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No buttermilk on hand....try souring milk to use in the place of buttermilk.

Here is the easy how-to-do:

- Warm the milk slightly for best results. (Microwave on HIGH for short periods of time i.e. 25 seconds, then stir well. Repeat until milk has been warmed through.)

- To each cup of warmed milk add 1 1/2 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
1 1/3 Tablespoons of cider vinegar to above milk amount. Stir well.

- Allow this mixture to set while putting the rest of the ingredients for the recipe together. Allowing the milk to set will give it time to thicken. The soured milk should have the consistency of buttermilk or yogurt. This proportion can be doubled. Note: At times the soured milk will be extra thick, a bit more soured milk may have to be added to the recipe to get the proper consistency.

- Plan to use the same amount of soured milk as is called for buttermilk in the recipe.

- If the recipe only calls for 1/2 cup of is best to 'sour' a whole cup of milk for a more even consistency. Just refrigerate the leftover soured milk and try using it for buttermilk pancakes the next day! Milk that you have soured will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Place in a tightly covered container.

- If using skimmed milk, 1%, 2%, or evaporated milk when souring the milk....the consistency might be a little less thick than buttermilk or yogurt. If that proves to be the case, try using just a little less of the soured milk to the recipe so there will still be the proper consistency needed for a particular recipe. Learn to trust the eye for the proper consistency in a recipe and not necessarily rely on the liquid amount called for in a recipe.

- Use of a non-dairy substitute to replace buttermilk in a recipe: In testing of non-dairy substitutes, I have learned that some non-dairy substitutes work using the above method and others don't. Don't be afraid to experiment with brands that are available in your area.

- If experimenting and wish to try to substitute buttermilk, or soured milk in a gluten-free recipe that calls for regular milk, it is suggested that you will need to add baking soda to the recipe if it doesn't call for any. Add the baking soda to the dry ingredients and mix well. Do not add it to the soured milk (some recipes may call for it to be added to the milk) as it will cause the leaven quality in the baking soda to be lost in the milk and not the batter/dough.

- Use 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda for 1/2 cup of milk. This proportion seems to work well for gluten-free recipe conversions.

Written by: Sandra J Leonard, Editor
The Gluten-Free Baker Newsletter
361 Cherrywood Drive
Fairborn, OH 45324-4012 USA
e-mail: thebaker at