Why Do Some Pancake Recipes Ask for Buttermilk?

Why Do Some Pancake Recipes Ask for Buttermilk?

You’ve surely heard of buttermilk pancakes, but what makes pancakes with buttermilk different than other pancakes, and why is buttermilk used in so many recipes? At The Great American Pancake Company, we love exploring what ingredients go into making gourmet-tasting pancakes and waffles you can make at home. We’re here to answer these questions and explore how buttermilk can make pancakes even more delectable.

What is Buttermilk?

Buttermilk is fermented dairy, but there’s no butter in it! However, it is called buttermilk because it was once made from butter that was left behind when people would churn butter. Buttermilk generally isn’t made in this form, but some communities still may use traditional processes. The key to buttermilk is fermenting it by adding acidity to the milk, which causes bacteria.

Fermentation means that it has bacteria added to it. Don’t worry; this isn’t harmful bacteria. These bacteria allow it to have different chemical reactions that can be advantageous in baking. Buttermilk tastes different than milk, which is similar to yogurt in many ways. Yogurt and buttermilk are both fermented dairy, and this fermentation gives them a tangy taste that regular milk doesn’t have.

Buttermilk is generally sourer, and it also has more of a shelf life because the bacteria keep it good longer. Thus, you can keep it in your house to have ready for mornings (or evenings!) when you want to make pancakes.

Why is Buttermilk Used in Pancakes?

As one of the most common pancake ingredients, buttermilk seems obvious, but you’re probably wondering why the recipes don’t recommend regular milk. Wouldn’t it be easier to use the more common household staple, milk? Well, it might be easier, but there are many reasons buttermilk can be a fairly simple way to transform your pancakes and bring them to the next level.

Buttermilk is used all the time in pancake recipes because being fermented. The fermentation process changes the properties, so the buttermilk reacts with the baking soda in the pancakes. This reaction makes the pancakes fluffy, and your stack of pancakes gets added height. Thus, buttermilk can give pancakes a better texture and make them tender in your mouth.

Buttermilk pancakes may also make your pancakes have more flavor layers. The buttermilk adds tang, which compliments the other ingredients well, making your pancakes more robust and gourmet.

Should I Use Buttermilk in My Pancakes?

Many people like the addition of buttermilk to their pancakes. However, not everyone enjoys the tanginess of buttermilk pancakes. You may not want to use buttermilk in your pancakes for many reasons. For example, you may prefer to eat less dairy or prefer other ingredients like yogurt or Kefir. Additionally, people who live vegan lifestyles don’t have milk and will have to seek other options to get the taste they want, such as vegan yogurt.

If you aren’t sure whether you want to use buttermilk, it’s time to experiment with your pancake-making. Try buttermilk versus non-buttermilk pancakes to see what you like better. Experimenting with your pancakes and determining what taste you adore will be fun. Some people will want different pancakes for different moods, and that’s okay too. We’re here to support you in whatever pancakes give you and your family the most happiness.

What Can I Substitute for Buttermilk?

Buttermilk adds a lot to pancakes. Whether you use fresh or powdered buttermilk, it’s a great addition to pancakes, but just because you don’t have buttermilk doesn’t mean you can’t replicate the buttermilk flavor at home.

Adding acid to milk is the number one way to substitute buttermilk. It sounds gross, but if you add about a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar for every cup of milk you are using, you can make your own buttermilk. You should wait around five to ten minutes at least before you use the milk because the milk needs time to react to the acid. This trick is science in action and is a cool way to teach kids about scientific reactions.

You can use other substitutes to get a bit of tang in your gourmet pancakes. Using plain, unsweetened yogurt and adding water or milk is a nice trick. You want to use ¾ cup of yogurt; the rest should be either milk or water. A third trick is adding three tablespoons of cream of tartar to your milk. Whisk your ingredients together and be impressed with your buttermilk substitute. Finally, Kefir is another fermented dairy product you can swap for buttermilk.

While regular old milk won’t give the same effect as buttermilk, the good news is that you can easily make most pancake recipes with plain milk. You might not get the same fluffiness, but you’ll still get delicious pancakes or waffles.

How to Make Buttermilk Pancakes

Making the best savory pancake recipe doesn’t have to be hard! And if you like more sweetness in your recipe, those pancakes don’t have to be hard, either! No matter what you like, you can use buttermilk with our pancake mix to create some of the best pancakes you’ve ever had, let alone made at home.

Get one of our mixes and follow the instructions to make delicious pancakes. We’ll make the process easy so special breakfasts can feel special without much effort.

Get The Best Pancakes for You and Your Family

Whether you want to treat yourself to a special treat or make special memories with your kids, partner, or other valued family members, The Great American Pancake Company is a family business that wants to enrich your family’s life.

Contact us or come shop for our products and find the gourmet pancake mix that’s perfect for you. You can choose from ten year-round flavors to fit your tastes. Additionally, our pancakes have quality, high-end ingredients that are sure to treat you without putting harmful ingredients into your body. You won’t regret giving our pancake mixes a place in your pantry.