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Buttermilk or cultured buttermilk is a tangy liquid dairy product.

Characteristics edit

Buttermilk originally referred to the liquid left behind after churning butter[1][2][3]—this was often tangy due to fermentation of the cream prior to churning,[4] as well as low in fat due to the separation of the butter. Today, commercial cultured buttermilk is made separately from the butter churning process by simply inoculating low-fat milk with lactic acid bacteria.[3][5]

Because most of the fat is removed with the butter, buttermilk is not very rich. It is sour and thicker than milk due to the acid's effect on the dairy.[1][3] Buttermilk is sometimes available in a dry powdered form.

Selection and storage edit

Buttermilk should be stored in the fridge. It has a relatively long shelf life, but it will go bad.

Use edit

Buttermilk is quite popular as a refreshment in India, where it is made into a drink known as lassi. When used in baked goods, buttermilk tenderizes them in addition to contributing flavor and leavening (if combined with baking soda).[3][5]

If you don't have buttermilk on hand, there are a couple acceptable substitutes. Plain kefir is very similar and can generally be substituted exactly. Sour milk can be made by adding a little vinegar or lemon/lime juice to milk, and this will contribute acidity.[3] It will, however, have a different flavor profile and thickness. To avoid this, you can also dilute yogurt or sour cream with milk until the correct consistency.

Recipes edit

References edit

  1. a b Labensky, Sarah R.; Hause, Alan M.; Martel, Priscilla (2018-01-18). On Cooking: A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals. Pearson. ISBN 978-0-13-444190-0.
  2. Gisslen, Wayne (2016-09-21). Professional Baking. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-119-14844-9.
  3. a b c d e Figoni, Paula I. (2010-11-09). How Baking Works: Exploring the Fundamentals of Baking Science. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-39267-6.
  4. Goldstein, Darra (2015). The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-931339-6.
  5. a b Amendola, Joseph; Rees, Nicole (2003-01-03). Understanding Baking: The Art and Science of Baking. Wiley. ISBN 978-0-471-44418-3.