Sour cream is a key player in plenty of baking recipes, from coffee cakes to doughnuts. Its fattiness adds richness to batters and doughs, creating a moister crumb than recipes that simply call for milk. Sour cream is also acidic, and that acid not only makes the gluten in the finished product more relaxed and tender, but helps to activate any baking soda in the recipe as well. It can also affect taste, giving the finished product a pleasant tanginess.
If sour cream isn't readily available to you and you need a quick fix, you're in luck: Buttermilk can be used in recipes instead. Use 3⁄4 of a cup of buttermilk for each cup of sour cream that the recipe asks for. Though the batter may end up a little thinner due to the liquidy nature of the buttermilk, you won't easily be able to tell the difference once it's fully baked.
Why Is Buttermilk A Good Substitute For Sour Cream?
Why does buttermilk make a good sour cream substitute? First, let's look at what buttermilk and sour cream are, respectively. Buttermilk used to be the liquid that was left over after cream was churned into butter. These days, the term refers to milk that has been intentionally soured. Most buttermilks sold in grocery stores have cultures in them — much like yogurt — that ferment them and provide that slightly tangy taste. Sour cream is similar, but it starts as full-fat cream instead of milk.
These dairy products are comparable to each other, though sour cream has a much higher fat content and is much thicker in consistency because of it. Baked goods using sour cream will be a little more moist and tender than the same baked goods made with buttermilk, but the acidity present in both of these products still interacts with baking powder and gluten in the same way, leading to similar results.
The Best Ways To Use Extra Buttermilk
After you've made your ingredient swap, you may have some buttermilk left over in the bottle that needs using. Luckily, buttermilk is a popular recipe ingredient in its own right. Buttermilk biscuits are a great way to use up leftover buttermilk, resulting in a flaky, buttery pastry perfect for slathering with jam or dipping into stews. Buttermilk pancakes are another popular treat; the buttermilk's acid mixes with baking soda and makes these pancakes fluffy, airy, and perfect for scarfing down with syrup. And dredging chicken in buttermilk is a great way to prep it for being fried to crispy golden deliciousness.
Buttermilk is also a great smoothie ingredient, as well as a perfect base for salad dressings such as buttermilk ranch. In many recipes where you'd normally use milk or cream, you could likely substitute buttermilk for creaminess and a little extra tang.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.