DIY Food: Buttermilk

We go through LOTS of buttermilk at our house. I like to use it in pancakes, which we have alot, and corn bread and quick breads and lots of other stuff.

Oh, Buttermilk Caramel Syrup….sigh.

But I hate that a 1/2 gallon costs as much or more as a gallon of milk, so when I came across the idea to MAKE my OWN buttermilk….well it had me at hello.

It’s about as easy as pouring a bowl of cereal. Here’s how you do it….

Pour one gallon, minus one cup, of milk into a glass jar.
Now, I don’t have a one gallon glass jar, so I waited for inspiration…and it came….I used the crock of my slow cooker….brilliant!

buttermilk in crock

Add one cup buttermilk (either purchased or saved from your last batch) and stir.

 one cup buttermilk

Now, here’s where it gets intricate…..
Put the lid on and let it sit on the counter to culture for about 24 hours (depending on how warm or cool it is). You want it to be kinda thickened and a little gloppy….like….well, buttermilk.

There you have it….pretty life changing stuff, eh?
You can even freeze buttermilk. I usually freeze it in 1 cup and 3 cup portions. Those are the most common proportions I use….1 cup for Ranch salad dressing…..

buttermilk ranch

and 3 cups for pancakes made with my Buttermilk Wheat Pancake Mix.

buttermilk pancakes


Seriously…who knew it was so EASY??? I’m going to be doing this every week!

2qts buttermilk

Please pretend not to notice the sorry condition of my kitchen table. My husband and I go back and forth on refinishing, or covering with a tablecloth. He wants to refinish and then cover with a table cloth, but I’d like to refinish and have it gleam in my kitchen, and if we’re going to just cover it up, why go to all the work to refinish a 10 year old bargain table anyway? I’m not saying HE IS WRONG and I’m right or anything…just two differing opinions, LOL.
Oh, and while you’re busy not noticing the table, please join me in giving thanks for the sunlight streaming through the windows casting lovely shadows….it was about 2ºF on this particular day, but the sunshine was a nice consolation prize.


So go forth and multiply the buttermilk cultures today!
Don’t forget to leave a comment and tell me what YOU use buttermilk for!

7 thoughts on “DIY Food: Buttermilk

  1. I love buttermilk. I’ve been using it a LOT lately (buying it on clearance and freezing it). This method will be a $$ saver for sure.

    We use it for biscuits, muffins, pancakes, syrup, etc.

    Another way to make it if you are in a pinch is to add 1 TBSP lemon juice, or vinegar, to a 1 cups measuring cup, fill it the remainder of the way with milk, and let sit for 10 or so minutes. Done this TONS too.


    1. I have used the vinegar/lemon juice trick in a pinch, too, but I have realized after many years on this beautiful earth that I am a buttermilk snob. There…I’ve said it. I am a snob.
      I LOVE the texture and fluff of my batter after I add real buttermilk and the way the pancakes are lofty…..sigh. I’ll have to repent of my snobbish ways someday, but as long as I can make my own buttermilk, I don’t really see a need ;).
      Thanks for your post, Sis!


    1. I’m actually working on something along those lines, Lessa. Not whole wheat, but whole grain….I’ll let you know as soon as I’ve got it perfected!


  2. Jenn,
    What do you use for a ‘Healthy’ syrup for pancakes…French toast…ect. I know fruit preserves is a good, but isn’t there a way to make syrup that isn’t full of chemicals and high fructose corn syrup?


    1. Hi Connie,
      Honestly, “healthy” and “syrup”…..just don’t really go together so well. I make syrup with 2 parts sugar to 1 part water and add in some maple flavoring, but I’m looking for an alternative to the one I’ve been using for forever, because I just read the label and it’s got some stuff I’m not excited about in it. There’s honey, or you can try favorite pancake topping right now (ok, honestly I love pancakes smothered in syrup, but since I’m trying to make good choices) is cottage cheese, some apple butter, and a sprinkle of granola for texture. Give it a try. And if you want a yummy syrup recipe with minimal corn syrup, try this yummy little ditty from Our Best Bites:
      In theory you could swap the corn syrup for honey or maple syrup, but I’ve never tried it in this particular recipe, so it’s technically a wild card.
      Thanks for the question!

      **UPDATED: I used honey in place of the corn syrup in the above mentioned Buttermilk Syrup recipes….phenomenal! It alters the taste very slightly, but its a pleasant alteration. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s