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Yorkshire Pudding with Buttermilk - d...

Peter_Goulding's picture

Because I like the 'tang' that buttermilk adds to so many other recipes, I substituted buttermilk for the milk (100%). The result was atrocious: didn't rise and therefore heavy and charred on the top. BUT, the taste difference that I was looking for was there.

Any ideas?


Cherry_Vanilla's picture

(post #57415, reply #1 of 13)

I can't find my copy of Shirley Corrihers' Cookwise but it may contain an explanation as to what ingredients need to be adjusted when substituting buttermilk for milk. I checked my Better With Buttermilk cookbook (by Lee Edwards Benning) but it didn't contain a recipe for Yorkshire Pudding. Nor did it have suggestions for substitutions. It did state that the interaction of baking soda and buttermilk creates carbon dioxide at a much faster pace than yeast & sugar. If your Yorkshire Pudding recipe did not contain baking soda, then that might be the problem. No carbon dioxide was created for the "rising". Based on the buttermilk bread and roll recipes in that cookbook, it looks like they use 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda for 1 cup of buttermilk.

Peter_Goulding's picture

(post #57415, reply #2 of 13)

There is no chemical leavener in the recipe - which I have been using for years. The ingredients are:

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1Tbs cold water.

I checked with Corriher in CookWise and she agrees with your source on substituting buttermilk for milk where there is bakingpowder in the recipe: 1/2 tsp baking soda per cup of buttermilk.

So, we're still in the dark.


Ol'_Pro's picture

(post #57415, reply #3 of 13)

My recipe calls for :
1 cup milk

1cup flour

3 eggs

1/2 tsp. salt

1 Tbs. butter, melted

I beat this in the blender just long enough to mix in the flour. The air is the leavening so you shouldn't have to use baking soda. I'm almost tempted to give this a test.

Gerard's picture

(post #57415, reply #4 of 13)

The leveaner is the egg, look at the ingredients.
Fat,water,flour and egg.
Now look at eclairs.
Fat, water,flour and egg.
No air in intentionally incorporated in eclair paste, in fact bubbles make for difficult bagging.

As for the buttermilk problem, I'm guessin its the acid in the buttermilk interfering with the gluten which is what hold the puffs up.
The eggs give the rise, the fat gives emulsion to the paste and lubricates the gluten and the gluten itself allows the gas bubble to form and holds the whole thing up.
The milk and salt do nothing, water can be used instead and salt balances flavor.
Don't use buttermilk where gluten is needed. Make sense?

Peter_Goulding's picture

(post #57415, reply #5 of 13)

Through email I received the following comments on buttermilk to add to the discussion:

< Buttermilk is produced in commercial dairies from a
< culture, which changes the way the solids in the milk perform when heated.
< They tend to congeal-- much like cultured sour cream versus whipping cream
< when heated-- and pull together. This leaves low-fat watery liquid remaining
< to bind the fat and flour together. Since fat does not mix easily with
< water, the smooth well blended batter that milk creates is absent. Another
< way to look at it is that the fat in the milk is evenly distributed through
< homogenization and pulls the starch in evenly.
< I often substitute buttermilk in baking etc. as well but method lends itself
< to these changes-- especially with leaveners such as baking powder and soda.

Peter_Goulding's picture

(post #57415, reply #6 of 13)

The problem could be the acid in the buttermilk (is it lactic acid?). But I have several bread recipes that call for buttermilk which work perfectly well.

Perhaps it's the amount - I substituted 100% for the milk.

Perhaps some of the acid in the buttermilk could be neutralized - but buttermilk is only mildly acidic anyway, ins't it?

What about adding vital wheat gluten?

It's the flavour I'm after.


Peter_Goulding's picture

(post #57415, reply #7 of 13)

I just realized that I only asked why the recipe didn't work and I think we now have a good idea.

I was hoping that paticipants would offer some suggestions on making a yorkshire pudding recipe that includes (some) buttermilk. Any suggestions?


Gerard's picture

(post #57415, reply #8 of 13)


the analysis of the buttermilk separating into fat and water is incorrect as far interfering with forming a good batter, as I said before its the acidity causing the problem.
Again, back to the eclair batter example, fat and water are mixed with flour and it does form a good batter with addition of egg.

Want a good example?, take some bread dough and add lemon juice or vinegar, the dough will fall apart.

The only fix is to either neutralise the acid or moderate the amount used.

Peter_Goulding's picture

(post #57415, reply #9 of 13)


Thanks for your reply. In this context, what do you think would be the best ingredient to neutralize the acid with?


Sandra_'s picture

(post #57415, reply #10 of 13)

Gerard: On the back of the bag of my favourite flour is a bread recipe that calls for the addition of lemon juice. I haven't tried it because I have my own recipe, but the claim is that the lemon juice makes a lighter, fluffier bread. So which is it? Does the bread fall apart, or does the dough gain something from the acid?

Gerard's picture

(post #57415, reply #11 of 13)


Its depends on your local water PH, if its alkali then some acid will neutralise it but if its already acidic,.. adding more will do more bad than good.
So putting that sort of advise on a bag of flour has been done by someone uninformed, is it a local supplier or King Arthur again.?
We used to use 1000lb of King arthur a week until the owner went bonkers a few yrs ago, they lost a lot of their commercial accounts back then and have been trying to establish a home baker mkt since, its an odd company. (Sands Taylor and Wood).
Regards, Gerard

Gerard's picture

(post #57415, reply #12 of 13)


I don't know, some sort of alkali. I don't know food chemistry but Willie Prejean says,

"Baking Soda (Bicarbonate of Soda) Bicarbonate of soda, an alkali salt can be added
alone or as a component of baking powder. The alkalinity of baking soda lowers the
carmelization point of sugar in the cookie dough or batter, causing faster and darker coloring
of the crust. Soda also has a weakening effect on flour proteins. This action is more
pronounced when soda is used without the counteracting food acid. Some of the alkalinity of
the soda is neutralized by the natural acidity of the other ingredients in the formula. Too much
soda will result in a chemical reaction between the fat in the formula and the soda. This will
result in the cookie having a soapy taste. "

So...I would take a batch and split into 3 parts, make one test run using 50/50 whole milk and buttermilk, do the other 2 tests with increasing amounts of soda, maybe starting with 5%, bake it off and see how it works.

Something tells me yorkshire pudd is very similar to eclair batter in that its very dependant on the balance of ingredients and how they're put together and can't be messed around with.

My brother has a degree in food/baking chemistry, he's very knowledgeable in these things, give him a yell and see if he thinks it might work.

Peter_Goulding's picture

(post #57415, reply #13 of 13)

HI Gerard,

The 'reply' button isn't working.

Thanks for taking the time you did for your last posting.

I'll get in touch with your brother and get back here.