The fact that buttermilk, a milk-like substance that we use for baking, sauces, and marinades, is neither butter nor milk is surprising. This was not the situation back then. The liquid left over after butter was churned was known as buttermilk in the past. Pre-churning fermentation brought on by naturally occurring bacteria would result in a minor thickening and acidification of the buttermilk. Today, it is produced commercially by purposely adding a certain type of bacteria (and frequently thickeners as well) to nonfat or low-fat milk to create cultured buttermilk. The thicker texture and sour flavour of buttermilk that we are all familiar with and adore are produced by this procedure. 

Also read: Takatle Pole For Breakfast: A Konkani Dosa Made With Buttermilk

Buttermilk is a magical ingredient in baking. By generating carbon dioxide when combined with baking soda, it makes batters and doughs rise. Additionally, it aids in the tenderization of baked goods, giving them a soft, fluffy texture in addition to that tempting yet delicate tang. Due to its acidity, buttermilk is frequently used in savoury marinades to help tenderise meat. 

Yoghurt 

There are alternatives to buttermilk besides clabbered milk by the addition of lemon juice or vinegar. Simply substitute one cup of plain yoghurt (not Greek yoghurt) for the one cup of buttermilk that a recipe calls for. For marinades, plain yoghurt works especially well in place of buttermilk because clabbered milk is less likely to provide the desired results than buttermilk. 

Sour Cream 

Another excellent alternative for replacing buttermilk is sour cream. Use the same quantity specified in the recipe after thinning it with some milk or water to resemble buttermilk in consistency. Aim for a ratio of 3/4 cup sour cream to 1/4 cup water or milk. 

Tartar Cream  

An acid called cream of tartar can produce baked dishes that call for buttermilk to be similarly light and fluffy. As the powder can clump when mixed directly into the milk, it is recommended to whisk it into the dry components first, and then mix the milk and the wet ingredients separately. Use 1 and a half teaspoons of cream of tartar for every cup of milk. 

Powdered Buttermilk 

Buttermilk powder can be used for liquid buttermilk in baking even if it cannot be converted into liquid. Because it is shelf-stable, it is commonly available in food shops and lasts for many years. The precise ratios your recipe calls for should be found on the container, but in general, the powder is added to the dry components and water is added to the wet ingredients. Four tablespoons of buttermilk powder to one cup of water equals one cup of buttermilk. 

While these are the substitutes. Don't worry if you are about to bake anything that requires buttermilk but your refrigerator is missing a quart of it. While store-bought buttermilk is far thicker and tangier than homemade buttermilk, there is a quick and easy fix if you find yourself in a bind. By infusing acid, lemon juice or vinegar curdles whole milk, enhancing the rise and softness of baked goods. Clabbering is the term for this process, which simply refers to curdling and thickening milk or cream. And it only takes a little while. 

In a liquid measuring cup, pour 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, cider vinegar, or distilled white vinegar. Stir in just enough whole milk to equal 1 cup. Set aside for five to ten minutes, or until the milk has slightly curdled and thickened. 

It's amazing how long buttermilk can keep in the fridge. The lactic acid created during fermentation prevents the growth of undesired and harmful bacteria, which is why refrigerated buttermilk lasts for such a long time. Buttermilk can be stored in the refrigerator for three to four weeks.