I Am Not In The Corner With Buttermilk! - Lela's Cooking Journey Blog at Allrecipes.com - 276020

Lela's Cooking Journey

I am not in the corner with Buttermilk! 
May 25, 2012 9:13 am 
Updated: Jun. 25, 2012 10:52 am

 I don't know about you, but the buttermilk always seems to be lurking in my refrigerator past the expiration date. Well, four days past the expiration date, I am baking and cooking up a buttermilk storm. To prove it,  I also have the aching baker's feet that I heard other people talking about on the buzz.  Just a tip-don't bake without your shoes. I made buttermilk Amish sugar cakes, apple turnovers, and buttermilk pancakes. 

     In my younger days, I used to think I can't bake. Now, if you lived in my house when I was a child, there was this person called Can't. My mom used to say, "Can't never did anything."  I always wondered who was Can't? I also would get sent to the corner for saying "I can't." As I grew up, I wouldn't use can't around my mom, or I would get the lecture about "can't." 

     Let's fast forward to October, 2010. Shh,   at this time in my life I secretly still said I can't bake. However, through many experiments with baking since then I can finally say I CAN BAKE!  Thanks to many friendly people here on AR, I have learned so much about baking. Then most important thing I learned is high altitude can play havoc with your baking recipes.  My husband finds it strange that I have embarked on the baking journey because I am not much of a fan of sweet baked goods.  On the other hand, my husband loves sweet baked goods. So, now you know who my guinea pig is-and a happy one at that.

     I am finding out buttermilk is my friend here in High Altitude land. Although, I am not the Queen of High Altitude baking, I am becoming a promising baking student. What exactly does buttermilk do for your baked goods? Buttermilk is acidic and helps break down the gluten in the flour. According to the author Susan Purdy of Pie in the Sky: 

"Buttermilk is a favored product in high altitude baking because it contribute acidity as well as richness, moisture, flavor, and tenderness. If a sea-level recipe calls for regular milk, you can replace it with buttermilk. Acidity weakens the elasticity and/or strength of gluten in wheat flour, thereby keeping baked products tender."

     You can still make these buttermilk recipes even if you do not live at high altitude.

Some hints about making the Amish Sugar Cakes:

I used a 1 and 3/4" small ice cream scoop to place the dough on the cookie sheet. I also used parchment paper. These cookies come out quite large. The cookies are a very soft and remind me of a Mexican cookie I had as a child.  

                          High Altitude JP's Big Daddy's Biscuits

Changes I Made: I added buttermilk.

Changes I made: I added canola oil to make the pie dough.

Last, I made the fluffy pancakes recipe from here on AR. I tweaked the pancakes by using buttermilk instead of vinegar and milk.  My family gobbled up all the pancakes. Sorry, no photo due to hungry family members.

Recipe for Pancakes:
Fluffy Pancakes

I would love to hear how you have used buttermilk in recipes. Please share.

