In the past, there were only a few mustards in common use: the dry stuff and the inevitable yellow bottle of prepared mustard. Not anymore. It’s not normal to have dozens of mustards on supermarket shelves running for your attention. But the final decision is up to you. If your recipe calls for prepared mustard, AKA the wet stuff, you can substitute for dry mustard, but only after adjusting the amount of mustard and adding some liquid.
Ground mustard is the main ingredient in prepared mustard. But a tablespoon of ground mustard is much hotter than a tablespoon of prepared mustard, which often includes other ingredients, such as vinegar, turmeric, paprika, salt, and garlic.
As a general rule, use 1 teaspoon of dry mustard for each tablespoon of prepared mustard required in the recipe. You’ll also need to use water or vinegar to make up for the liquid lost due to swapping ground mustard for the prepared ingredient required in your recipe.
For each teaspoon of ground mustard, include 2 teaspoons of liquid. If you only use water, your mustard will likely be bitter. Try using a teaspoon of water and 1 teaspoon of vinegar. Distilled white vinegar works too, but wine vinegar will cut off some of the heat and spiciness.
Stir the mixture in a non-metallic bowl and leave it at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
The acid in the vinegar helps calm the heat of the mustard.
You can also add a teaspoon of sugar or less, depending on your taste, or sweeten the homemade mustard with honey.
If you need more than a tablespoon of mustard, combine the following ingredients in a non-metallic bowl.
Avoid metal as it may interact with your ingredients and leave an unpleasant aftertaste.
Mix the mixture into a paste and let it sit for about an hour. It will make about 1/4 cup.
Note that while these techniques work in a pinch, they’re just mustard shortcuts. The best homemade mustard starts with whole mustard seeds. You can find fresh mustard seeds at major drugstores, and as long as the seeds are not ground, they will last much longer than supermarket-prepared mustard.
You can flavor ground mustard by adding herbs or spices to the mustard seeds and grinding the entire mixture in a coffee grinder or using a mortar and pestle. You will still need some liquid to make the prepared mustard. Swap the wine for water for a creamy Dijon.
If you want more heat in your mustard, add a pinch of wasabi or horseradish root. Really, the taste you want is up to you.
If you’re still a little shy about making your own mustard recipes, here’s a simple recipe for Dijon homemade mustard.