Cultured buttermilk is more than just soured milk that is used for baking. It is a sweet and probiotic beverage that has a slight flavour of cheese. Making fermented buttermilk is so EASY that it is a great alternative to homemade yogurt and milk kefir.
Types of Buttermilk
There are two basic types of buttermilk:
- Leftover from churning butter: Cultured butter and buttermilk can be made from cream that has been fermented prior to churning. It’s really fun and easy to make homemade butter, and it’s a good way to make buttermilk!
- Fermented buttermilk: Cultured buttermilk is usually made by fermenting skim milk with a bacteria culture. It is REALLY easy to make fermented buttermilk at home.
The hardest part of making buttermilk is finding a good buttermilk culture to start with! In Ireland we used Cuinneog, and in Canada we use Avalon buttermilk. Not all commercial buttermilk has a good culture. You may have to experiment with a few different brands to find something that works. Alternatively, you could buy a packet of buttermilk culture online (affiliate link.)
How To Use Fermented Buttermilk
Fermented buttermilk is delicious. It is nothing like buttermilk made from milk and lemon juice. It is sweeter and richer than yogurt and kefir. In Brittany, fermented buttermilk is more popular than milk!
Here are some reasons to enjoy fermented buttermilk:
- Buttermilk is made with a mesophilic (room temperature loving) culture so it is REALLY easy to make!
- It is very traditional to bake with buttermilk. It is perfect for providing the acidity in soda bread, pancakes and muffins.
- Buttermilk can be served as a mild-tasting yogurt. To make a thick, yogurt-like buttermilk, heat the milk like you would for yogurt, then let it cool to room temperature before stirring in the culture. There’s no need to use a yogurt maker because it prefers temperatures around 22 C (72F.)
- Culturing milk with buttermilk is a great way to preserve milk while camping or traveling. It doesn’t need to be kept as cool.
Buttermilk can be made by fermenting milk with a buttermilk culture. Fermented buttermilk is a sweet and probiotic drink. It is a delicious substitute for yogurt, or use it for baking.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 2 1/2 cups 1x
- Category: Beverage
- Method: Fermented
- Cuisine: Traditional
- 1/2 cup cultured buttermilk
- 2 cups milk (whole or skim)
- Mix the buttermilk and milk in a clean glass jar.
- Put on a lid and leave the jar to ferment on the counter for 4-12 hours. Buttermilk thickens best at temperatures of 22 C (72F.)
- Taste the buttermilk, when it is ready store it in the fridge.
- The first time you make buttermilk, it may take a little longer to achieve a nice flavour. It will depend on the quality of your buttermilk culture. However, once you’ve established your culture, it should ferment quickly.
- To maintain an active buttermilk culture, try to make buttermilk every 2 weeks.
Keywords: probiotic, cultured, gluten free, easy, healthy, yogurt, kefir