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Cultured buttermilk

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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10744

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 05 5:15 pm    Post subject: Cultured buttermilk  Reply with quote    

Like wot you can get in Tesco

Could it be made in the same way as yoghurt ie with a bit from the carton as a starter, kept warm?

I've just looked at an article http://www.motherearthnews.com/article/2153/ which mentions it but doesn't give details on buttermilk.


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10744

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 05 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Oh no, it's another one of Bugs' killer posts, draining all life and inspiration out of the forum. It's like the Onken Biopot post all over again. Sniff. Poor Bugs and her dearth of homemade dairy produce.

Downsizer Moderator

Joined: 28 Oct 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 05 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I've never tried cultured buttermilk, is it anything like the 'lait ribot' you get in Brittany?


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10744

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 05 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I don't know, I've never come across that. I'm going off to raid my books and possibly Google.

Least someone listens round 'ere. Sniff again.

Not sure how to describe the taste, because I use it in cooking, either for soda bread or pancakes and scones, mainly. Yoghurt makes a perfectly acceptable substitute in all of those, but I thought it would be interesting.

I think buttermilk might seem slightly sweeter or fuller in taste than yoghurt.

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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
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Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 05 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Similar, I should think:

Mrs Fiddlesticks

Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 10460

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 05 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I think its a by product of making butter, yes? In which case you sit ( like my granny)whipping up cream with a knife ( don't ask she always did it with a knife) until goes beyond lightly whipped, in to '70's style rosettes and on in to butter at which point buttermilk is the 'whey' that separates out.

She use to sit by the fire with bowl and knife in hand.


Joined: 06 Feb 2005
Posts: 224

PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 05 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Pretty sure that's right, except that it's not whey, because the whey is what you get when you've caused the curds to separate out, not just the fat - I think.

Apparently paddling backwards and forwards works better than round and round for some reason, so perhaps that's why the knife. You have to slop.

Made butter from milk once at school when I was 5. We put milk in two yoghurt pots taped together, with a dried pea in, and shook it up and down for about 20 minutes. Some of us had a few little lumps of butter floating around in it by the time we were finished.

It obviously works better with cream, though, and it works best between certain temperatures, which is probably why your granny sat by the fire.

I wish my granny had taught me stuff like that. My grandma was the first one in her street to get a washing machine, and used to service it herself because there wasn't anyone else to do it for you in those days. The folks on both sides of my family were town people, born and bred. (But my mum's dad did at least know how to grow beans and potatoes!)


Joined: 06 Feb 2005
Posts: 224

PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 05 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Sorry bugs. I actually think dairying is fascinating. Can you point me to some of your other posts about that sort of thing? I got hooked on the idea after devouring a little 'Keeping Goats' book from the Backyard Farming series when they chucked it out of my local library for about 20p.

But I've still never even made yoghurt. I keep meaning to, though.

I've actually got a nice little pair of boxwood butter 'hands' that I asked someone to buy me for my birthday one year, from the local antique shop. They've got a few wormholes, but they're probably still OK to use. One day I'll have a use for them, I'm promising myself.

My little goat book has a recipe for cheese made from goats milk yoghurt. Presumably you could do the same with ordinary yoghurt.

You let your freshly made yoghurt stand for 12 hours in the fridge, then pour it into a sterilized cheese cloth hung over a bucket to catch the drips. Leave in a cool, clean, insect-free place for 12 hours. Scrape off the curd into a clean mixing bowl, mix, season to taste and add herbs if liked, then shape into a rough parcel, rewrap in another clean cloth and press between a pair of plates with a kg weight on top for an hour or two.

Turn out on a plate for use. Don't store in an air tight plastic container, but in a china bowl with a saucer on top, as apparently it prefers this.

You can even make another kind of cheese from the whey.

Put the whey in a thick saucepan and boil slowly till reduced by half. Leave in a warm place to evaporate for another 12 hours or so. Then boil again very slowly, stirring all the time until it becomes pasty. Remove from heat and beat well with a wooden spoon till it thickens to a consistency rather like a firm peanut butter. Spoon into a greased cup for use, or shape and put into a butter paper.

If this 'cheese' is boiled too vigorously and over long in the second stage, a toffee like substance is produced which is deliciously acid, but can only be eaten in saltspoonsful by the very brave.

The assumption in this book is that you will be making yoghurt from the skimmed milk left over when you have skimmed off the cream to use in butter making, so from the same batch of fresh milk you get cream and butter, yoghurt, yoghurt cheese and a sourish cheese made from the yoghurt whey. Waste not, want not! Sounds great to me.


PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 05 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You can make butter in the Kenwood very successfully - I've been doing it for years. The resulting liquid from the cream is the buttermilk - drink it, use it for scones, cakes, etc. you could make yoghurt with it to; I've done that, and it's very good - quite rich, though. The boiled milk I believe is a Finnish cheese recipe.
After I've made hard cheese, I use the whey to make ricotta. It doesn't make a lot, but is worth doing.
Home dairying is great fun, even without a cow or a goat, and it is possible to make good food quite easily without a lot of expensive equipment.
Home and Farm Dairying is the best book I've come across that covers most things.


Joined: 06 Feb 2005
Posts: 224

PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 05 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Ah, that's interesting. I always assumed it would be too fast or something. What speed and attachments do you use? Is the book the one by Katie Thear? (I've just been to Amazon to have a look.) I'm going to have to give this a go, I think.


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10744

PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 05 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Have done a little searching on buttermilkl - I know it's meant to be the remains after making butter, but I'm really not going to be making butter any time soon

So cultured buttermilk seems to be v big in the US, and for reasons which I have yet to fathom most buttermilk is cultured, that is, skim milk with suitable bacteria added, much like yoghurt making.

Unfortunately it would seem that as with yoghurt a lot of cultured buttermilk (though clearly not all as there are recipes) is heat treated to stop the bacteria working.

So...it seems you can make a substance not dissimilar to, but not the same as, real buttermilk by mixing a proportion of cultured buttermilk with skim milk (proportions seem to vary between 1/10 and 1/100) and leaving it in a warm place for a few hours (some recipes add a pinch of salt, which I found odd). However chances are it's not worth trying with the usual supermarket brands because they'll be heat treated and the bacteria won't work.

Possibly worth a try though


Joined: 06 Feb 2005
Posts: 224

PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 05 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I finally bought myself a yoghurt maker off eBay. It makes a litre at a time and is nice and easy to use and keep clean. Hooray, lovely yoghurt really really cheap!

I'm thinking about making some using one of those pro-biotic yoghurt drinks as a starter, actimel or similar. Do you think this would work? It's a yoghurt culture after all. It would certainly be a lot cheaper than buying the silly little bottles, and at least you'd have a choice about whether you sweetened it or not.

wellington womble

Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14976
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 05 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I was thinking about doing this, as himself insists on them, and it's practically the only human foods I buy from the supermarket now. i could give them up if I could make them. I was also wondering if you could do it with creme fraiche, as we don't eat yoghurt, but I use creme fraiche by the bucket load.

I might just have a go at this at the weekend (mind you, its quite a long way down a long list, and if the weathers nice, I do not plan to be in the kitchen. Actually, I might go and do it now)

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