Buttermilk is a tangy, lightly acidic liquid that is derived from the churning process of making butter from cream. Historically, it was the residual liquid leftover after the butter was extracted, but today's commercial buttermilk is typically made by adding lactic acid bacteria culture to low-fat milk. Its thick consistency and rich, tangy flavor have made it a popular ingredient in various culinary applications, especially in baking and as a marinade. For home cooks, buttermilk can be utilized in a wide array of recipes like pancakes, biscuits, salad dressings, and fried chicken. It also serves as a natural tenderizer and leavening agent, thanks to its acidity that reacts well with baking soda. In cases where buttermilk is not readily available, it can easily be replaced by combining milk with vinegar or lemon juice, allowing it to curdle slightly.
CAL / 100G
Buttermilk FAQ
When it comes to buttermilk, many people go wrong when they either under-utilize its versatility in different kinds of dishes, or they discard it after it curdles. However, curdled buttermilk is not bad. In fact, it's this thick and chunky texture that makes it perfect for baking, as it works to soften gluten and give baked goods a light, airy texture. Moreover, it's important to remember that because of its acidity, buttermilk reacts with baking soda and therefore, can be used to give muffins, cakes, and other baked goods a nice rise. One little known trick to maximize the value of buttermilk is that it can be frozen for future use. So next time when you buy it for a recipe and have some leftover, just pour it into ice cube trays and freeze. Once frozen, you can transfer the cubes to a sealed freezer bag for future use. To get the most out of buttermilk, go beyond baking and use it in a wide range of dishes. For instance, you can use it as a marinade for poultry, as its tanginess and acidity help to tenderize the meat and enhance its flavor. It can also be used to make creamy salad dressings, smoothies, or even as a cool, tangy drink straight or mixed with spices.
What can I substitute for buttermilk in a recipe?
Why is buttermilk used in baking?
Can I use buttermilk in place of regular milk in a recipe?
Can I drink buttermilk straight?
Is it normal for buttermilk to be lumpy or have chunks?
Can you use buttermilk to make butter?
Can I use buttermilk in a smoothie?
Does buttermilk help in tenderizing meat?
Can I use buttermilk in a yeast bread recipe?
Can I freeze buttermilk?
Expiration & Storage Tips
When does buttermilk expire?
Buttermilk usually stays good for about 2 weeks after its 'best by' date, as long as it's been kept continuously refrigerated and remains unopened. Once it has been opened, it's best to use the buttermilk within a week. While it's typically not recommended to freeze buttermilk due to texture changes after thawing, it can indeed be frozen for up to 3 months if you plan to use it in baking recipes that don't rely on its texture.
How do you tell if buttermilk is bad?
Knowing if a buttermilk has spoiled is pretty simple. Firstly, check the consistency: buttermilk is normally thick, but if it has become chunky or lumpy, it's time to toss it out. A foul or sour smell that's stronger than its normal tangy odor is another clear sign of spoilage. Also, if there's any sign of mold, discard the entire container immediately.
Tips for storing buttermilk to extend shelf life
• Always keep buttermilk refrigerated. The back of the fridge where the temperature is coldest is the best spot. • If you need to store opened buttermilk longer, consider transferring it into a glass jar and sealing it tightly. Glass is less porous than plastic and can help prolong its freshness. • For those intending to freeze buttermilk for later use, consider portioning and storing it in ice cube trays. Once frozen, transfer the cubes to a zippered freezer bag. This way, you can thaw the exact amount needed for your recipe. • Don't forget to shake your buttermilk before use. It naturally separates due to its low-fat content.
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