Monday, April 4, 2011
Dabbling In Dairy
However, I'm not making yogurt today. I'm culturing buttermilk. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I really love buttermilk. Recently, Steve and I were at a store that carries Bulgarian buttermilk, which is my favorite. This morning I had the chance to do a taste comparison of the Bulgarian against the swill I usually buy. It wasn't swill before, but it is now because the Bulgarian is so much better tasting. Turns out there's good reason for that. Here's what's in the swill: cultured lowfat milk, salt, modified food starch, mono and diglycerides, carrageenan, locust bean gum, sodium citrate, and vitamins A and D added.
Here's what's in the Bulgarian: milk, sodium citrate, salt, live active cultures. That's it. So then I got this idea: I've cultured creme fraiche before- I bet I could culture buttermilk. So a quick spin around the internet later and I was mixing one cup of the Bulgarian buttermilk with three cups of the organic whole milk I usually buy for my coffee and cereal (and anything else for which I need milk). I also added a teaspoon of salt, because part of what I like about buttermilk is its slightly salty tang. The whole thing went into my yogurt maker, which I'll leave for twelve hours, and we'll see tomorrow how it turns out.
Just in case you're wondering about that creme fraiche? Heat one pint of cream up to 90F. Pour into an immaculately clean jar and add three tablespoons of buttermilk. Leave in a warm place overnight. (In the summer in Florida I'd leave it on the top of the dryer because it was consistently in the nineties in the utility room.) Once it's nice and thick, refrigerate. Creme fraiche can be whipped, like cream, and it's awesome on desserts because it has a richer, almost cheese-like flavor. It's lovely stuff.
I'd bet that it's even better made with Bulgarian buttermilk, though.