Monday, February 20, 2012

Making Cultured Buttermilk

Continuing on my "living like a peasant" kick, as my son calls it, I have tried my hand at making cultured buttermilk. Buttermilk runs about $2 a quart and milk is $4 a gallon. It just makes sense to make it myself.

It is EASY!!

I buy cultured buttermilk about every other week to make pancakes, mostly, but I also use it in cakes and biscuits. One week, I decided to replace what I used with regular milk. By the next weekend, I had a somewhat thinner version of what I had started with - but it was still very much buttermilky.

I did a little research online and found that to get the thick buttermilk, you had to let it culture at room temperature for about 24 hours after adding the milk. This thickening is called clabbering. The cultures get their best activity at about 70F, which is why it was thickening so slow in the fridge.

I was a little nervous about leaving dairy out for that long, but the website I was visiting, created by a chemist, assured me that it would work and that he had done it for years. So I poured a little buttermilk in a quart jar and filled the rest with 2% milk (because that is what I had - he recommends whole milk). I put the open jar in a crock pot, put the lid on the pot, and waited 24 hours.

And it did work!

What you should be seeing here is the thickened buttermilk pulling from the side of the glass. Can you see how thick it got? And it smells so good!

I can't wait to use this in blueberry pancakes tomorrow!
Now I will always have fresh buttermilk and it will cost half as much!


Rachelle said...

Next you will be moving on to making fresh ricotta and mozarella cheeses! Living foods, gotta love 'em!

Sylvana said...

Rachelle, I can definitely see myself trying to make yogurt and sour cream. That stuff is expensive too!

Virtualsprite said...

Thank you for this! I've been using soured milk (milk mixed with lemon juice) for buttermilk, but this looks so much better.

Sylvana said...

Virtualsprite, although you do have to get the cultured buttermilk to start this, once you have made some, you can keep regenerating this. If you can't get the buttermilk where you are, I have seen sites that sell the culture online.

It is really easy! I used some in pancakes and it was delicious.

Jan said...

Thanks for the "new" way to make buttermilk. I will be using it regularly.