Buttermilk was originally the milk left over after churning butter, but the one I’m looking for is “cultured buttermilk” where a lactic acid bacteria is added to milk. It produces a tart flavor and a thickening of the milk until it becomes somewhat viscous. It’s not kefir,and its not ryazhenko.
Cultured buttermilk is an important American pantry staple. I’ve never seen it in stores in Russia, although my (almost never wrong) English/Russian dictionary of the Food Industry lists it as “пахта.” I’ve never come across it in any supermarket here. I’ve seen it very occasionally in the U.K, and of course it is a huge big deal in South East Asia, and a version is very popular in Bulgaria. Am I just missing it, or am I right?
In any case, this is a problem that needed solving, since buttermilk is an essential ingredient in a number of American classics: buttermilk pancakes and waffles, many muffins, classic biscuits – those essential part of the Southern lineup, and of course, no fried chicken is worth its crispy crunchy batter without a buttermilk bath. Buttermilk is also often found in cakes, icings, savory rolls and other confectionary. A number of cold soups have a buttermilk base: and these don’t work as well with yogurt as a substitute.
For many years, I just crossed these items off the Moscovore menu, until I came across an Internet article about souring milk and the light bulb (finally) went on.
To make buttermilk, simply add 1 Tablespoon (15 ml)of lemon juice to 1 cup (250 ml) of milk. Stir to combine and let sit on the counter for 10 minutes. That’s buttermilk.
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