I had a go at making my own buttermilk the other day, I thought if I could get the hang of it I could maybe keep it on the go to encourage me to make lovely goodies like the scones I made today. I think buttermilk gives a fabulous lightness to both muffins and scones, but it is so much more expensive than milk that I often forgo it in favour of the cheaper (and more convenient) option. Sophie Grays second book Destitute Gourmet: More Stunning Food from Small Change has instructions on how to get around this - her whole philosophy is eating well for less and certainly she has a great deal of hints and methods that can cut a good chunk from the weekly grocery spend. This book has instructions on how to make your own yoghurt, buttermilk, creme fraiche, mascarpone and condensed milk. I have made the mascarpone, which turned out really well, and is definitely less expensive than the store bought variety.
To make your own buttermilk you do have to start with the bought version- this is only to begin with and once you have it going you just take half a cup from each lot you make to start your next one. I made mine in my yoghurt maker, it turned out fine.
2 cups milk
1/2 c buttermilk
Heat the milk to blood temperature- about 37 degrees C. Stir in the buttermilk. Transfer mixture to a clean jar and give it a good shake. Leave in a warm place for 12-24 hours. When thickened transfer to a plastic container with a tight fitting lid and store in the fridge. Keeps 7-10 days.
The scones I made were plain ones- the recipe is similar to my cheese scones but using buttermilk instead of milk.
4 c SR flour
2 tsp BP
1 tsp salt
1/4 c sugar
2 cups buttermilk
100 g cold butter
Oven at 210C. Put dry ingredients in large bowl. Grate in cold butter and work through flour mix. Beat egg into buttermilk and add to dry ingredients. Work together into dough, don't overmix. Turn onto floured surface and pat out to about 2 inches thick. Cut shapes and place on baking paper lined tray.
Bake 15-20 mins or until puffed up and golden brown. Makes 12 LARGE scones or 18-20 medium.I served these with my homemade strawberry jam and cream, they were lovely!! They also keep well- they were still very moist and tender the next day.