Cultured buttermilk is a rich, not sweet, milk used in so many recipes. From biscuits to cake, it’s a staple in any baker’s kitchen, but it adds up! Buttermilk is a surprisingly expensive ingredient, and there isn’t much variety when it comes to choosing between brands or even fat content when you’re at the store. Thankfully, it’s easy, and economical, to make your own!
Today is also my October Secret Recipe Club reveal day, and I’m so excited to bring you this amazing kitchen trick from Grandma Loy’s Kitchen. Grandma Loy has been blogging quite a while, so she has loads of recipes on the site, especially desserts! But I was picking my recipe when I was in a savory mood, and almost made Curried Rice and Vegetables or Serbian Cabbage, but then I came across a post explaining how to make your own cultured buttermilk and I couldn’t resist!
I may live in a major metro area, but I definitely like to pretend I have a tiny homestead in our row house, so the idea of making my buttermilk from scratch was so exciting, AND IT WORKS! I’ve actually had my batch of homemade cultured buttermilk sitting in my fridge for almost three weeks now, with refresh batches made as needed using our organic raw milk. It is hands-down the best buttermilk I have ever EVER had the pleasure of baking with, and I love that I can freeze it when I know I won’t be using it for a little while, so I will never run out. With a little planning ahead, I can also scale up the amount of buttermilk in the house and have plenty on hand for baking marathons. Once you make this, I bet you won’t go back to store bought either!
I did start with store bought buttermilk, I used a little from a container I had on hand as starter for my first batch. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can order a buttermilk starter culture as well. It comes in little packets and you just mix it with your milk and let it set. I make and store my buttermilk in a large mason jar because it’s practical, looks cute, and pours easily to measure out for recipes.
In case you’re wondering what I mean by “cultured” buttermilk, let me explain. There are two kinds of buttermilk. There is uncultured buttermilk, which is a natural byproduct of the butter making process. It’s thin, but can still be used in some recipes or you may drink it if you like the flavor. The buttermilk most commonly purchased at the store for use in baking though is cultured buttermilk, the thick tangy liquid called for in most baking recipes.
I made one small change to Grandma Loy’s recipe. She calls for the addition of a sprinkle of kosher salt to the buttermilk, but I forgot, and so it wasn’t included and it turned out fine! This keeps about two weeks in the fridge, but if you aren’t going to use it in that amount of time, freeze what you have, and then thaw as needed for baking or to make more.
How to Make Cultured Buttermilk
- 1 part buttermilk
- 4 parts milk low fat or whole
- large jar
- Combine your buttermilk starter and milk in a large jar or other container with a lid.
- Cover and shake vigorously for 30-45 seconds, then leave out at room temperature for 12-24 hours. The buttermilk is ready when it is slightly thick and smells tangy.
- Refrigerate and use or freeze within two weeks.