All of us at one time have sampled milk that’s gone a little “off”. While sour milk doesn’t pose any real health threats, the acid often upsets a person’s stomach and can cause some gastrointestinal distress such as vomiting.
If allowed to set out long enough, all milk will eventually spoil. Milk is filled with lots of living organisms and while pasteurization kills many of these little bacteria, it doesn’t kill all of them. At some point, the bacteria that remain in the milk start to feed on the milk sugars, changing the sweetness of the milk into a sour acid, called Lactose Acid. The acid curdles the milk proteins and turns it in that chunky texture that can turn a person’s stomach just to look at it.
But, just because the milk has soured doesn’t mean it has to be thrown away. There’s all sorts of food products that start with soured, or curdled milk such as yogurts, sour cream, buttermilk, and cheese. For families watching their money, throwing out sour milk is a waste of resources.
What can I make with sour milk?
Pancakes and biscuits are two popular breakfast breads that can be made with sour milk. One point to remember, is that when using sour milk in place of fresh, you must also add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda (also know as bicarbonate of soda) to your recipe as well. The baking soda neutralizes the milk acids and will react with the acid to create carbon dioxide gas when moistened. When combined with acids, baking soda acts as a leavening agent resulting in those little bubbles you will see in the batter. Foods prepared with baking soda always needs to be baked as soon as possible. Unlike baking powder which is double acting, once baking soda bubbles go flat, they can not be reactivated.
Sour milk can also be used as a substitute for buttermilk in other batter recipes such as batter breads, cakes, and cookies.
Recipe for sour milk cookies
One popular cookie recipe from the 1890s that used soured milk was known as “Jumbles”. Here’s the ingredients and instructions for you to try at home:
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup sour milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups white flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1 TB cinnamon
1. Thoroughly mix margarine, the one cup of sugar, and egg in a large mixing bowl.
2. Stir in sour milk and vanilla.
3. Combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Stir into egg mixture. Chill dough for an hour.
4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together the 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
5. Drop rounded spoonfuls of cookie dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Lightly sprinkle each cookie with a bit of the cinnamon sugar mixture.
6. Bake 8-10 minutes until set.