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You can make a buttermilk substitution out of kitchen staples. mikroman6/Getty Images

  • Never leave buttermilk out of a recipe — it's essential for adding moisture and helping batters rise.
  • You can create buttermilk substitutions using other dairy such as milk, yogurt, and sour cream.
  • Oat milk combined with lemon or vinegar is the best vegan buttermilk substitution.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Buttermilk is often thought of as a Southern ingredient, but the cultured milk brings great flavor and texture to a wide variety of baked goods.

Using buttermilk is a way to "bring more depth to baked goods that can be a little flat while also making the crumb of your bake more tender," says Bethany Costello, chef and owner of Eat Like Kings and culinary director of Dough Doughnuts.

So if you plan to regularly make biscuits, pound cake, cornbread, or pancakes, consider keeping a carton of buttermilk stashed in your fridge. 

But what if you start making pancakes and realize that there's no buttermilk in sight? While the exact flavor and texture that buttermilk provides can't be replicated exactly, there are some handy substitutes for when your stomach is growling and there's no time to run to the store.

The importance of buttermilk in any recipe 

Traditionally made of the leftover liquid after churning butter (making it quite thin), buttermilk is now fermented on a larger scale and sold in cartons. Recipes that ask for buttermilk are usually calling for store-bought cultured buttermilk.

Quick tip: Never skip buttermilk in a recipe. Not only does it impart flavor, it adds necessary moisture and tenderness to baked goods without watering down the batter and creates a reaction with raising agents like baking soda to make the batter rise.

Acidified milk

The most commonly cited substitute for buttermilk — adding an acidic ingredient like lemon juice or vinegar to plain milk — will add a nice tang and curdle the milk to make it slightly thicker. Vinegar-infused milk is Costello's "go to for cakes and pancakes" and if the recipe calls for a fairly small amount of buttermilk, you can use apple cider vinegar in a pinch.

To make 1 cup of acidified milk, add 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or white vinegar to a measuring cup and add enough milk to make 1 cup. Stir and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before using. If you don't have vinegar or lemon juice handy, dig out that cream of tartar out of the back of your pantry. Whisk 1 3/4 teaspoons together with milk and let sit several minutes before using. For best results, use whole milk. 

You won't get the thickness of buttermilk from this mixture, so you may want to add slightly less than the recipe calls for. If your recipe is buttermilk heavy — think biscuits, certain cakes, or a buttermilk dressing — go for the real thing or try a different substitution.

Thinned yogurt

If you're seeking that signature tang, but also need the thickness that buttermilk provides, watered-down plain yogurt is a good option. Full-fat is best, though low-fat yogurt will work in a pinch. Thin the yogurt with milk to mimic the consistency of buttermilk — exactly how much milk you'll need will depend on the yogurt. If you're using regular yogurt, a 3:1 mixture of yogurt to milk is a good starting point. If you're using especially thick yogurt or Greek yogurt, try 2 parts yogurt to 1 part milk, or even a 50/50 mixture for extra-thick Greek yogurt. You can use the mixture in your recipe immediately, no need to let it sit.

Thinned yogurt will work in most recipes that call for buttermilk. While the consistency helps make thicker batters and allows for more browning than acidified milk, it doesn't provide as nice of a crumb as buttermilk. Try using it as a substitution in pancakes, cornbread, drinks, and dips. Costello suggests "if you're craving fried chicken, but missing buttermilk, you can use yogurt or a mixture of yogurt and regular milk to brine your chicken. It makes your chicken a bit more tender than brining in a vinegar-based mixture."

Thinned sour cream

Much like watered down yogurt, thinned sour cream is also a worthy option for replacing buttermilk. Depending on the thickness of your sour cream, you'll want to water it down with milk at a ratio of 3:1 or 2:1 sour cream to milk. Sour cream has a lovely tang and a creamy, luscious texture, and it's a good option for many of the same applications as thinned yogurt. 

It's especially well-suited for savory dishes like dips and dressings. If Costello doesn't have buttermilk for something like a dressing, she uses sour cream or yogurt "to get the tang and the creaminess."

Kefir

Kefir is a fermented milk beverage that's similar to thin yogurt. It's often treated as a drink, and is sometimes sweetened with fruit purées and other flavorings. Plain kefir has a texture strikingly similar to buttermilk and is an excellent substitution when baking.

Kefir can be used 1:1 in recipes that call for buttermilk and it works especially well in biscuit recipes since it produces a good crumb and allows for nice browning. Try using it in any baked goods in place of buttermilk.

What substitute should I use? 
  Acidified yogurt Thinned yogurt Thinned sour cream Kefir
Pancakes and Waffles x x    
Cakes x     x
Biscuits       x
Fried Chicken   x    
Cornbread   x    
Dips and Dressings   x x  
Vegan buttermilk substitution

You can make acidified milk with non-dairy milk and use it in the same way. Costello has used this method with oat milk and noted that "it will give you the tang and a bit more tender crumb — but you need to add less liquid than the recipe states since the non-dairy milk doesn't have as much structure." Using a barista-style non-dairy milk can help produce a thicker acidified milk.

