We all know buttermilk, as opposed to regular milk, adds a special flavor to pastries. So, what if, this time around, we make our cornbread without buttermilk?
The good news is that there are a handful of substitutes that you can use instead of buttermilk. So, if you don’t want to use it in your recipe, or you’ve run out, you can easily find an alternative.
However, any time you need to substitute buttermilk, you need to make sure you’re doing it the right way. That’s why we put together this guide to help you with everything you need to know about buttermilk.
Let’s get started.
Ideal Buttermilk Alternatives
Buttermilk, as a standalone ingredient, has many alternatives that can provide similar, if not the exact same, results. They may not all give you that tender texture you’re used to in traditional cornbread loaves, but the taste will still be just as great.
You’ll also need to use suitable substitutes and correct proportions to get those same delicious results. Using alternatives is critical since you have to make sure the recipe you use coincides with the substitute and blends well with the other ingredients.
Otherwise, you risk ruining the entire dish. In more extreme cases, some alterations fail, and the cornbread becomes too hard on the outside and too crumbly on the inside.
If you’d like to switch out buttermilk for a similar substitute, you can use any of the:
- Regular milk with a teaspoon of vinegar
- Regular milk with lemon juice
- Sour cream with a teaspoon of plain water or milk
These alternatives will add just the right amount of moisture and sourness to the recipe.
Yet, keep in mind these are two different ingredients mixed and not a naturally introduced single unit. So, you won’t get the same texture you’re used to.
Otherwise, if you’re looking for an alternative because you’re vegan or lactose-intolerant, then any of these will be great:
- A teaspoon of lemon juice to any plant-based milk (for example, coconut, soy, or almond)
- Vegan yogurt
- Vegan sour cream
Basic Cornbread Recipe
Anyone can make cornbread using our foolproof recipe, even beginners. You probably already have most of the ingredients in your kitchen, and the steps are really straightforward.
Try this recipe for your next dinner party. It’s guaranteed to be a raging success!
- All-purpose flour or wheat flour
- Baking powder
- Smoothened butter or margarine
How To Make Cornbread:
Cornbread is super easy to make. It tastes incredible, and the best part is that the recipe can be altered and tweaked as much as you like.
It’s made with common everyday ingredients. So, you can always mix and match and still come up with amazing results.
While this is just a basic recipe for making a cornbread loaf, you can always add a few extras to make it more unique.
For example, some people like adding bacon and cheddar cheese for a more savory flavor, whereas others add blueberries and honey for a sweeter taste.
All you need to do is follow these simple steps:
- First, in a medium-sized bowl, place all the wet ingredients together, which includes the eggs, buttermilk (or its substitute), and butter.
- Mix well until you’re left with a creamy mix.
- Then, in a second bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Mix them thoroughly.
- Combine the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Mix them until you’re left with a smooth and even batter.
- Next, pour the mixture into the baking pan and put it in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes at 350°F.
- Finally, once the pan is out and the cornbread loaf has cooled down, you can garnish it with a wide variety of toppings, such as whipped cream, maple syrup, or just a dusting of castor sugar on top.
- Another option is to spread a thin layer of melted butter on the surface of the loaf to make it super tender.
How To Use Buttermilk Alternatives
While incorporating any alternative to your cornbread recipe, you need to make sure you add it in the correct proportions.
For example, if you were using one cup of buttermilk, then you have to use one cup of regular 2% milk.
In other words, you can substitute buttermilk with almost any other type of milk. Just make sure to use it in the same amount as if you were adding buttermilk.
This is because, as the primary liquid ingredient in pastry recipes, milk acts as an adhesive medium. Therefore, the amount of milk added will determine how moist and put together your pastries will come out.
Buttermilk is denser than regular milk, making your pastry slightly thicker. Yet, at the same time, it’ll have a much richer flavor.
On the other hand, say you’re using a denser product like sour cream, for example. In this case, you’ll have to add half the amount of buttermilk, while the other half should be much less dense, such as water or another type of suitable liquid.
Here’s a brief list to help clarify things a bit more:
- 1 cup buttermilk = 1 cup whole fat milk
- 1 cup buttermilk = 1 cup soy milk
- 1 cup buttermilk = 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup buttermilk = half a cup sour cream + half a cup water
- 1 cup buttermilk = half a cup vegan yogurt + half a cup water
Why Use Buttermilk In Cornbread?
Buttermilk is loaded with all sorts of healthy nutrients. Plus, it aids in the digestion process and eases stomach problems.
This is thanks to the antioxidants found in buttermilk that help reduce the acidity in the stomach. As a result, it not only eases the digestive process but also regularizes how your body absorbs food.
In addition, buttermilk also contains electrolytes. These essential minerals help your body retain water to keep you hydrated and nourished.
Whether you drink buttermilk in appropriate portions or incorporate buttermilk in foods, it’s a great way to make the most of all these health benefits.
Along with all these fantastic health benefits, buttermilk is a great addition to this recipe. It enhances the flavor and makes it richer and more moist.
Plus, buttermilk has this way of making cornbread loaves come out fluffy and airy. It also has the ability to even out the consistency of the batter, so everything is combined together more easily.
Cornbread Without Buttermilk
Cornbread without buttermilk is still tasty. Yet, it doesn’t come out tasting as rich in flavor or indulging as it could be with the buttermilk.
If you were to use regular milk, you can expect the loaf to be less buttery in texture. However, your cornbread will still be as moist as it would be if you were using buttermilk.
With time and a bit of baking experience, you’ll be able to tell that the cornbread with buttermilk tastes so much better. You’ll also be able to differentiate between the intensity of flavor and texture of the cornbread made with buttermilk.
That’s why many people consider making this recipe without buttermilk a bit tricky. You risk having cornbread missing its original feathery and slightly spongy texture that we’ve all come to associate with traditional cornbread loaves.
Cornbread without buttermilk is almost unfathomable for many people. They feel it adds something special to the recipe, amplifies the taste, and gives it that familiar taste and texture.
Plus, don’t forget it’s loaded with minerals and nutrients that ease digestion and boost your overall health.
Yet, if you prefer using a substitute, you can always add milk and vinegar as a dairy-based alternative.
Otherwise, you can go for a plant-based type of milk, like soy or almond. Then, add a few drops of lemon juice to give you the same flavor as buttermilk.
Now that you get the gist, which ingredients will you use to make your next loaf of cornbread?
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.