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How big a deal is it if I use whole milk instead of buttermilk in a recipe?

asked by isabelita almost 8 years ago

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11 answers 22046 views
esgray
added almost 8 years ago

My dad's wife taught me a great trick for turning whole milk into a buttermilk substitute. Found a link to it here: http://frugalliving.about.com/od/condimentsandspices/r/Buttermilk_Sub.htm.

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Lexmccall
added almost 8 years ago

yeah, no, milk is not a good sub on its own here. But do you have a lemon lying around? Add a teaspoon of lemon juice for each cup of milk, let it sit for 10 minutes, and then you have (for baking purposes) buttermilk. Also a good sub: plain yogurt (but not fat free, and not greek yogurt)

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mrslarkin
added almost 8 years ago

If you are baking something and your recipe is using only baking soda, it will be a big deal if you don't compensate for the lost acidity from the buttermilk. Mix 1 tablespoon or so of lemon juice or white vinegar into the milk to make a buttermilk substitute. What are you making??

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esgray
added almost 8 years ago

Darn. I'm not sure my link worked, but it's the same trick both the others mentioned, with the lemon juice/vinegar and buttermilk. Good luck!!

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isabelita
added almost 8 years ago

Thank you everyone. I knew about the milk/lemon or vinegar or creme of tarter but wondered how the recipe would be affected if I did not use buttermilk but whole milk instead. Mrslarkin the loss of acidity makes sense. I'm making the cranberry/cornmeal quick bread from Epicurious.

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Soozll
added almost 8 years ago

You can use milk but you need to add baking powder to your mixture. If there are any acidic ingredients in the recipe, you may need to keep some of the baking soda in the recipe as well. Here's a much better explanation from King Arthur Flour, the formula for subing is at the bottom of the page.: http://www.kingarthurflour...

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Allycakes
added almost 8 years ago

I have always used regular milk with a little bit of vinegar or lemon juice in it to replace buttermilk typically gives the same effect!

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RobertaJ
added almost 8 years ago

If you routinely find yourself needing buttermilk, it may be worth your while to find some instant, dried buttermilk powder. It's shelf-stable until you open it, and then can be kept in the fridge for a very long time. You just put it in with your other dry ingredients, then add water in the amount of the buttermilk the recipe needs (the ratios are printed on the can). I know King Arthur Flour sells it, and I've seen it in the grocery stores around here, the brand name is Saco.

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innoabrd
added almost 8 years ago

for any kind of baking you're using buttermilk for the acid in it. Baking soda needs an acid to work, without it you're likely to end up with a rather brick-like corn bread. Baking powder, on the other hand, comes with its own acid so it wouldn't be as big a deal.

For non-baking recipes, plain milk is more likely to be OK, though yogurt or even sour cream might give a better result. Really depends on what you're making!

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Vanessa Martinez
added 10 months ago

What if you’re making chicken tenders & you only have 1 % low-fat milk?

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Anitalectric
Anitalectric

Anita is a vegan pastry chef & founder of Electric Blue Baking Co. in Brooklyn.

added almost 8 years ago

Agreed. 1 tsp lemon juice or vinegar per cup of milk. Stir it in and allow to curdle a little before adding to recipe. PS- this trick also works with coconut, almond or other nondairy milk.

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