So after making butter, what do you do with all the liquid left over? Well, before you dump it down the sink, you may be interested to learn that the liquid is true buttermilk. Now this buttermilk recipe can be made with either raw or pasturized buttermilk or even milk, however, if you use raw buttermilk it will last a very long time in your fridge and it is healthier for you. If you are into soaking your grains before cooking with them, you can use cultured buttermilk for soaking. What I love about this recipe is that I bought a packet of five buttermilk cultures from New England Cheesemakers 2 years ago and I still have only used one packet because once I made my intitial culture, I don't have to make it again. Better yet, if you've got a friend who has a live buttermilk culture, get some from her and then you don't have to buy the initial culture. The other neat thing about this culture is that you can make raw sour cream from it, too. I'll post more on that later.
How to Make Cultured Buttermilk:
Heat 1 quart of milk, or uncultured buttermilk (I prefer raw), to 72 degrees F in a pan. Add 1 packet starter culture and stir. Cover and let set at approximately 72 degrees F (you can use a yogurt maker) for 12 to 24 hours or until it thickens to your satisfaction. Refrigerate and use in baking or even drinking (this stuff is too strong for me to drink). The longer it stays in the fridge, the stronger it will be. I find that when I use it in baking, it tends to make things taste like sour dough, which we love!
Always save a 1/4 cup of cultured buttermilk and add it to a clean glass jar with more raw milk or raw uncultured buttermilk. Use a plastic lid, not a metal one! Simply set the new jar out on the counter overnight or until it looks thick or smells sour . This way you can keep using the same culture over and over. (Note: you can only set raw diary products on the counter overnight! If you try doing this with pasturized milk, it will putrify). True raw buttermilk, when cultured, is still very thin, but you will notice the sour smell when it has been sitting out long enough. That is a good thing! Sour is what you want. If it should mold for some reason, toss it and start a new batch.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment. I will answer the questions in the comment section. So check back if you leave a question. Next week, I'll be posting on how to use this culture to make sour cream.
Have a blessed day!