The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Fresh vs powdered buttermilk

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jackie9999's picture
jackie9999

Fresh vs powdered buttermilk

I've been experimenting with waffles this past week and tried a recent one that had, to my taste, too much butter. So I am going to try a recipe I found over on KAF that includes buttermilk. I couldn't find buttermilk, and I'm not sure I want a whole container of it since I need so little, so I bought a scoop of powdered buttermilk from my local bulk barn. Has anyone compared the two? Is the powdered alternative acceptable in baking?


Thanks!

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

I have read that, to many, powdered buttermilk is preferable. Especially from a convenience viewpoint if you don't use a lot.


Tip: even though a dry powder, it's still best stored tightly sealed and refrigerated.

johnsankey's picture
johnsankey

I did some checking on this while compiling my grandmother's recipes (she made her own on a dairy farm http://johnsankey.ca/momrecipes.html). Between Health Canada and the Ontario Dairy Council, it emerged that liquid milk and butter are made here in completely separate factories. So, liquid "buttermilk" is faked by adding enzymes, but dried buttermilk is produced by butter factories and is the real thing! So, I use exclusively dried - why not be real :-)


 


John


 

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

Where do you buy dried buttermilk in Canada?  I live in Montreal and depend on friends and relatives going to the States on holiday to bring me back some Saco.

johnsankey's picture
johnsankey

Bulk Barn - hope they exist in Montreal, they're an invaluable source of all kinds of special bakers' products here in Ottawa.


 

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

It wouldn't be called Bulk Barn in Quebec, and I haven't heard of such a place.  But I will ask around and see if there is such a great store.  Thanks.

jackie9999's picture
jackie9999

Bulk Barn website is pretty good - you'll often find coupons and you can search all products...


http://www.bulkbarn.ca/en-ca/locations.html?Province=6

jackie9999's picture
jackie9999

Oh? I have been storing that sort of stuff in my top (aka hottest) kichen cupboard. Guess I'll toss it all out and stock up again at the bulk barn..thanks for that!

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

I wouldn't necessarily do that, especially if it's not too old. Just for future reference, it's best stored refrigerated. Not so obvious with bulk purchase, but it says so on retail packages.

jackie9999's picture
jackie9999

Quote:
wouldn't necessarily do that, especially if it's not too old. Just for future reference, it's best stored refrigerated. Not so obvious with bulk purchase, but it says so on retail packages.

 


Whew..that's a relief..I had visions of it 'curdlin' in my cupboard ...

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

I can never find it up here in Montreal, so a cousin stocks up for me when she goes to Maine for her summer holidays every year.  I use it in cookies, cakes, muffins, and bread.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Recently Cook's Illustrated had a tip about freezing fresh buttermilk: just pour it into four or eight ounce paper cups, freeze the cups, then place in a plastic container or bag in the freezer.


Thaw the amount needed in the refrigerator.  I never realized it could be successfully frozen - which makes me feel a lot better about buying fresh buttermilk.  No waste.

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I've never tried freezing buttermilk.  I usually run out before it goes bad.  But I would love to try freezing.  Thanks for the tip, LindyD


Sylvia

johnsankey's picture
johnsankey

I freeze all milk products I need for baking, all the time, in the containers they come in, yoghurt and sour cream in particular. Break off what you need and thaw. Freeze your buttermilk in a wide-top container like sour cream comes in and the same technique should work fine for use in baking. My mom used skim milk, which is half the price here in bags of 4 l than in containers, froze it in the bags, and it was even good for drinking when thawed.


John


 

3 Olives's picture
3 Olives

I have used powdered, fresh buttermilk, and whole milk in the KA Sourdough Waffle and Pancake recipe. The fresh buttermilk and whole milk were far superior to the powdered buttermilk. I tried the powdered twice to make sure the first time wasn't a fluke. The powered produced a greatly inferior product.

jackie9999's picture
jackie9999

Thank you 3 Olives for that...if my waffles flop then I won't blame myself..I'll keep searching for fresh buttermilk and freeze the excess.


Thanks again to all..this is exactly the information I was hoping to get !

Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete

HI All,


I am a great fan of buttermilk but I have never seen it powered form here in Australia. We have powered milk, skim milk, powered yogurt culture for home made yogurts but I have yet to see powered buttermilk and powered cocunut milk and cream.  I will try the health food shops instead of the supermarkets for this, I'm interested and curious.


I too have troubles in quanity purchase Vs usage so I am going to use Lindy's idea and start freezing the excess. My King Charles Cavi' won't like me for that as he is given a little towards the end to make sure it doesn't go to waste.


Thanks for the tip Lindy..............For Jackie...........also try replacing milk with buttermilk in pancakes. It makes such a lighter and fluffier pancake than milk when used with self raising flour..................


Cheers.............Pete

jackie9999's picture
jackie9999

Well who knew buttermilk had lower fat content than milk!?!?


I will certainly be looking for it to replace milk in my recipes - thanks to all...

Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete

Hi Jacki,


Just for your information in case you don't know.


