How to Make Buttermilk from Milk

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Buttermilk doesn't contain butter; it's the slightly sour liquid left over from the butter-making process. Most buttermilk contains bits of milk fat (or curds) and is slightly thicker than milk but not as heavy as cream. The process of making processed, or cultured, buttermilk is similar to that of yogurt. Lactobaccillus is added to whole milk and allowed to ferment for 12 to 14 hours at low temperature. Salt and butter flecks may be added to the final product for flavor and texture. But it is possible to make a buttermilk substitute at home.

How to Make Buttermilk from Milk
(CRP photo)

Things You'll Need

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tbsp. white vinegar or lemon juice

Pour milk into a 1-cup measuring cup

How to Make Buttermilk from Milk
CRP photo

Add 1 tbsp. white vinegar or lemon juice

How to Make Buttermilk from Milk
CRP photo

Let the mixture stand for five minutes

How to Make Buttermilk from Milk
CRP photo

Use in the recipe of your choice.

How to Make Buttermilk from Milk
CRP photo

Tips & Warnings

  • Alternatives to vinegar or lemon juice include: 1¾ tsp. cream of tartar to 1 cup of milk or ¼ cup milk to ¾ cup plain yogurt.
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