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Old 11-26-2008, 02:18 PM   #1
Assistant Cook
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Boston
Posts: 33
Replacing milk with buttermilk

I wanted to change this recipe:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
to use buttermilk instead of milk. Why? Mostly for academic reasons - to see if I could do it right. But also because my understanding is that buttermilk produces better pancakes, and I like that recipe so it seemed like a good place to start.

So my understanding is that it takes a half teaspoon baking soda to cancel out the acidity of a cup of buttermilk, and that baking soda gives 4x as much leavening as baking powder, by volume.

So this is what I came up with:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 5/8 teaspoon baking soda (I know, I know...)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

I was worried about the buttermilk not being thin enough though - I've found buttermilk to be significantly thicker than milk. I made this recipe and my worry was spot on - I had to add in some normal milk (~1/4 C) to get the thickness of the batter right. So if I were to do it again I'd probably up the buttermilk to 3/2 C, up the baking soda to 3/4 ts, and do only 1/2ts baking powder. Besides that - they seemed to turn out great.

Anyways - does this all sound reasonable, or am I spouting crazy talk? Does my math make sense with the amount of leavening? Is there any way to calculate out how to account for the thickness of the buttermilk, or is that more of an experimentally found thing?


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