Tuesday, April 3, 2012

On the Uses of Buttermilk

I had some buttermilk left over from the Irish Soda bread I made a few weeks ago. One of the annoying things about buttermilk is that it only comes in one-litre containers, never anything smaller, so no matter what you're making, you always have some left. One of the good things about buttermilk is that it has a fairly impressive shelf life.

I was flipping through my cookbooks, trying to find a recipe that used buttermilk, and I came across some cornmeal muffins. Now, normally I'm not that fond of cornmeal muffins, or cornbread, or cornmeal in general unless it's added in small amounts for texture. I don't know why, it's just not my thing.

These muffins though, are delicious. I'm so glad I had buttermilk that needed using, because otherwise I might have eternally passed this recipe by.

The best part about them? They're so easy. You probably could have guessed that's what I liked best about them. Sometimes I think I should have called this blog The Lazy Baker. Anyway, the muffins. Aside from being truly easy to make, they also taste really good. They are ever so subtly sweet, just a hint, not quite there, and the lime juice and zest round out the flavour nicely. They end up smelling weirdly like lime Tostitos, but I swear that's not how they taste.

They're also really moist. Oh yeah, another good thing about buttermilk? It's the king of keeping baked goods moist. You'll never have to worry about drying out if you use buttermilk.

You probably want the recipe now, right?

Cornmeal Muffins from Anna Olson

1 1/3 cups buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt


Whisk buttermilk, oil, eggs, sugar, and lime juice to combine.
In a separate bowl combine cornmeal, flour, zest, baking soda, and salt.
Add to buttermilk mixture and whisk until smooth (it's a very wet batter).
Pour into greased or lined muffin tin.
Bake 15 to 18 minutes in a 350F oven until golden brown and tops spring back when pressed lightly.

I can see these being extremely versatile. Brush them with a water icing glaze to sweeten them up a bit more, grate in some cheese before baking to make them savoury. Bake it in a pan as cornbread. You can stir in blueberries before baking to add another layer of flavour. Raspberries would also be nice. I can also see them going really well with your bacon and eggs in the morning.

Whichever way you eat them, you're sure to enjoy them!

1 comment:

  1. Gen!!

    I will definitely give this a go! As a sidebar, my dear old dad LOVED buttermilk. I would use a cup in my bran muffins and he would enthusiastically down the remaining 3ish cups. Blaugh!!!

    Really enjoying your blog. Keep up the good work.