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Beautiful Buttermilk

by Suzanne

Before the yogurt boom in the 1960's, buttermilk was the cultured dairy food of choice for millions of Americans. Today, it takes a back seat - we might even say a spot in the trunk - to yogurt and milk kefir. But it doesn't have to! Buttermilk is easy to make at home and has many uses aside from plain old drinking or soaking your cornbread.

buttermilk1buttermilk2Step 1: Gather ingredients and supplies. You'll need: Glass jar Fresh pasteurized milk Buttermilk starter Spoon for stirring Breathable cover and rubber band to secure it

Step 2: Pour 3-4 cups fresh milk into your glass jar. Sprinkle the buttermilk starter on the surface of the milk. Let the starter sit for a minute or two to moisten. This step helps in stirring the powder in more thoroughly and prevents clumping.

Step 3: Stir the powdered starter into the milk until thoroughly mixed.

Step 4: Cover the jar with a breathable lid, such as a coffee filter or double layer of cheesecloth. Secure with a rubber band. Let the jar sit in a warm place, 70-78ºF. After 12 hours, check to see if the buttermilk has set.   buttermilk4buttermilk3

When set, it will pull away in a mass from the side of the jar, like in the photo below. It may take up to 48 hours, so keep checking on it. Once it has set, put a tight lid on the jar and store in the refrigerator. That's it! And the best thing about this buttermilk starter is that it's reusable. So make sure to save about ¼ cup of cultured goodness from each batch, to use as starter for your next batch. More on buttermilk later. Right now...time to make pancakes!