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Aug 7, 2010 01:34 AM

uses for buttermilk powder

I live outside the U.S., where buttermilk powder is unheard of. Buttermilk, on the other hand, is a standard supermarket item here. Out of curiosity, I picked up a few packets of buttermilk powder on my last trip to the U.S. I used some this morning in the waffle recipe from the last issue of Cooks Illustrated, where instead of buttermilk they use buttermilk powder and soda water to give the waffles more lift (came out great).

My question is, are there uses for buttermilk powder other than as a substitute for real buttermilk (like in CI waffle recipe)? I don't want to waste my precious stash on recipes where buttermilk will do just as well.

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  1. I bought some Saco brand buttermilk powder because I don't use the buttermilk very often. When a recipe calls for buttermilk, I mix it with water and use it. I have used it for the waffle mix too. You can buy Saco from Amazon but it is probably expensive with shipping.

    I would think you could use for it for any kind of dip or sauce that you would normally add sour cream or cream cheese.

    Cook's Illustrated is always adding buttermilk to baked goods.

    I have been meaning to experiment with just adding the powder with flour and other dry goods but it will require some experimentation because you are altering a baking formula.

    Here are some links that you will find helpful. Most are to recipes.

    Cook’s Illustrated article

    Cauliflower puree

    Dill Ranch dressing

    Saco recipes

    4 Replies
    1. re: Hank Hanover

      Thanks for the links! Again, because powdered buttermilk is doesn't exist where I live, I'll save mine (which I gather I can do indefinitely!), and keep an eye out for recipes where the powder is essential and not just a substitute - eg, where they need to reduce the liquid content, etc.

      1. re: MarkC

        I don't think I've ever seen a recipe that calls for the powder - except for the recipes on the box of powder. While it isn't too hard to find in the USA, it still is a specialty baking item. I suspect most of the dry buttermilk is used by food processors, not home cooks.

        1. re: paulj

          I'm a home cook and I use it all the time. I prefer it over refrigerated buttermilk, because the stuff you get in the stores (at least at the U. S.) is not actually real buttermilk; it's a cultured milk product more like a thin yogurt, and I think the dried buttermilk tastes better.

          However, the only application I use it for it which one could not use the liquid form is that I often mix it into coating for fish or chicken, though I suppose one could dip the meat into buttermilk first and then apply the coating.

      2. re: Hank Hanover

        I would think you could certainly add it to white gravy or bechemel sauce for that extra tang.

      3. I get mine from King Arthur Flour who have a great website for baking products and they do ship internationally though you have to ring them for a quote.

        I checked usages of the powder on EYB and there were quite a few salad dressings from Mark Bittman, breads (mainly from The Bread Bible by Beth Hensperger), and pies (mainly from King Arthur Flour cookbooks)

        1. I use buttermilk powder occasionally when I need it for a recipe as you did and when I need creme fraiche but don't have it in the fridge.

          1 to 2 Tablespoons reconstituted buttermilk
          2 cups heavy cream, pasteurized, not ultra pasteurized or sterilized, and with no additives.
          Warm the heavy cream to about 100°, add 2 tablespoons buttermilk. Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 9 hours. Refrigerate in a clean covered jar for up to 2 weeks.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Gio

            I've never seen that way of making creme fraiche so thanks for that as I always have heavy cream and buttermilk powder. But what happens to the second cup of cream?

            1. re: JaneEYB

              Errrr...I fixed "it", Jane. Many thanks. ( I usually have to edit several times before I hit all the right keys...LOL)

          2. I always shake some buttermilk powder into my scrambled eggs before cooking.

            1 Reply
            1. re: The Professor

              What a fantastic idea!

              I use it in pancakes and waffles, baked goods- both sweet and savory, dressings and dips, macaroni and cheese, creamy sauces, mashed and pureed vegetables, ice cream, soups and chowders, batters for frying, breading for baking, seasoning mixes for tossing homemade chips, popcorn, snack mixes and roasted vegetables in, added to polenta and oatmeal, pot pie filling, homemade yogurt, pudding and fudge.

            2. I keep mine for those times I need buttermilk and don't have any on hand. It's far easier than running out to the store and I find it need it often, for impromptu pancakes, cakes, etc.