Buttermilk is a vital ingredient in our household. Buttermilk is used to make the biscuits that I like to bake on weekends. To make chicken for dinner, I marinate it in hot sauce until the meat is tender and the skin starts to crackle under the heat. inspired by Samin Nosrat). It is a vital component of ranch dressing. A perfect condiment that makes cakes moist and delicious.

Many cooks I know don’t bother with buttermilk, though. Usually you only need a small amount for, say, a cake recipe, and if you don’t regularly make biscuits, you’ll probably end up tossing the rest of the container out. There are many ways to use leftover buttermilk. However, they require extra planning and time. It’s also easy enough to add a little acid, usually vinegar or lemon juice, to regular milk to mimic the ingredient in a recipe. But the taste just isn’t quite the same — the real cultured dairy has its own specific flavor, and this hack always ends up tasting a little too sour for my own tastes.

Enter the Saco Pantry’s powdered cultured buttermilk, which lasts forever on the shelf. For times when I’m craving biscuits and don’t want to go to the grocery store, the can in my pantry is there to save the day. There are many brands on the market. King Arthur Flour makes a good (though more expensive) alternative. Saco powder looks and smells just like dry milk. It also performs nearly as well. The Saco powder works well in ranch dressings, but it is best used in baking. My banana bread always comes out with a perfectly tender crumb. One can of buttermilk is equal to almost four quarts liquid buttermilk. This makes it a great choice for those who are looking for an affordable option in these days of outrageous grocery prices.

Buttermilk powder is best used for experimentation. For a bit of extra tang, you can add a teaspoon to almost anything. From dairy-based sauces, to pancakes, to marinades. This hack for making creme fraiche at home with just a little powdered buttermilk and heavy cream My mind was blown. Now I can get creme fraiche at any time without having to go anywhere.

Although I prefer the texture and taste of fresh buttermilk, it is still my favorite. I try to keep it in my fridge, but for those moments when I’ve failed to grab a carton at the grocery store, the powdered version is the rare substitute that doesn’t end up tasting like a short-cut.

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