Discovering Buttermilk

Since buying a quart of buttermilk to make the Red Velvet Cake, I’ve been looking for recipes to use it up and have stumbled upon the realization that buttermilk may just be the best thing ever. It adds a lightness and flavor to anything it touches. I have baked before using a buttermilk powder — BIG mistake. This time I splurged on the real thing and am so glad I did.

First we had Buttermilk Pancakes from a Joy of Cooking recipe. They were delicious — better than McDonald’s, better than IHOP, better than any homemade pancakes I’d ever had. And we didn’t even have maple syrup! We were out so we used some of my homemade chocolate syrup and Sharon’s homemade apple syrup. We also had diced strawberries to put on top. I couldn’t stop talking about how flavorful and light they were.

Then we had Behave Yourself Cupcakes, a Neely’s recipe. We didn’t even get a chance to frost them. I ate two of them plain and warm and was amazed.

I am now converted. I will never buy another buttermilk powder again. But I will probably not be happy with run-of-the-mill Bisquick pancakes now, either…

Here are the recipes!

Buttermilk Pancakes

makes at least 12 pancakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, butter, eggs and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and gently whisk until just combined. Spoon 1/3 cup batter onto your griddle or skillet for each pancake. Cook until the bubbles on top are breaking and then turn and cook until the underside is lightly browned.

Behave Yourself Cupcakes

makes at least 12 cupcakes

2 cups cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 1/3 cups sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups well-shaken buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350. Line a muffin tin with paper liners. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until fluffy. Add the melted butter, vanilla and buttermilk and mix just until incorporated. Pour the dry ingredients slowly into the batter and mix until smooth and just combined. The batter should be light and fluffy.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups and bake about 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before frosting or just eat warm from the oven.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Gina says:

    Liked your post on the joys of cooking with buttermilk. It is pretty awesome isn’t it? You and your sister have a cute idea for a blog. YOu might also like this recipe I discovered for fried chicken using buttermilk. Hope it works for you.

  2. Hi Sarah! I talked a little about my recent love of buttermilk at lunch on Sunday. Fermented/cultured dairy (kefir, buttermilk and yogurt) has been one of our hobbies the past year. I would highly recommend Sue Gregg’s blender batter for pancakes or waffles, expecially if you’ve read anything about soaked grains. We soak our batter (rolled oats and brown rice) in buttermilk every Friday night and make the yummiest waffles Saturday morning. It supposedly increases the nutritional value. I don’t understand it all, but it tastes delicious!

    I make my own buttermilk now to keep it going and am always looking for more recipes, so thanks!

  3. Buttermilk has always been my go to liquid. lol

    Cornbread is the best use of buttermilk IMO.

    2 cups cornmeal
    1 large egg
    1/4 cup melted butter or crisco ( i prefer the butter)
    1 tbsp sugar (optional but it makes it
    1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

    I like to melt the butter in the cast iron skillet (12 inch) in the oven while I mix everything else together. This allows the butter to lubricate the pan and with cornbread, you MUST put the cornbread into a HOT pan so it forms that quick crust and doesn’t stick.

    Mix the butter in last so you don’t cook the egg.

    I usually set the oven to 400 and bake for about 25-35 minutes on middle rack.

    You can also add cheese or jalepenos or chives to the mix prior to baking for some specialness.

    Turn out on a wire rack and enjoy.

  4. bjwinnz says:

    Yes, buttermilk is excellent. We’ve been using a pancake recipe that, in addition to buttermilke (though we sometimes use a yogurt/milk mixture) calls for half wheat flour, half all-purpose flour, plus some wheat germ. Makes very hearty, filling pancakes. Doesn’t make you want to run out and garden immediately, however…

  5. Jason says:

    I’m a big fan of buttermilk — so much that I actually get bent out of shape when I read or hear people going on at length about all of the supposed “equal substitutions” for it. Let’s face it: there is no subsitute.

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