Gravey and Rice

Monday, July 17, 2006

buttermilk vs. sour milk

Which is better? Does it matter? My BH&G cook book suggests sour milk as a buttermilk substitute. (1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar and enough milk to make 1 cup, left to sit for 5 minutes.) It is quick and seems to work fine. And as I don't know that my local grocery store would even carry buttermilk; it's a welcome substitution.

But, is it really the same? Is there something about buttermilk that would make things even better than just sour milk? Any ideas or comments about this? I really want to know if I'm doing my baking a disservice by using sour milk.


  • In my opinion, buttermilk is better. It's much thicker than sour milk and has a different fat content. It also reacts differently with leaveners, which is why recipes often contain both baking powder and baking soda when buttermilk is called for, or when the ratio of leaveners change when substituting regular milk for butter. But that's not exactly scientific, just my opinion.

    By Blogger Natalia, at 11:30 PM  

  • Ah... Very interesting information, Natalia. Thanks for that! I'll have a look in the grocery store today for buttermilk, I might also see about making my own....

    By Blogger Erin, at 7:31 AM  

  • I must say I do miss living in the states simply because of the variety. I have such a hard time finding things here, lately buttermilk and shortening.

    I obviously can't do my own buttermilk, so I suppose I'll have to stick with sour milk for now...

    By Blogger Erin, at 2:10 PM  

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