On Line Cookbook

Buttermilk Subsitutes

Recipe Information
Buttermilk Substitutes, (with *Yogurt making technique)

Lyman Gifford

Serves/Makes:1 quart

  • A
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) commercial buttermilk
  • 1 quart (950 ml) regular milk
  • OR B
  • 1 cup (225 ml) yogurt
  • 3 cups (700 ml) regular milk
  • OR C
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) acid (vinegar or lemon juice for example)
  • 1 cup (225 ml) regular milk
  • (Make more or less using above proportions)
  • -Bring milk to almost scalding then LET COOL to body temp
  • -Add 1/2 cup (125 ml) buttermilk,
  • -Mix well, Cover and keep warm overnight
  • (a foam cooler is ideal)
  • The starter has innoculated the milk, and this will
  • incubate the culture, thickening into real buttermilk
  • OR
  • -Mix 1 cup (225 ml) yogurt with 3 cups (700 ml) milk, for immediate use.
  • OR
  • -Add vinegar or lemon juice to cup of milk
  • It will slightly thicken (clabber) in a few minutes.
A particular recipe may call for Buttermilk as a leaving agent with baking soda, and/or as a tenderizing agent, and also for its unique flavour. Regular milk alone is not a good substitute - in fact the recipe may fail completely.

Modern buttermilk is no longer a by-product of buttermaking but is nowadays a cultured product, that is, milk is innoculated with friendly and beneficial bacteria, (as is yogurt, and many cheeses). As such, commercial buttermilk can be used as the innoculant or "starter" in the same way as one can make yogurt at home by adding a small amount of the commercial stuff as starter. *Use the same proportions and technique for YOGURT as for buttermilk as noted above. Be absolutely sure to let the milk cool to about 97 degree F before adding the starter - high heat will kill it.

(Note that if you use the 1 cup yogurt to 3 cups milk for immediate use, it is not a culture requiring an incubation period, simply adding the acidic yogurt to the milk clabbers it for immediate use)