Buttermilk is the milky residue left over from producing butter . It is known as whey(prounced way) in the dairy factory when it seperates from the butter. This is why it is known as buttermilk, coming originally from the milk's cream.  The cream is then "churned" into butter. The churning process produces two products. The first product is the "fat" and we buy it in as butter. The second is "whey" commercialy called buttermilk. Thus the name and why no fat is found in buttermilk.


The tool used for the churning process is called a "churn". Old time dairy farmers from many years ago used a small hand churn to seperate the cream from milk for the production of milk, cream, cheese butter and other dairy items. It is still done today for private use but is not commonly come across. Then comes the large commercial churns used in dairy factory's. Google "milk churn" or  "butter churn" Different dairy products have a different process either during and/or after the churning process.


Whey as  residue was fed to the hogs and other farm animals. It was seen as useless waste till some one discovered it's commercial benifits. It is also these days used in low fat ice creams replacing full cream milk.


Buttermilk should be totally fat free. Yet it contains all the vitamins, minerals and calcium required for healthy living. A highly underrated healthy product. Look up buttermilk recipes on Google. It is just so verstatile where you can use it. eg, I have soaked  chicken pieces in it for an hour or two, taken them out and rolled the meat in seasoned bread crumbs and then baked(not deep fried) till cooked. It replaces a milk and egg wash thats required to make the crumbs stick to the meat while cooking.


Hope this helps you more........Pete

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

The "buttermilk" you describe is pretty much a thing of the past, at least in the USA. The typical buttermilk, as purchased and used by most here, is a cultured product, pretty much like yogurt. It is just milk which has been inocculated by one or more specific bacteria, and then incubated.


Skim(fat free) milk was/is typically the milk of choice for the process, but now, buttermilk of various butterfat content is available to many here: fat free, 1.5%. whole milk, etc.


That is not to say, buttermilk in the original sense is not available, but is much less common here.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Sells a pretty good gourmet buttermilk.


Sold at WalMart, of all places, but it's pricey - a bit over three bucks for a quart.

dlstanf2's picture
dlstanf2

In my area there is a dairy that makes small batches of whole buttermilk with a high fat content. It had such a thick layer on top I had to use a chop stick to stir the fat into the rest. It is so wonderful and makes the best pancakes & waffles. I'm not much for the "fat-free" buttermilk as that process is forced.

orion's picture
orion

Bringing this post back up to post my results on a shoot out I just did this morning.


 


3 olives says indicates he/she thinks real buttermilk milk is "far superior than powdered."


 


Im not sure if you did a comparison side by side at the same time or in different days, but it seems from your post you tried it over different eating periods.


 


My results were in favor of the real buttermilk vs the saco powder buttermilk, but I would not argue by far. It defiantly had more body to it and slightly more flavor, but it wasnt huge in my opinion, but big enough for me to start cultruing my own buttermilk so I can always have some on hand. I made exact equal portions of all ingredients for buttermilk pancakes to do this and made them on the same skillet at the same time. the fluffyness seemed the same, and same with the tenderness.


Both were good of course, but the regular buttermilk had a deeper flavor than powderd. If i had to be blind folded I think I would most likley be able to seperate thet two apart, but it wouldnt be night and day.

Dave323's picture
Dave323

is quite thin, like fat-free milk. I churn my own butter in a mixer, and so, get “free” REAL buttermilk, i.e., not “cultured”. If I need some buttermilk, and do not have to churn butter, I have used the cultured commercial stuff. It’s OK, in my book. But, as you point out, it is a “forced” process. I recently bought a can of powdered buttermilk to try to see if the product is anywhere near as good as either real or cultured buttermilk. 


 

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I use both, fresh buttermilk and powdered buttermilk for my little bakery. I bought the powdered in bulk, because I thought it would be easier to store and to handle. But though powdered buttermilk, when rehydrated, resembles more the European type buttermilk I'm used to (the  leftover from churning butter), I definitely prefer the taste of cultured fresh buttermilk in my breads.


Fresh buttermilk (I like the 2%) keeps astonishingly long fresh in the fridge, way past the official expiration date (I do the smell and taste test to make sure it is still good!) My powdered buttermilk needs also an additional step - it clumps, and has to be put through a sieve if I don't want to find unhydrated chunks in the dough.


Karin


 

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

I also use buttermilk powder as a butter flavoring replacement for popcorn.  


Mix the buttermilk powder with varrious dry seasonsings and spices to your taste preferences.


Wild-Yeast

Well's picture
Well

I know this is an old discussion. Anyhow, I came across it as I was searching for buttermilk powder.

I see that several here are having difficulties finding where to buy it.

Well, it's easy to buy it on iHerb, which ships at a very low cost all over the world. For the time being they have two buttermilk powder products, from Now Foods and from Frontier. (By the way iHerb gives all new customers a 5 or 10 dollar discount, depending on the size of the order.)

I have previously bought the latter, and was considering buying again. However what I would like, is to find ideas on how to use it?