Cover tightly and refrigerate until needed.
Always reserve 1 cup of the buttermilk as a starter for the next batch. Making buttermilk is similar to making yogurt; to be successful, you'll need to start off with buttermilk that contains active live cultures.
Cooks Note: If you're in a hurry, the boiled water step may be skipped, but we like to begin with sterilized water to make a good environment for the buttermilk cultures. You may also use bottled or filtered water.
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