Even if you have just one cow or only one goat at your homestead, you still have a lot of milk to process. An average cow provides 7-8 gallons of milk a day, while an average goat produces 1-1,5 gallons. So I’m sure that you make butter at home. I’ve been making butter for years, and for me, it’s still a miracle process and a lot of fun. But besides that delicious homemade butter, I get another secret ingredient after this process. It is buttermilk.
A slightly sour yellowish-white liquid that separates from the butter clots during churning is an excellent probiotic source for your body’s needs. It’s great for strong bones and muscles, for reducing cholesterol level, for oral and skin health, for detoxing your body. Buttermilk has so many benefits! So what to do with buttermilk?
Freeze it and use it later. You can safely store it frozen for up to three months. Freeze it in portions for ease of use. Defrosted buttermilk will still contain that wonderful active cultures.
Drink it. If you tolerate milk but still have some digestive disorders, drink buttermilk instead. It’s a very refreshing drink which gives you energy. Drink it after eating heavy meals, and you will feel lighter. Give it to your animals. They also deserve to drink the good stuff.
Add it to everything you cook, from soups to soaps. Buttermilk will make it more impressive.
Make sauces, dressings, dips, and roux, adding buttermilk. The benefit is not only that pleasant creaminess of your sauce but also the piquancy of its flavor. Add it when you need to dilute your sauce, and it will improve both texture and taste.
When your recipe calls for water or milk, replace it in whole or in part with buttermilk, and it will bring your product to another level. Make dough and bake bread using buttermilk for a nutty flavor and tender texture of a breadcrumb.
Add it to chicken marinates or make a brine for overnight marinating, as its enzymes break down proteins and make the meat melt in your mouth. Or use it for batter for frying chicken. It will make that crispy crust that helps to receive juicy and tender meat inside.
Make cakes, biscuits, and pies using buttermilk. Make custards and spreads. Make dumplings, pancakes, and crepes. Whenever you need that rich and buttery taste and a hint of acid for balancing a flavor, don’t hesitate to add buttermilk. This stuff is so precious!
These days Slavic world celebrates Shrovetide. A bright, tasty, cheerful ancient folk holiday, which traditionally occurs at the end of winter. It lasts a whole week and is dedicated to the awakening from hibernation and praises the spring sun. It is famous for loud festivities, hearty feasts with games and songs. The main symbol of Shrovetide is crepe. Round, ruddy, and hot crepes as the sun itself!
Here I’d like to share with you a basic recipe I’ve developed over the years. It has many variations, and I suggest you replace milk with buttermilk. It will make your crepes fluffier and more flavourful. All you need is 350 ml milk (or buttermilk), two medium eggs, 130 g all-purpose flour (a bit less than one cup), 30 g sugar (two heaped tbsp), 40 g vegetable oil (three tbsp), and 4 g salt (half of a tsp). Remember to sift the flour first. Follow the sequence of the process. Pour the liquid ingredients in a thin stream into the flour with dry ingredients, stirring actively. Add oil at the very end of the process. All you need is to mix everything until the batter is smooth and has no lumps. The batter should flows easily from the spoon. Leave it to rest for 15 minutes. The best frying pan is a cast iron one with a thick bottom, as it heats up evenly and keeps warm for a long time. Preheat the pan well before frying. Grease the pan with a thin layer of oil only once before frying the first crepe as there is already enough oil in your batter. These are all of my secrets to make perfect crepes. You can start doing it right now. Enjoy!