Your recipe calls for buttermilk but you don’t have any on hand. Now what? Here’s how to make homemade buttermilk in under 10 minutes!
It’s happened to me more than a few times. I’m halfway through making some buttermilk biscuits or pancakes only to realize I don’t actually have any buttermilk in the fridge.
Luckily, it’s super easy to make buttermilk at home with this simple kitchen hack. And you only need 2 ingredients!
The basics of buttermilk
Originally, buttermilk was the liquid byproduct that was left over when people churned their own butter. It was often left out to ferment, which added acidity and gave it a distinct tanginess.
These days, buttermilk is made by introducing live cultures to pasteurized milk. That ferments the milk in a safer, more controlled way, producing milk with a tangy flavor similar to plain yogurt.
Ways to use buttermilk
Buttermilk’s unique flavor and high acidity make it a versatile ingredient in a wide range of dishes. And it can add texture to a lot of baked goods.
For example, it can provide volume to foods like pancakes, waffles, and biscuits — making them fluffier and softer. And it adds a pleasant tartness and depth of flavor to marinades, sauces, and dressings, like buttermilk ranch or buttermilk dips.
Plus, buttermilk is a great way to make delicious fried chicken. Dredging the chicken in buttermilk helps tenderize it and gives the chicken exterior a thicker, crispier consistency when fried.
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How to make buttermilk
So, how do you make homemade buttermilk? Just follow these step-by-step instructions.
Step 1: Gather your ingredients
You only need 2 ingredients for this, milk and some type of acid. A fattier milk will give you a thicker consistency so opt for at least 2%. For the acid, I prefer lemon juice. But you can also use lime juice or a clear type of vinegar with a mild flavor, like plain distilled or white vinegar.
- 1 tbsp lemon juice or plain distilled vinegar.
- 1 cup whole or 2% milk.
Step 2: Measure and combine
- Add one tablespoon of lemon juice to a measuring cup.
- Add the milk.
- Stir together.
Step 3: Let rest
- Allow the mixture to combine and rest for 10 minutes.
- When it’s ready, you’ll notice some slight curdling in the milk due to the acid.
- That’s it!
⭐️ Note: If you need to make more than one cup, simply add 1 tbsp of acid per 1 cup of milk.
Keep homemade made buttermilk in an airtight container like a glass mason jar and place it in the coldest part of your fridge. This is usually a back part of one of the shelves. It can stay fresh for up to two weeks. However, if you notice a sour smell, that’s an indication that it has started to spoil.
Buttermilk is basically fermented milk that’s been cultured with active (or safe) bacteria. That produces acid in buttermilk and gives it a tangy flavor. Milk is not cultured; it’s a fresh dairy product. Milk can also be non-fat (skim milk), whereas buttermilk typically contains 1-2% of milk fat.