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Sep 1, 2012 10:42 AM

Homemade Buttermilk

has anyone made Homemade buttermilk, adding lemon juice or vinegar to milk? Just wondered if it actually worked.

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  1. Yes, it works fine...but it's not really buttermilk -- buttermilk is what's left after you've made butter from whole milk.

    It can sometimes work better than buttermilk -- I use lemon juice to sour the milk when I make "buttermilk" pancakes -- it gives them a lovely light lemon flavor.

    1. Adding lemon juice or vinegar absolutely works to "sour" milk (i.e., make it acidic) for baking, though I wouldn't use it for other applications as a buttermilk stand-in (salad dressing, marinating, etc.).

      Of course, it's not really making buttermilk - just a reasonable stand-in. Thinned yogurt works fine, too. What you generally buy in North America is actually a cultured milk product, not the byproduct of butter making.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

        Yes to the thinned yogurt. I've used that sub many times in the past.

      2. Thanks for the comments. This is for cornbread. I forgot to get buttermilk and checked this recipe online. I wondered if it would be the same or if it was worth the trip back to the store to get real buttermilk.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Tom P

          Substitute to your heart's content...for baked goods, you won't be able to tell the difference (and you won't have a half a carton of buttermilk hanging out, either...)

          1. re: Tom P

            You can use plain milk and baking powder instead of the buttermilk (acid) and baking soda.

            A rule of thumb is 1 tsp baking powder per cup of flour (including the cornmeal).

          2. I've made cultured buttermilk before. I rarely use the lemon juice method as I usually have buttermilk in the fridge.

            1. If you already have buttermilk, you can make more with this recipe. I tried it once, and it worked fine for pancakes. Don't know if you can then use your homemade buttermilk as a starter for the next, and next, and next batches.