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Jan 11, 2007 04:46 AM

When buttermilk goes bad (how can you tell?)

I bought some buttermilk for baking and when I opened it there were lumps. Yes, lumps. The buy by date is tomorrow, but it was in my car (unrefrigerated, but hey, it's winter) here in CA for just about an hour. Can I still use it in baked goods? Is this what it's supposed to look like? (Buttermilk novice, can you tell???)

Thanks in advance for any and all help.

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  1. There will probably be some who argue with me, but I keep buttermilk much longer than the due date. (Usually when I see mold, it's time to toss!) Shake it up and the lumps should disappear. You can also freeze it. I put it into plastic bags and then defrost. I never use up a whole quart at one time!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Addisonchef

      I'm with you...and relieved to hear I'm not the only one out there who uses buttermilk way (and i mean WAY) past its due date. I should follow your lead and freeze it. Because, i've used it like 3mos past its date, smelled normal, no ill effects--granted, i'm only using like 1/4c in bread. But it wouldn't have occured to me to freeze it, so thanks!

    2. If you use buttermilk only once and a while I keep Powered Buttermilk around. For sale in bakinging dept. of your supermarket or at your natural foods store. It has a super long shelf life and saves me from having to find buttermilk at the store everytime I make biscuits or pancakes.

      1. I actually thought it was supposed to have lumps! It should be sour, sort of like a thin, sour yogurt. Yours sounds fine. I wouldn't feel too bad about keeping it past the sell by date, either.

        1. Thanks a lot! Guess I can make those muffins after all!

          By the way, how would you describe the "normal" smell for buttermilk? Mine smells kind of like yogurt--doesn't smell "bad" but it definitely doesn't smell like milk.

          1. For pancakes, buttermilk is my choice. Lumps or not, and even past the due date, I use it and our cakes are simply the best. I used buttermilk this a.m. it was 1 month past the due date and it had lumps. It had the same buttermilk scent as new. It was fine. This morning's pancakes were the best ever.