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Better With Buttermilk: The Secret Ingredient in Old-Fashioned Cooking Hardcover – June, 1996


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Benning, who admits to "a shudder at the very notion of drinking buttermilk," is an avowed fan of its use in cooking because of its low cholesterol and fat content. An often misunderstood member of the dairy family, buttermilk is what's left after the butter has been churned from cream. Benning (Oh, Fudge!) promotes buttermilk's nutritional value and versatility and advocates using a butter stretcher she invented (made with gelatin, dried buttermilk, vegetable oil and butter) to reduce fat and cholesterol in baking. Nevertheless, many recipes call for lard, cream or eggs. Ideally, readers should forget calorie counting and simply enjoy the results of the easy-to-follow recipes. Buttermilk is a mainstay for bakers as it tenderizes baked goods, and nearly half the chapters deal with cakes, pies, muffins, doughnuts, biscuits, breads, etc., from Buttermilk Pound Cake to Peaches and Cream Pie and Pepper Corn Bread. It's also a featured ingredient in salad dressings (Buttermilk Herb Dressing), soups (Creamlesss Cream of Tomato Soup; Shrimp Bisque) and vegetable dishes (Savory Corn Bake; Rice and Chile Pepper Casserole). A crash course in dairy history includes such tidbits as buttermilk's use as a silver polish and freckle remover.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 267 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Co; 1st edition (June 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805031189
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805031188
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,538,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Realist on July 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful cookbook. For those of us who thought buttermilk was just a tangy milk product full of fat, THINK AGAIN. In reality it is better for you than regular milk and has less fat. It makes recipes tastier and better for you too. This book starts out with the history of buttermilk and takes us in to why it is so good for us. Very interesting reading. The author gives us ideas in the introduction on how to make special cooking butter that saves calories time and money. Then come the recipes. They are easy to read and follow. They are delicious. I am looking forward to using this book for many years.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By tzefirah on November 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I found this book on a remainder table and couldn't resist it. I bake often, and once you experience baking with buttermilk, you'll want to expand your baking recipes to include lots with buttermilk. It's a great baking ingredient (including the dried buttermilk powder).
With the success of the baking recipes, I tried some of the "smothered" recipes. Also great.
The recipes in this book are mostly easy and contain typical ingredients. They are also crowd pleasers. I can't recommend this book highly enough.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gratefulacres4 on January 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We really love the recipe using buttermilk to extend butter. It makes a lower fat/calorie spread that my kids love. In fact, not one of the many recipes that I have tried from this book has been bad. My kids have loved every one of them. The recipes are written very clearly with the author's tips included. There are many recipes that are not "baking" recipes such as spreads, dips, soups, salads & salad dressings; main dishes such as stews; fried chicken & fish, stroganoff, desserts such as puddings & sherbets plus many more traditional "baking" recipes like breads; muffins; soufflees; cakes, etc. The history of buttermilk and what to look for is very informative. This is a "must-have" if you love buttermilk and a great cookbook to expand your cooking if your are unfamiliar with using buttermilk in baking & cooking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sonja N. Casey on May 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of my favorite cook books. If you have buttermilk that is about to go bad, open this book and find a recipe. It tells how buttermilk is really made (not the vinegar and milk at-home recipe) and how it's been used in years past. I love reading this book on a rainy day to find out what I'd like to have as a treat, breakfast, or something to use my buttermilk for in my dinner. Also, I love how she gives the facts on how wonderful buttermilk is for your body! A must-have!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As an avid collector & reader of excellent cookbooks, my wife loves this book. She's always been a great fan and advocate of cooking with buttermilk and Benning's work has enlarged that joy.
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