Thursday, August 8, 2013

Buttermilk Substitute

Buttermilk is used in baking (and pancakes!) to add lightness. The acidity in the buttermilk reacts with the soda to produce gas, which makes the dish light and airy, and the soda neutralizes the acid so it doesn't taste sour. You can usually substitute sour milk. Yes, the kind of sour milk you sometimes find when an opened bottle of milk gets shoved to the back of the fridge and forgotten. (I sometimes suspected Dad of intentionally shoving cartons of milk to the back so we'd "have to" make chocolate cake to use up the sour milk!)

There's an easier way to get soured milk to use in recipes, though, and you only end up with as much as the recipe calls for. That's by adding some lemon juice or white vinegar to milk and letting it sit for a few minutes. Here's how.

For each cup of buttermilk or sour milk that your recipe calls for, start with just under a cup of milk - skim, low fat, whole or even cream. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar. (I've used apple cider vinegar when that was all I had and it didn't seem to matter.) Stir it well, then let it sit for about five to ten minutes. It should have thickened slightly. Now use it in your recipe just as you would buttermilk or sour milk.

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