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Buttermilk substitute

cosmopolita Aug 5, 2009 03:08 AM

Another thing that in Italy is not easy to find is the buttermilk. Reading the chemical composition, I noticed that is formed for 90% water.
So I can mix water with a little milk?
I am confused ..

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  1. legourmettv RE: cosmopolita Aug 5, 2009 04:21 AM

    To make a passable buttermilk substitute (at least the commercially available North American style buttermilk, not the true my great grandma used to drink buttermilk).

    -Use one Tablespoon of acid (lemon juice or white vinegar) for every cup of milk.
    -let stand for 5-10 minutes before using in your recipe.

    Pretty much any current (in the last 60 years) cookbook from North America that asks for buttermilk is asking for this 'cultured buttermilk product'.

    Hope that helps.


    2 Replies
    1. re: legourmettv
      cosmopolita RE: legourmettv Aug 5, 2009 05:26 AM

      But the buttermilk is the substance that remains after the centrifuged cream, it's right?
      Then you get the butter, and what remains is buttermilk that contains no fat.
      With the teaspoon of lemon I know that i possible to get sour cream.

      1. re: cosmopolita
        soupkitten RE: cosmopolita Aug 5, 2009 05:53 AM

        the flavor of buttermilk is tangy and the texture is a little thicker than regular milk. that's what Legourmerrv is going for with the quick substitution method (which is a standard one that works well). buttermilk works differently in some recipes, and is preferred in many american recipes, especially in baking and quick-breads. depending on what recipe you are using, this substitution might be your best bet. you should try it!

    2. Eric in NJ RE: cosmopolita Aug 5, 2009 04:30 AM

      Don't know if it's available there, but we bought a can of powdered buttermilk that works pretty well.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Eric in NJ
        cosmopolita RE: Eric in NJ Aug 5, 2009 05:27 AM

        Powdered buttermilk? I don't knw it. I will looking for this powder but I imagine that is not easy to find.

        1. re: cosmopolita
          Eric in NJ RE: cosmopolita Aug 5, 2009 07:09 PM

          We found it at a Whole Food Store. It was recommended by America's home cooking.

          1. re: Eric in NJ
            paulj RE: Eric in NJ Aug 5, 2009 09:50 PM

            Is there a Whole Foods store in Italy?

        2. re: Eric in NJ
          Querencia RE: Eric in NJ Aug 5, 2009 07:51 PM

          I use powdered buttermilk, brand is SACO, for making biscuits and it is terrific---best biscuits I have ever made. If you are living abroad, maybe somebody in your family could send you a can. BTW some cans have the biscuit recipe and some don't but you could probably contact the manufacturer for this or look online. Or I will post it here if you can't find it.

        3. Richard 16 RE: cosmopolita Aug 5, 2009 05:57 AM

          Saco brand. Available in many, but not all, supermarkets.


          1 Reply
          1. re: Richard 16
            Eric in NJ RE: Richard 16 Aug 5, 2009 07:09 PM

            That's the one.

          2. l
            Liz K RE: cosmopolita Aug 5, 2009 06:09 AM

            For baking purposes, you can substitute yougurt in the same amount. That will give you the same results.

            1. cosmopolita RE: cosmopolita Aug 5, 2009 06:22 AM

              Thanks to all :)

              1. paulj RE: cosmopolita Aug 5, 2009 08:58 AM

                A pourable yogurt should work fine, or other cultured milk product.

                In baking (including pancakes) buttermilk provides two things - a sour flavor, and acid to work with baking soda. Baking powder has the acid builtin, so does not need buttermilk. So plain milk, plus baking powder, can be substituted, though it will not have flavor bit. Check the wiki article on baking powder for the normal proportions - it should have it in metric terms (in American it is about 1 tsp per cup flour).

                1. m
                  montrealwaitress RE: cosmopolita Aug 5, 2009 10:05 PM

                  I find cider vinegar and any milk works best.

                  1. paulj RE: cosmopolita Aug 5, 2009 10:08 PM

                    I found this Italian translation for buttermilk:
                    Latticello (sierodi latte acido)
                    I don't know Italian, but that link seems to be focusing on the natural buttermilk, the stuff left over from butter making. Most Americans use the cultured version, which is closer to yogurt in nature.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: paulj
                      cosmopolita RE: paulj Aug 6, 2009 12:51 AM

                      Thank you :)

                    2. cosmopolita RE: cosmopolita Aug 6, 2009 12:53 AM

                      The consistency of buttermilk it similar to yogurt? More or less ?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: cosmopolita
                        tmso RE: cosmopolita Aug 6, 2009 01:18 AM

                        No, it's significantly thinner. It's roughly the consistency of pourable yogurt.

                        Lben (or leben) is essentially the same thing, and is popular in North Africa. I would imagine that shouldn't be too hard to find in an Arab grocery in Italy.

                        1. re: tmso
                          paulj RE: tmso Aug 6, 2009 08:11 AM

                          The comparison with yogurt is complicated by the fact that many commercial versions of yogurt have thickeners or stabilizers, while others have been drained.

                          Adding lemon juice to milk is the first step toward making fresh cheese, like Indian panner. That of course requires draining.

                      2. Robin Joy RE: cosmopolita Aug 6, 2009 01:59 AM

                        For soda-bread making, a 50/50 mix of soured cream and water works as a perfect substitute for the buttermilk in the recipe.

                        1. cosmopolita RE: cosmopolita Aug 6, 2009 04:07 AM

                          I tried to use the whole milk that I had at home. I added a teaspoon of lemon juice but has remained almost identical, but were formed of small things of condensed milk.
                          It depends on fat content in milk?

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: cosmopolita
                            LauraGrace RE: cosmopolita Aug 6, 2009 07:07 AM

                            The fat content should not matter.

                            Cakes and other things leavened with baking soda need an acidic liquid to rise properly. Even if the milk doesn't thicken or curdle when you add the acid, the acidic milk will still do its job of reacting with the baking soda and making your baked item rise.

                            You might also try a mix of 1/3 yogurt and 2/3 milk. This will mimic the texture of "real" buttermilk.

                            1. re: cosmopolita
                              soupkitten RE: cosmopolita Aug 6, 2009 07:35 AM

                              did you use a whole cup (american measure) of milk? if so you need 1 TABLESPOON of acid(lemon juice)-- or *3 teaspoons*-- or about 2 liquid ounces. it needs to sit and sour for about 10-15 mins or so, too.

                            2. hotoynoodle RE: cosmopolita Aug 6, 2009 07:17 AM

                              i sub plain yogurt for buttermilk almost always and have excellent results.

                              buttermilk around here is sold only in quart sizes which is always more than i need.

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