Insider's takeaway

Buttermilk is an essential ingredient, adding not just flavor, but also texture and rise to food. If you don't have any around and need a substitute, there are different options depending on what you're making — but any swap is better than skipping buttermilk entirely.

News Source: insider.com

Tags: if you don’t you don’t you’re using doesn’t there’s no don’t if you’re if you’re ’re using buttermilk especially well lemon juice and allows you can make pancakes moisture milk to make your chicken the tang a buttermilk you can use your recipe you can use

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Bielsa-Aragnouet: the tunnel that accentuates European sentiment

Bielsa (Huesca), Feb 26 (EFE) .- To speak of the Bielsa-Aragnouet tunnel, which links the Aragonese region of Sobrarbe with the French department of the High Pyrenees, is to do it in collaboration, synergies, closer ties and the growth of a common and pro-European sentiment that has been consolidated during its almost 45 years of life. This international tunnel, opened to traffic in 1976, is the achievement of the union of these municipalities that financed the works for which they have paid, “until relatively recently”, a loan that residents endorsed with their properties in “a work of very complex economic engineering “. This is how the mayor of Bielsa, Miguel Noguero, describes the process, who reminds Efe that “it took a lot for the central government to see the project” for this 3,070-meter infrastructure, although once agreed, he built the access road that ensured its use. With 1,664 meters on the Spanish side and 1,821 on the French side, the opening of the tunnel made it possible for the commercial and neighborhood relationship that had always existed in this border area to be strengthened. The problem that lasted for years was the impossibility of guaranteeing that the access road was open in winter, mainly in the French part, where snowfall could lead to the closure of the road for several days, recalls the mayor. This, together with the requirements of the European Union regarding the safety of a 3-kilometer tunnel without escape routes or surveillance, gave rise to a first document agreed upon by Spanish and French municipalities in the area that included the need for the tunnel was “open all year round and with investment to adapt it to European regulations”. THE HISPANOFRANCÉS CONSORTIUM: GUARANTEE AND SAFETY In 2008 the Spanish-French consortium was born for the management, exploitation and conservation of the Bielsa-Aragnouet tunnel, which represents, in Noguero’s words, “an absolute normality and a very high level of safety and envied in others European cross-border tunnels “. Composed of the Government of Aragon and the Hautes-Pyrenees, the consortium manages jointly, with the same protocols, this 3-kilometer infrastructure, as well as the 11 access kilometers (6 on the French side and 5 on the Spanish side) to ensure that clean both sides of the border and avoid the risk of avalanches. Its purpose is the safety and roads of the road infrastructure. Andrés Olloqui, director of the consortium, explains that thanks to the European funds POCTEFA (Spain-France-Andorra) from Interreg, which have financed 65% of the works, projects such as Gescontrans and Bidirex were executed in the tunnel, for an amount of 21 million euros, to bring it into line with European safety regulations. Later, also financed through POCTEFA, the Securus 1 and 2 projects arrived, the latter still in execution, endowed with 9 million and destined to act on natural risks – avalanches or falling stones – on the access road. Olloqui recalls that in 2020, within Securus 2, a 7,000 cubic meter dam for avalanche containment was built at the southern mouth for an amount of 223,000 euros and containment barriers were placed on the other side for 153,000 euros. The two-lane tunnel is bidirectional for light vehicles and alternate unidirectional for trucks, buses and caravans and also at night, when only about 25 vehicles circulate on average daily. The movement of bicycles and pedestrians as well as the passage of dangerous goods is prohibited because it does not have an evacuation gallery. The effectiveness of the consortium’s work in its maintenance and access and the improvements made with its management of European funds through POCTEFA is demonstrated by the figures. Since 2008, traffic has increased each year, with an average of a thousand vehicles a day, although with many variations: between 3,000 and 4,000 in summer and between 600 and 700 during the week in winter, which rises to 1,200-1,500 on ski weekends. , points out Olloqui. The trucks that pass daily are about 60-70 on average, although they have dropped to about 40 since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The tunnel is closed to traffic “two or three weeks at night” for maintenance work, and in a winter of “normal” snow fall “between 7 and 10 days per season” due to the risk of avalanche at the entrances. With a main control center in the south mouth and a secondary one in the north mouth, the consortium is putting out to tender the maintenance and winter road service contracts, for which they have up to four snowplows, including the reserve ones, for only 11 kilometers of road. A BEFORE AND AN AFTER IN THE ECONOMY OF THE AREA The fact that the Bielsa-Aragnouet tunnel is open all year round represents “90% of the economy” in the Spanish mouth, points out Juan Carlos Vidallé, a resident of Bielsa who has with his brother a company that manages a ski rental shop, a cafeteria-restaurant, a supermarket and a service station in the nearby village of Parzán. Remember that formerly in the valley they had won and that today “95%, if not 100%, live off tourism”, so the tunnel is their “way of life”. “Without the tunnel we would not be anyone,” he emphasizes. He argues that when it closed in winter they worked less, six or seven months a year, and had four