If you've ever tried your hand at true southern biscuits, you might have looked up a recipe and seen an ingredient you've never used before: buttermilk powder. Essentially a cousin to the liquid buttermilk you're likely more used to, powdered buttermilk can be just as good -- if not better! -- for certain baking purposes.
What is Buttermilk Powder?
Buttermilk powder is just buttermilk that's been made into a powder. Real buttermilk might reign supreme in many ways, but sometimes you can't use up a whole gallon of buttermilk but want to have something similar on hand when a recipe calls for it.
It's a great product you can find in most grocery stores and is obviously more shelf-stable than fresh buttermilk. Saco cultured buttermilk blend is a common one you'll see while shopping or you can even get it on Amazon.
To use the milk powder as a replacement for a quart of buttermilk, you just have to mix the dry buttermilk with a cup of water. It's that easy!
What Can You Make With It?
Buttermilk powder can make baked goods like buttermilk biscuits -- basically, whenever you need a cup of buttermilk and don't have it, you can substitute it with dried buttermilk powder instead.
It can also help with leavening in your pancake mix for buttermilk pancakes because the acidity will react with the baking powder or baking soda. It's great for keeping recipes generally low fat because it won't add extra fat the way another substitute like sweet cream might.
You can also use buttermilk powder on other dishes like on produce with salt or in dips and spreads. For instance, you can try adding it to salad dressings like ranch dressing, or to a marinade, or to a dip that sometimes calls for dry ingredients like one that involves sour cream and spices.
You can use this dry milk ingredient in place of regular buttermilk for a lot of recipes, and it's still a great source of calcium. It's got a good shelf life, and some people swear by its use in certain recipes like ones for southern biscuits. What's not to like?