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Buttermilk was, at one time, the liquid left after butter had been made from milk. Unless you know someone at a dairy, this is no longer available.

Today's buttermilk is a cultured milk product, where a bacteria similar to the bacteria used to make sourdough processes the milk, making it richer, giving it a deeper taste, and making it more acidic.

Buttermilk is used in most quick breads because the acid in the buttermilk reacts with baking soda to produce gas and a rise.

You can use powdered buttermilk or soured milk in place of buttermilk to get  acceptable, but inferior, results.

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