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I have some Saco buttermilk powder that works great. It calls for one cup of water per 4 tbsp of powder for a cup of buttermilk. I'm wondering if you can use a liquid besides water and get the same results. Two liquids I have in mind: milk and carbonated water. Theoretically, I would envision the first creating a richer buttermilk and the second adding some extra fluffiness. Does anyone know anything about this?

Edit: To clarify, I would be using this buttermilk for baking, especially for pancakes (https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/162760/fluffy-pancakes/)

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    I assume you are reconstituting the buttermilk for use in baking? To predict the effect of these substitutions, we would need to know what in particular you are baking. A specific recipe would be great. – Benjamin Kuykendall Mar 5 at 3:55
  • Yes, in baking. I will update it. – Dirk Brandon Mar 5 at 16:58
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    You don't bake pancakes. – GdD Mar 5 at 21:07
  • if using it for a savory dish, consider trying chicken stock to reconstitute the buttermilk powder for even more umami. the recipe will probably need the amount of added salt decreased because chicken stock brings along plenty of salt – pleasePassTheCheese Mar 6 at 16:48
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Milk, for the sake of simplicity, adds two things to a recipe: lactose and milk fat. Although in terms of flavor, it may make more subtle contributions to your food, chemically, these are the main things to worry about.

Lactose is the primary sugar present in milk. A cup of milk contains 12 grams of sugar, which is about the same as a tablespoon of white sugar. So using milk instead of water in your pancake recipe increases the sugar content significantly. Your pancakes will taste sweeter and brown faster; this could be an improvement or a detriment depending on your taste.

Milk fat, though absent in skim milk, contributes about 8 grams of fat per cup in whole milk. Since a tablespoon of butter contains 12 grams, this is significant increase in the total fat of your recipe. This could yield a richer taste, but too much fat and your pancakes might end up greasy.

So overall: milk won't add anything to your pancakes that they don't already have. But, increased sugar and fat could make them significantly sweeter and richer. Just watch out, and turn down the heat if they brown too quickly.

Carbonated water is simply carbon dioxide suspended in water. It is occasionally used in batters for aeration, especially in deep frying. But I think in pancakes the effect will be negligible due to all the activity from the baking powder. Further, carbonated water is slightly acidic, so it could throw off the pH balance of your batter.

If you really want fluffy pancakes, then separate the eggs, and whip the whites to soft peaks. You can incorporate a ton of air into an egg white, and if you gently stir it into the batter, the batter should end up quite fluffy.

Buttermilk, the fresh variety, is quite a thick product. Though buttermilk powder has all the flavor and acidity of the fresh stuff, it simply lacks the thick texture. You should try to buy a pint some time and see if it improves your pancakes.

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  • Thanks! I have tried using buttermilk before in this recipe, but couldn't discern a difference. I'll try using milk to see whether or not I like the taste (as I do have a sweet tooth). – Dirk Brandon Mar 6 at 2:36

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