Cultured Buttermilk

I have liked buttermilk most of my life but I kinda forgot about it in recent years. But since I have been making and enjoying YOGURT for many months, I remembered buttermilk. When I discovered how easy it is to make buttermilk at home, and how delicious it is, I wanted to kick myself for not doing it sooner.

My fave way to drink buttermilk is with salt and freshly ground black pepper. It’s also essential for many baked items. My most popular is cornbread, but it’s very good for biscuits and many others.

I bought my initial dried culture from New England Cheesemaking Supply but there are many online retailers. I’m told you can use store-bought cultured buttermilk as a starter but I haven’t tried it. Once you make your first batch you use a portion of your last batch to make it again and again and again, so save some before you forget and use it all. I put my starter in a little jar with dates on top so I don’t wait too long between batches. It needs to be used within two weeks to say alive. I’ve not tested the two week time frame yet as I usually make it about once a week.

The culture comes with easy directions for your first batch. To make subsequent batches it’s even easier. I use quart canning jars because they’re easier to store in the fridge. Put 1/4 cup buttermilk from the last batch into a jar. Fill to shoulder with fresh milk. Place lid tightly and shake for a minute. Place jar in an area where about 72-75 degrees is constant. Ovens with light on and microwave ovens with door partly closed so light is on both are good if your kitchen is cold. Give it 12-24 hours. I usually wait about 16 hours. To test, tilt the jar (as in yogurt making) and when the milk separates from the glass you know its ready. Waiting longer makes it thicker but don’t go past 24 hours. Here’s a short video of a recent batch to show its thickness.

Enjoy!

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