employees. Since the consortium exists “their lives have changed” because the tunnel is not closed “practically at all”, it has about 15 workers all year round and 90% of its clients are French. They come because fuel is cheaper, also alcohol and tobacco, but also to enjoy gastronomy, while the Spaniards go to France to ski in the alpine resorts of Piau Engaly or Saint-Lary or to ride a road bike in ports such as the mythical Tourmalet, Vidallé details. Miguel Noguero agrees with him, who in addition to being mayor of Bielsa drives the town’s taxi and owns a bar and a hotel undergoing renovations. The taxi carries out the school transport and takes the children from the valley to school in Bielsa, where there are 40 enrolled plus another 10 in the nursery, despite being an area with just 500 registered inhabitants. From June to October he works with mountaineers whom he approaches for excursions, picks up or links with other means of transport, among which are many French, also American, German or Belgian, attracted by the GR-11 and by the more peaks. high in the Pyrenees. Although he works mainly with mountaineers between the end of May and November, he acknowledges that the tunnel represents “a lung of oxygen” to be able to have customers all year round, so the valley “does not close.” In addition to the mountaineers who come in the summer and the skiers in the winter, there are French in spring and autumn, who have “very seasonally adjusted” vacations. ECONOMIC EXCHANGES ON THE BORDER The existing economic interrelation on both sides of the border is also promoted by public and private entities. The president of the Sobrarbe Tourist Business Association, Paz Agraz, explains that in 2018 the DUSAL project was launched to work together on the creation of a single tourist destination between Sobrarbe and the Aure and Louron valleys, co-financed 65% by the Feder fund through the Interreg POCTEFA Program. It is about putting in value the products they have, such as mountain biking, hiking or snow with alpine practice in Piau Engaly or Saint-Lary, cross-country skiing in Pineta, snowshoes or ice climbing and the destination of nature in summer, and to promote them jointly by unifying the information and image of the tourist offices. This is possible thanks to the Bielsa-Aragnouet tunnel, “which makes it possible to have a continuous exchange and to generate unity”, explains Agraz. The project, for which an extension has been requested due to the covid-19 pandemic, will run until June, but the intention is “to have continuity over time.” The business fabric dedicated to tourism in the area is “very important”, with 30% of tourists of French origin and 20% Belgian and Dutch, and an “impeccable” role for the consortium to maintain the tunnel, its “door to Europe” , in good state. From the other side of this infrastructure, Émilie Verdoux, director of the Piau Engaly Tourist Office, recalls that they have a commercial association with the Bielsa City Council through the Piau-Sobrarbe trademark, which proposes to sleep in the Spanish town and skiing in the French resort. The Sobrarbe region is the only one in the Aragonese Pyrenees that does not have an alpine ski resort, but it does have a cross-country ski resort, in Pineta, so they have a “tourist and commercial ski pass agreement” -although this year it is not being applied due to the pandemic-, which allows both spaces to “complement each other”, according to the head of the Nordic station, Borja Real. Verdoux points out that 23% of the skiers at Piau Engaly are Spanish and highlights “the complementarity” between Spain and France in terms of carrying out tourist activities that the tunnel allows, but also in relation to agriculture and cereal. This cross-border space is “very important for both countries” and assumes that by living next to a border “it does not really exist,” he asserts. His compatriot Éric Fraysse, deputy head of slopes at Piau Engaly, considers the tunnel “essential”, whose consortium has awarded them the contract to carry out, every week in winter, soundings and analysis of the snow cover in order to estimate the risk of avalanches on the access road. Fraysse is also a guide to canyons and ravines in summer in Spain, so the tunnel is the access to spend “every day to Aragon” with French clients, a circumstance in which he agrees with Borja Real, who asserts that “more than 90 percent “of his clientele is French, which leads him to circulate through the tunnel” two or three times a day between July and August. PERSONAL EXPERIENCES The guarantee of being able to travel daily between Spain and France has also sponsored other life plans for the inhabitants of this Pyrenean border area. María Lorenzo, the consortium’s management technician, lived in Bielsa for eight years and has lived in the French town of Luchon for six years. A “change of life” that was raised with his family to learn the French language well and that his daughter Rebeca could combine her studies with participating in the competitive alpine skiing section, with which she practices this sport two days a week . Lorenzo travels the 65 kilometers that separate Luchon from Bielsa daily, a direction also taken by four other families that he knows who live in France and work past the Bielsa tunnel, as well as people who make the journey in reverse because “they work in France and they live in Spain “. “Before they couldn’t do it,” he adds. Many of these people who live or work in this border area, who come and go through the Bielsa-Aragnouet tunnel with the certainty that they will be able to reach their destination, feel “very European, not Spanish or French,” concludes the person in charge. of the consortium. And it delves into that it “dislocates” that the border is closed “circumstantially”, as has happened due to the pandemic, because “you have almost forgotten that there is one.” Lourdes Sarsa Granell (c) EFE Agency

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