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Product Review: Dry Buttermilk


Right or wrong, buttermilk is no longer the staple ingredient in American households that it once was. Most people do not keep it on hand and, in fact, many convenience and other small stores, particularly outside of the southern US, stock it in painfully small quantities or not at all. This unfortunate combination of circumstances results in our inability to prepare many delicious items simply because there is no buttermilk in the house.

Shoo, fly, shoo!

Of course, there is always the old procedure of souring milk by the addition of vinegar or lemon juice. I've done it, but I always have to look through several cookbooks until I find the correct proportion of vinegar to buttermilk, and then I swear I can smell vinegar in what I bake.

There is now a very welcome and very good alternative that will, in effect, put almost a gallon of buttermilk on your pantry shelf in a 12-ounce can. And it will keep there indefinitely. Doubtless there are other brands, but I have used SaCo Cultured Buttermilk Blend made by SACO Foods, Inc. of Middleton, Wisconsin. Its nutritional values are much the same as liquid buttermilk, and it is simple to use.

For each one-quarter cup of buttermilk called for in a recipe, you use one tablespoon of the dry buttermilk and one-quarter cup of water. For instance, if your recipe calls for one cup of buttermilk, you mix four level tablespoons of the dry buttermilk with the dry ingredients and substitute one cup of water when the recipe calls for liquid buttermilk.

This product is best used for baking. I would not, for example, attempt to use it in dips or salad dressings. However, I have made absolutely divine buttermilk biscuits with dry buttermilk, as well as excellent cakes, quick breads, pancakes and even buttermilk cornbread.

So you no longer have an excuse for not whipping up a batch of buttermilk biscuits to go with the evening meal, as long as you have a can of dry buttermilk on hand. Listed below are a number of links to recipes in Grandma's Cookbook that call for buttermilk. Each of these recipes has been successfully tested with dry buttermilk.

If you have had an interesting experience with this or a related product that you would like to share, please let me know via email. I will be happy to hear from you.

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