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Buttermilk Powder?

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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.

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  1. 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.

    1 Reply
    1. re: chowser

      I also keep it on hand for baking because I don't often remember to buy buttermilk.

      If you can't find it locally King Arthur offers it in their catalog.

    2. It's great to have around for a lactic acid bump. If you can't find it locally:

      http://www.google.com/products?hl=en&...

      2 Replies
      1. re: FoodFuser

        I've never seen it in grocery stores (although I haven't exactly looked all that hard; will do now). I just ordered some on-line. Even with shipping I'm thinking it will be cheaper than buying a quart everytime I need a cup.

        1. re: bnemes3343

          The problem I've found is that different stores stock it in different places. I found it under "gourmet" foods in one store, "natural" food products in another but usually in the baking section.

      2. 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.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rockycat

          Thanks. Have you been able to buy this in any old grocery store? If so, I assume the baking aisle?

        2. 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.

          2 Replies
          1. re: LJS

            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.

            1. re: LJS

              http://www.sacofoods.com/culteredbutt...

              http://www.amazon.com/Saco-Cultured-B...

              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.

            2. Powered buttermilk can be purchased at Super Wal-mart, it's usually in the baking aisle.

              1. I pretty much always, always use powdered buttermilk in recipes in which I can mix with dry ingredients. As another said, I add to dry ingredients, then add the water equivalent when it calls for the buttermilk in the recipe.

                2 Replies
                1. re: jayaymeye

                  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).

                  1. re: paulj

                    After ordering some on-line and paying a premium for shipping, I actually looked for it in the baking aisle of my local A&P and, lo and behold, there it was. Guess I should have looked first.

                2. Someone posted on a thread on the SF board that Saco is discontinuing its powdered buttermilk for consumer sale. Don't know if that's really the case, but if it is I will be unhappy. Getting it in bulk is certainly a pain vs at the supermarket.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                    I don't know...there was no mention of any change when I was on their website last week. I'm going to have to check locally and see what's what.

                    If it's not in markets, I know it's available in a 3-pack on Amazon. :)

                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                      Discontinuing SACO? That is terrible news. I could never make decent biscuits until I found SACO and tried their recipe. I will lay in a supply.

                      1. re: Querencia

                        You can certainly buy buttermilk powder online, e.g., from King Arthur Flour, and there's a place in my area that apparently has it in their bulk section, but I don't want to have to go so far out of the way or order. I hope the rumor proves false.

                      2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                        Checked with my local market today...had the grocery manager do a lookup, and the rumor is true. Saco is being discontinued at retail. I picked up the last one on the shelf, and I'll be looking at Amazon for that 3-pack.

                        1. re: mcsheridan

                          Thanks, that sucks. I will stock up.

                          1. re: mcsheridan

                            Wow. Who ever would have thought that such a kitchen staple would be discontinued. Guess I will go grab the remaining boxes at my local market.

                            1. re: smtucker

                              I don't give up easy, though. I just e-mailed SACO to hear it from them. Perhaps there's a way... :)

                        2. of course, it would make so much more sense in buttermilk came in pints rather than quarts. so when i have some leftover, i freeze it in ice cube trays and store in a freezer bag. keeps for a good long while, and doesn't take long to thaw.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: wonderwoman

                            Pints! Yes, we want Pints!

                            I hear it is sold that way in some parts of the country, but here in the Northeast I've never seen it in anything but quarts. :(

                          2. 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.

                            http://www.savour-fare.com

                            1. I use it. Works fine. Comes in packets in a box in the baking section.

                              1. 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.

                                Ugh.

                                So I e-mailed SACO this evening to find out what's the scoop...

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: mcsheridan

                                  In the Seattle area, I've bought Dairygold brand, which I believe is regional.

                                2. 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.

                                  Sincerely,

                                  Ann Smith
                                  Customer Service
                                  Saco Foods, Inc.
                                  P.O. Box 620707
                                  Middleton, WI 53562
                                  asmith@sacofoods.com

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: mcsheridan

                                    Same here; they're still making retail sizes.
                                    ----------
                                    from email
                                    " 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.

                                    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_b_1...

                                    1. re: FoodFuser

                                      I received a similar reply today. Yes, that 3-pack looks a bargain.