Monday, February 25, 2013

Making Cultured Buttermilk

A few months ago, I ordered a Cultures for Health Buttermilk Starter Kit to try to culture our own buttermilk. I had never really cultured anything (on purpose haha) before and I was weary of doing it. And actually, I don't often use buttermilk but I am into trying new things lately. Once you make cultured buttermilk, you need to continue to make it at least every seven days before the "mother" dies. I am assuming this is similar to the "mother" of apple cedar vinegar.

So what is buttermilk? Basically, if you have whipping cream and you shake it up, you will get butter and buttermilk (the liquid part). If you would like to know, the cream is what rises to the top of unpasturized milk

I have cultured buttermilk quite a bit now! It is fabulous in recipes!

All you do is add the "culture" packet (you get two) to 1 cup milk and leave it out at 70-78 degrees for 12-24 hours (I have found, even longer sometimes). The buttermilk cultures fight with the milk cultures. Apparently, if the milk cultures win, you end up with whey and curds. If the buttermilk cultures win, you get buttermilk.

What do you plan on using the buttermilk for?
I actually had no idea when I started culturing it. At this rate, we end up with about 2 cups a week.
Some people drink buttermilk straight (eek, maybe one day...) But most people use it in baking cakes, or waffles, or pancakes. Anyway, here are some recipes that I have enjoyed using my buttermilk in:

Whole wheat buttermilk biscuits - I actually used all whole wheat flour but would recommend whole wheat pastry flour!
Buttermilk Pancakes - These were so good!
Buttermilk Waffles - I have not used this recipe yet, but I have made one similar.

I have yet to make these recipes but they are on my to-do list.
Low-fat Buttermilk Ranch
Buttermilk Ranch Cheeseball
Buttermilk Syrup

The buttermilk looks like thin yogurt. It has a sour smell and taste to it. So one wouldn't typically think it is going to go well in recipes, but it makes a difference in cakes and pancakes.

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