I make a fair number of things (cakes, meatballs, etc.) that call for a relatively small amount of buttermilk. Maybe 1/2 to 1 cup. So I end up buying a quart and then tossing what I don't use (I don't make these things that often). I know I can kind of simulate buttermilk with regular milk and a little vinegar, but America's Test Kitchen recently did a segment on this where they suggested buttermilk powder (presumably you mix it with water to get buttermilk).
Anyone out there every use this stuff? If so, how good is it? And is it available in any grocery store? It just seems like a much more frugal way to have buttermilk on hand.
SACO powdered buttermilk lives!
e-mail response I received today:
Thank you for your recent email and your interest in Saco Foods
products. We are always happy to hear from our customers.
Our Cultured Buttermilk Blend has been a staple in the Saco Foods
line for many years and we have no intention of discontinuing its
production. Perhaps you local store has decided to no longer carry the item.
Please forward your zip code and I will be happy to search for any
local sources and quote the most current mail order pricing as well. We
appreciate you taking the time to contact us and look forward to helping you
find our products.
Saco Foods, Inc.
P.O. Box 620707
Middleton, WI 53562
Same here; they're still making retail sizes.
" Throughout the Oklahoma City area, you should be able to find our Cultured Buttermilk Blend at the following store(s): IGA, Bestyet, Foodworld, Homeland and Wal Mart Supercenters . We supply the warehouses and then each individual store makes the decision about which items they choose to order for their location. Please check with the store manager if you are having difficulty locating the product at one of these stores in your area.
Our Cultured Buttermilk Blend is also available through our mail order option. The following chart shows size, price and ordering information based on your zip code. All ground UPS charges have been included.
12 boxes/4 – 1 cup envelopes $24.20
12 – 12 oz. canisters $43.95
12 – 16 oz. canisters $52.51
All orders are processed on the day payment is received. If you decide to proceed with ordering through our mail order option and wish to pay by check or money order, please forward your check or money order to the address below. We are now able to accept credit/debit card payments. Please call our office between 8:00 – 4:30 CST for current pricing on a credit card order."
So, it turns out that their 12 packs are cheaper than amazon, but look close at the current price of the 3 pack.
I've heard there are other brands out there (although I haven't seen them) but SACO is definitely discontinuing retail sales. I verified this with my local market's grocery manager today. I snagged the last canister in the store.
So I e-mailed SACO this evening to find out what's the scoop...
I use it all the time in any baking recipe that calls for buttermilk, and it works like a dream. You add the powder with the dry ingredients, and then water when you're supposed to add the buttermilk.
I wouldn't use it for something where the buttermilk isn't incorporated -- buttermilk dressing, buttermilk icing, etc.
I've learned you need to keep the powder well sealed. Other wise it absorbs moisture and becomes hard. If hard it has to be dissolved in water before use; if a powder it can be simply added to the dry ingredients.
More often than not, I've used it for pancakes, often following the recipe on the box (something like 6T of powder for a 2 cups of flour batch).
I looked for this ingredient recently in my city (here in Canada) without success. Folks kept telling me it was easily available, but I didn't seem to have any luck in the downtown core and without a car, its hard to access those suburban bulk stores where I suspect it could be found. A 'can' you say, do you have a brand name?
I am going to check that online source.
It's not a metal can, but a cardboard canister with a plastic top, like sometimes used for hot chocolate powder or mixed nuts. I've always seen it in the baking aisle. Sometimes it's in a box containing tear-open pre-measured packets.
However, you can freeze buttermilk. It separates, but shake it up before adding it to your batter and it's fine. I freeze it in 1-cup amounts.
Lasts for Years in the fridge.
I buy the real article when making Irish Soda Bread, but for casual breakfast items, this is a standby.
Love it, always have it in the fridge, always works. But no, you don't mix it with water. You add the powder along with your dry ingredients and then add the prescribed amount of water where the buttermilk is called for. The directions are on the back of the can. Store it in the fridge after it's been opened.
I like it. It's nice to have that on hand since, like you, I don't use buttermilk all that often. It's available in most grocery stores (but I'm in a bigger metropolitan area) but sometimes trickier to find in the store. OTOH, using milk w/ vinegar/lemon juice works well, too, as does thinning sour cream w/ regular milk.