Amish Sugar Cakes. So Soft!
Photo Detail
Make Apple Turnovers with a Buttermilk Crust!!!
Photo Detail
May 25, 2012 9:44 am
Sorry no time to share my buttermilk stories but I sure loved the photos of your food! Never had to bake at high altitude, I can't imagine the change that would be for us lowlanders.
May 25, 2012 9:50 am
Hello Cat Hill- nice seeing you here! Thanks-come back sometime on the buzz or here and share when you have more time!
May 25, 2012 10:37 am
You're baking me hungry. Who would know that blogger gave you fits?
May 25, 2012 2:47 pm
BD-Hello-nice to see you here. Well, let's just say my computer is not my favorite friend today!
May 25, 2012 4:47 pm
Wouldn't know it from here. Your blog looks great.
May 25, 2012 5:30 pm
Angel biscuits! Angel biscuits! and Angel biscuits!
May 25, 2012 6:41 pm
Hello Terry-You know how to crack me up. I said more than just Angel Biscuits!
May 25, 2012 8:37 pm
I will sometimes soak my chicken in a sealed tub of buttermilk overnight. It creates a very tender tasty baked chicken, even better fried albeit unhealthy.
May 26, 2012 7:36 am
Lela, great post! Buttermilk is one of my favorite staples - I'm never without! There is nothing like real buttermilk in baking. The old standby substitute of vinegar in milk just does NOT compare. It provides such tenderness, flavor and richness. Buttermilk cheese bread, muffins, smoothies, salad dressing, marinades, pancakes, frozen yogurt...the list goes on and I can always find a use for my buttermilk. That's a very useful tip you shared about it being a good ingredient in high altitude baking. I also am at high alt. so maybe that's another reason why I use and love it so much.
May 26, 2012 9:28 am
Raedwulf-that is a wonderful idea. i will certainly try the overnight buttermilk idea! Thanks!
May 26, 2012 9:33 am
CC-You caught my interest with buttermilk in smoothies and frozen yogurt. More cooking learning headed my way! The high altitude has certainly deterred me from baking at times. It seems each recipe has a challenge. However, buttermilk is my special friend-if I see milk in a recipe, I have better luck substituting buttermilk. As far as vinegar in milk-I agree with you. It doesn't seem to give the same results as buttermilk.
May 26, 2012 10:06 am
I love real buttermilk, too, and agree that vinegar and milk does not provide the same flavor. Wish I had known about the buttermilk trick when we lived at high altitude. Here is an oatmeal cookie that I have been tweaking that uses buttermilk. I have yet to get the recipe exactly how I want it but I do love the taste the buttermilk lends to the overall flavor. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/paulas-loaded-oatmeal-cookies-recipe2/index.html
May 26, 2012 11:04 am
Marie-thanks for the recipe. Oatmeal Cookies-sound so good. I am saving the oatmeal cookie recipe!
May 26, 2012 3:08 pm
Loved your blog. I love buttermilk, as well. One of my favorite recipes with buttermilk is Buttermilk Salad, from this site. I also love it in homemade breads, pancakes, biscuits, chocolate cakes, etc.
May 26, 2012 3:37 pm
Mason's G-ma-I will have to try the Buttermilk Salad. Thanks for the tip. Chocolate cake with buttermilk sounds great.
May 27, 2012 5:58 pm
Lela do you remember Mcdonalds apple pies before 1993, they were very crunchy, and tasty, there new pies suck. I like healthy but sometimes it just taste better to fry it.
May 27, 2012 8:34 pm
Yes King I do remember the pies. I liked them. I haven't had a pie in a long time from Mcdonald's. Thanks,-I will remember to not be tempted to buy one of the pies.
May 28, 2012 7:35 am
Lela, Buttermilk is a staple in my frig. My most frequent use is Buttermilk waffles but I like to use it in many baked goods and my husband loves to drink it :P Those cookies look tasty. Send one down right now to go with my coffee please :)
May 28, 2012 7:57 am
Hello Mauigirl. It is becoming a staple in my refrigerator, also.Buttermilk waffles sound wonderful! I send you a cookie if you send me your waffles! Everyone loved these soft huge cookies. Just right for dunkin in your coffee. As far as drinking buttermilk-not a fan.
Jun. 1, 2012 7:17 am
Mmm, your pics are making me hungry! They look sooo good. I love buttermilk, and I always have a carton in my fridge. It gets used regularly at my house...soaking chicken, biscuits, pie crusts, quick breads, muffins, you name it! Oh, and buttermilk will last a long time past the expiration date, too. Happy baking to you!
Jun. 1, 2012 8:00 am
wisweetp-Thanks for the tip about the buttermilk lasting past the expiration date. I will have to try using buttermilk in muffins. Thanks for stopping by!
Jun. 1, 2012 8:55 am
This fresh apple cake is delicious! It has a buttermilk glaze over it. The only difference is that my recipe calls for 2 cups unpeeled, grated apple instead of just 1. I always make it at least one day before I plan to serve it. It just gets better and more moist with age. - - - -http://allrecipes.com/recipe/old-fashioned-apple-cake/
Jun. 1, 2012 10:24 am
I love buttermilk! I keep a live culture going so I always have some to us. I soak my newly milled wheat flour in it before baking bread, use it for biscuits, for soaking chicken in before frying it, and as a culture to make cream cheese and stuff. Funny thing is, I am the only one in my family that doesn't like drinking it.
Jun. 1, 2012 11:57 am
I too, dislike "drinking" it but couldn't do without it for soaking chicken and for making my homemade Ranch dressing and homemade Blue Cheese dressing.
Jun. 1, 2012 12:24 pm
Paula, the recipe for apple cake sounds wonderful. The recipe has coconut in it, too. Thanks for the tip to add an extra cup of apples.
Jun. 1, 2012 12:27 pm
Petey-you have the fresh buttermilk! My Father-in-Law grew up on a farm. His mom would also use the live culture in her recipes.
Jun. 1, 2012 12:29 pm
Redcwolf-I am with you-I don't like to drink buttermilk. Blue cheese dressing and ranch dressing. All this talk about dressing has made me hungry for a salad!
Jun. 1, 2012 6:15 pm
Agreed Lela....cannot drink the stuff, but it sure is a tasty ingredient!
Jun. 1, 2012 8:16 pm
Hello Mauigirl-thanks for stopping by! I hope everything is well with you.
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About Me
I enjoy cooking for our family sit down dinners. Although my kids are grown, we are a close family that enjoys 4-5 sit down dinners a week together. My family's favorite dinner is chicken enchiladas smothered in green chili. I have a passion for cooking, baking for the holidays and food photography.
My favorite things to cook
I am family oriented and spend time with my family enjoying meals. My favorite things to cook are Mexican food and any food my family asks me to cook. My family looks forward to home cooked Mexican food at least once a week and Italian food.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I am on a journey to reclaim family recipes that were lost when the cooks in my family passed away. Cooking traditions are a major part of my passion for cooking. On Christmas Eve, we always had green chili and tamales. Cookie baking, lemon bars, pizzelles , and potica have been a must at Christmas as long as I can remember. My family looks forward to homemade pizza, when we gather as a family to decorate the Christmas cookies. Thanksgiving wouldn't be Thanksgiving without noodles and gravy piled high on mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and broccoli and rice casserole. On the 4th of July, there is the 4th of July Potato Salad that I make using 10 pounds of potatoes. Mexican Food is part of our weekly menu--green chili served over mashed potatoes or as a slopper (green chili poured over hamburgers.) I am always making tortillas for someone. They call my tortillas little white pieces of gold. Saturdays are Family night for dinner. It is the one day my kids can request a meal.
My cooking triumphs
Seeking help on the Buzz and the AR Blog has resulted in a few triumphs. I am extremely ecstatic about overcoming the yeast monster. I can now bake baguettes, focaccia and the best rolls in the world, my Grandma Rita's Butter Rolls.
My cooking tragedies
My first attempts at baking bread/rolls resulted in rock hard flat rolls. However, I am improving. Baking at High Altitude is somewhat of a challenge.
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