Food Guide

Discover the Perfect Buttermilk Substitute for Sourdough Baking: Expert Tips and Recipes

Buttermilk is a staple ingredient in many baked goods, particularly in sourdough recipes. It adds tanginess and richness to the dough, but what do you do if you don’t have buttermilk on hand?

Do you have to give up on your favorite dish because of lacking ingredients? Don’t worry! Here are several substitutes that will work just as well as buttermilk in your sourdough recipes.


A yogurt is a great option for a buttermilk substitute because it has a tangy flavor and a thick, creamy texture, and Greek yogurt works particularly well in this role.

To use yogurt as a substitute, replace the buttermilk in your recipe with an equal amount of yogurt.

For example, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of buttermilk, use 1 cup of yogurt.

When using yogurt as a substitute, it’s essential to consider the fat content.

If your recipe calls for low-fat buttermilk, you may want to choose a low-fat yogurt.

If your recipe calls for full-fat buttermilk, use full-fat yogurt.

Keep in mind that the fat content of the yogurt will affect the richness and texture of your final product.

Milk and vinegar or lemon juice

This simple buttermilk substitute can be made with just two ingredients: milk, vinegar, or lemon juice.

Simply mix 1 cup of milk with one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to make it.

Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes until it curls and thickens.

The acid in the vinegar or lemon juice causes the milk to curdle, creating a tangy flavor similar to buttermilk.

When using this substitute, remember that the amount of acid needed may vary depending on the type of milk used.

For example, if you’re using non-dairy milk, you may need to add more vinegar or lemon juice to get the desired tanginess.

Cream of Tartar and milk

Cream of tartar is a magical ingredient that can transform plain old milk into a tangy buttermilk substitute.

It is a common ingredient in baking that can be used as a buttermilk substitute in sourdough recipes.

To use cream of tartar as a substitute, mix one teaspoon of cream of tartar with 1 cup of milk.

This mixture will provide the tanginess that is so important in sourdough recipes and will also help activate the yeast in your recipe, leading to a rise in your dough.

Remember that cream of tartar has a slightly different flavor than buttermilk, so the final flavor of your sourdough recipe may be slightly different when using this substitute.

However, with a little bit of experimentation, you’ll be able to find the perfect substitute for your specific recipe.

Milk and Probiotic Powder

This option is for you if you’re a fan of gut-friendly ingredients.

The mixture of milk and probiotic powder will thicken and develop a tangy flavor as the bacteria grow and ferment the lactose in the milk.

When using this substitute, choosing a probiotic powder designed explicitly for baking is important.

Some probiotics may not survive the heat of baking, so be sure to choose one specifically marketed for this purpose.

Using milk and probiotic powder as a buttermilk substitute is not only a great way to add tanginess to your sourdough, but it’s also a great way to add beneficial bacteria to your diet.

So go ahead, give it a try!.

Soy milk and vinegar

For those who follow a vegan diet or are lactose intolerant, soy milk and vinegar are great alternatives to traditional buttermilk.

This substitute is simple to make and provides a tangy flavor that is similar to buttermilk.

To use this combination as a buttermilk substitute, mix 1 cup of unsweetened, plain soy milk with one tablespoon of vinegar (such as white vinegar or apple cider vinegar).

Stir the mixture well and let it sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes.

This will cause the vinegar to curdle the soy milk, creating a tangy flavor that is similar to buttermilk.

In conclusion, buttermilk is a key ingredient in many sourdough recipes, but with these substitutes, you’ll never have to worry about not having it on hand. Experiment with different substitutes to find the perfect one for your specific recipe, and remember to have fun and enjoy the process of baking!

Emily W.

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about cooking, eating, and sharing their experiences with others. Read my story
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