Most people like old-fashioned pancakes, waffles, and biscuits, that their grandmothers cook for them, but not all of them know about the main ingredient which makes homemade quick breads so fluffy and light. We are talking about buttermilk1.
For hundreds of years generations of women, living in different countries of the world, use buttermilk for making baked goods. It betters the taste of pancakes and makes them healthier, because it neutralizes phytic2 acid and helps to digest minerals and vitamins.
You may wonder why you should know how to make buttermilk as you can buy it in a dairy section of any grocery store. The answer may surprise you. Most of them sell fake buttermilk! Look at the labels on the bottle, read the list of ingredients, and you will understand what we mean.
So, if you want to be sure that you eat a healthy food, you should better make buttermilk on your own.
Kinds of Buttermilk
In general, buttermilk can be of three different types: traditional, commercial, and acidified.
Traditional one is left after churning3 butter (now you know why it is named this way). The fat, consisting in milk, separates from it and floats on the surface. The liquid which is left over is buttermilk. You can find tiny bits of butter in it.
Acidified Buttermilk is made by many housewives by adding lemon juice, cream of tartar or vinegar to whole milk4.
Commercial buttermilk if made by fermenting with bacteria of lactic acid (usually Streptococcus lactis or Lactobacillus bulgaricus). You will find this stuff in most dairy sections.
We will not teach you how to make commercial buttermilk. You can buy it for a low price in a local grocery store. The traditional way of making buttermilk is pretty complicated, and its explaining requires a separate article under the title "How to Make Butter". It is much easier to make acidified buttermilk.
How to Make Buttermilk
For making this kind of buttermilk you will need the following ingredients and tools:
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon vinegar (1 tbsp lime/lemon juice or 1 ? tsp cream of tartar)
First pour vinegar (juice or cream of tartar) into a bowl.
Top it up with whole milk. Leave the mixture for 10-15 minutes.
Congratulations! Your acidified buttermilk is ready. You can use it.
You can replace buttermilk with some other products:
Thin sour cream with milk till it gets the necessary consistency.
Combine plain yogurt with milk.
You can also use coconut milk instead of buttermilk if you like its taste.
Now you know how to make buttermilk and can easily produce it next time when you want to bake pancakes or waffles.