How To

How to make buttermilk

Need buttermilk and have none in the fridge? Try this cheat’s buttermilk that takes just 10 minutes.
Stack of buttermilk pancakes

Ever gone to make pancakes or muffins and been hindered by a lack of buttermilk in the fridge? It is easy enough to get out of this pinch with a buttermilk substitute or this quick cheat’s buttermilk using full cream milk and either vinegar or lemon.

10-minute cheat’s buttermilk (two ways)

Combine the following ingredients and stand for 10 minutes until the mixture curdles.

If using cream of tartar, stir the milk in gradually for a smooth consistency.

  • 1 cup (250ml) full-fat milk and 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 cup (250ml) full-fat milk and 1 tablespoon lemon juice

How to make buttermilk the old-fashioned way

If you have a bit more time you can make buttermilk easily at home with pouring cream and elbow grease. Simply beat cream in a bowl until the mixture thickens and then splits into butter and buttermilk. Strain the mixture into a glass bowl through a fine sieve lined with muslin. Gather the butter in the muslin and squeeze to release all the moisture. Press the solid butter into a container for later use. Refrigerate the buttermilk in a glass bottle or jug until ready for use.

The cultured buttermilk method

If you have even more time, you can make thick cultured buttermilk. For that you will need to buy commercial buttermilk. It may seem odd that you need to purchase buttermilk to make it, however the process is like making yoghurt, in that once you’ve made it you can save a little for future batches. And like yoghurt, buttermilk has a very good shelf life and many uses.

Whey to go with leftover buttermilk

  • Mix with mayonnaise for a tangy buttermilk dressing.
  • Blend with fruit for a smoothie.
  • Use instead of milk over muesli.
  • Make a marinade for pork, chicken or lamb.
  • Stir a little into icing sugar in place of water or lemon juice for a drizzling icing.
  • Freeze leftovers in an ice-cube tray, it may curdle on thawing, but this will not adversely affect the recipe.

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