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How to Make Buttermilk

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When you run out of buttermilk and you already started with a recipe, this will help you to know How to Make Buttermilk

I posted a recipe for Buttermilk bread recently, but I know sometimes I don’t always have buttermilk available or can’t get it, so here are a few ways you can make your own.
There is more than one way to make buttermilk.
Firstly I will show you the original way, afterward, I will show you a quick and easy substitute. Also a non-dairy option.


  • A cup of raw fresh milk.
A jug of milk and being poured into a glass
How to Make Buttermilk

Method 1

  1. Allow the milk to sit covered on the kitchen top for 2-3 days until it has clabbered.
  2. THE TERM “CLABBERED” means unpasteurized milk which has turned sour over time, the milk thickens or curdles into a thick yogurt-like texture with a strong, sour-like flavor.
  3. Put a 1/4 of a cup of the clabbered milk into a pint mason jar, add a cup of fresh milk. Note: This does not have to be raw milk.
  4. Cover, shake to mix, and let it sit at room temperature until it has clabbered again.
  5. Repeat this step called sub-culturing several times until the milk clabbers in a 24hr period.
  6. Now taste a little bit, it should be thickened and have a tart, but not bitter taste.
  7. To make a quart of buttermilk with this culture add 6 ounces of culture to the jar and fill with fresh milk.
  8. Cover, shake, and let it sit at room temperature until it has clabbered.
  9. Refrigerate, it is now ready to use.

I love that word clabbered, but we can’t all get raw milk, as I can here, so never fear Carol is here
If you find a recipe that requires buttermilk, see my recipe for Buttermilk Bread and you don’t have any buttermilk, then try this.

Method 2

  1. To a cup of milk add either lemon juice or vinegar.
  2. To 1 cup of milk add 1tbsp lemon juice, let it sit for 2 minutes and it is ready to use.
  3. If you want 2 cups then it’s 1 tbsp plus tsp of lemon juice. It doesn’t require 2 tbsp to curdle the milk.
  4. It won’t be as thick and creamy as true buttermilk and is not suitable for dressings.
  5. But is perfect for pancakes, bread recipes, any baked recipes asking for buttermilk.
  6. You must use this mixture within an hour of making as it will not keep.

Method 3 Non-Dairy – Option:

  1. 1/4 cup of Almond Milk plus 3/4 cup of almond milk yogurt plus ½ tsp of vinegar.
  2. Stir well, stand for 2 mins, and be ready to use in your favorite baking recipes.

Prepared, tried, and tested by Carol Taylor

Addendum received from Hoelene Fish Anand

  1. Buttermilk is also hard to get here. I use 2 cups of milk with 3 tbs of plain yogurt.
  2. Let the milk get lukewarm add your yogurt and stir till combined.
  3. Place it in the microwave for 8 hours undisturbed.
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