But there are also people like my mother-in-law who enjoyed nothing more than a glass of buttermilk with a thick slice of cornbread.
Whichever category you fall under, wouldn’t it be great if you knew how to make buttermilk yourself? It could save you money and a trip to the grocery store.
Here’s all you need to know to make buttermilk using three separate methods:
Method #1: Buttermilk for Cooking
Have you ever been midway through a recipe to suddenly see an ingredient pop up you thought you had on hand but don’t?
It can mean either setting the recipe to the side because you don’t have time to trek to the store at the moment; or you have to stop what you’re doing, load the kids in the car, and make the trip into town.
Well, the next time you’re making a recipe which calls for buttermilk, and you suddenly realize you don’t have buttermilk, don’t head for the car yet.
Instead, use this method to make your own buttermilk. It will give the desired flavor to the recipe. You could try to drink it, but it doesn’t share the same consistency as store-bought buttermilk which is why it’s better for cooking instead of drinking.
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar
- 1 cup of milk
This will give you approximately one cup of buttermilk. You can use the same ratio and make more if your recipe calls for it.
When making buttermilk using this method, pour one cup of milk and add either one tablespoon of lemon juice or one tablespoon of white vinegar.
Allow the glass of milk to sit at room temperature. You should notice within a few minutes the milk will begin to curdle.
At this point, you can use the milk in the recipe in the place of regular store-bought buttermilk.
Method #2: Buttermilk from Butter
I enjoy making my own butter. It tastes better than what I can usually purchase at the store, and it’s much cheaper than what you pay to buy real butter from many stores.
Why I also enjoy making my own butter, is because of the by-product – buttermilk. This buttermilk doesn’t taste the same as what you purchase from most stores.
It is a thinner consistency and has a sweet flavor. I enjoy using this style of buttermilk for baking, and my family (who usually avoids buttermilk) likes this style for drinking.
If you’re not usually a fan of buttermilk, you may enjoy this type for drinking because of the sweeter flavor.
Whichever way you intend to use it; when making your own butter, that is also how to make buttermilk, they go hand-in-hand. Your buttermilk can then be saved and used for cooking and baking, if for nothing else.
When making your own butter, you start with heavy cream. You can either place the heavy cream in a mason jar (which should only be filled to the halfway mark), or you can pour the heavy cream into a bowl and use a hand mixer to whip it.
If you use a mason jar, place a lid on the jar and shake until you see a glob of butter form. You’ll notice liquid separating from the butter. This liquid is buttermilk.
When whipping the heavy cream with a hand mixer, place the cream in a bowl and whip with the mixer. Again, you’ll see a blob of butter form and liquid separating from it.
Whichever method you choose, pour the liquid into a cup and save it for use in any other place you would use buttermilk.
Method #3: Cultured Buttermilk
This last method is perhaps my favorite and easiest method of how to make buttermilk. I like it because it’s for cultured buttermilk which is what you purchase at the store.
When many people make homemade items, they want their product to be what they’re used to. This method should produce a familiar product of the buttermilk you’re accustomed to.
This type of buttermilk can be used to make dressings, baking, cooking, or drinking with a slice of cornbread.
- 1/3 cup of store-bought buttermilk
- 1 cup of milk
This method will require you purchase buttermilk from the store. It will give you the ability to stretch the store-bought product even further.
While it may not be fully self-sustainable, you’re teaching yourself how to get more bang for your buck which we’re all hoping to do.
Place the 1/3 cup of buttermilk in a clean and sanitized mason jar. Add one cup of milk to the buttermilk and cover the jar loosely with a cloth or cheesecloth.
The mixture needs a little airflow, but you’re trying to avoid letting bugs into the milk during the waiting period.
This mixture will need to rest in a warm place at approximately 70°F for 12-24 hours. Check the mixture to see when it has thickened to the desired consistency.
When it has, refrigerate the buttermilk until you’re ready to use it.
If you don’t want to use store-bought buttermilk to make cultured buttermilk, you can purchase buttermilk cultures and sour cream cultures to add to milk and create cultured buttermilk this way as well.
I prefer to use store-bought buttermilk because it’s easier to pick up what I need locally, and is usually more cost-effective, but these are options for whichever suits your preference.
Now you know of multiple ways how to make buttermilk yourself. It is knowledge which will help you to become more self-sufficient, gives you more power to know what you’re consuming, and is also helpful when wanting to make other homemade products which require buttermilk.
Hopefully, you’ll enjoy gaining this wisdom and be pleased with the products you create in the future.