Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Dry Milk as Ingredient in Bread Recipes


Pontormo
 Share

Recommended Posts

Years and years ago I lived up the block and across the street from a large country store on the outskirts of a college town that sold incredible cheesecakes, Archie comic books for the devout and everything you could possibly need for baking for cheap: all in clear plastic bags sealed with twist ties, weighed and priced.

There and then I first noticed different kinds of powdered milk sold next to yeast, wheat berries and rye flour. These were the days that the popularity of Diet for a Small Planet was just beginning to wane and I always associated dehydrated milk with that kind of economical, fringe cooking.

Having somehow misplaced my favorite source of simple, basic bread recipes, I opened up Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (1997; sorry, no time to tend a poolish) and was surprised to see that Deborah Madison recommends the use of dry milk or dried buttermilk in several of her bread recipes.

Since there are only a few recipes, it is hard to see a pattern. However, in one case, the recipe is for a whole wheat bread that includes a little gluten flour, but no unbleached white; another is for a rye bread. Does powdered milk complement heartier flours in a way that distinguishes it from fresh milk or buttermilk? Or might it be an established, superior source of protein for vegetarians?

Edited to ask: Do I need to make any adjustments in simply replacing some of the water in the recipe with milk--other than, perhaps, increasing the amount of flour slightly?

Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Years and years ago I lived up the block and across the street from a large country store on the outskirts of a college town that sold incredible cheesecakes, Archie comic books for the devout and everything you could possibly need for baking for cheap: all in clear plastic bags sealed with twist ties, weighed and priced.

There and then I first noticed different kinds of powdered milk sold next to yeast, wheat berries and rye flour.  These were the days that the popularity of Diet for a Small Planet was just beginning to wane and I always associated dehydrated milk with that kind of economical, fringe cooking.

Having somehow misplaced my favorite source of simple, basic bread recipes, I opened up  Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (1997; sorry, no time to tend a poolish) and was surprised to see that Deborah Madison recommends the use of dry milk or dried buttermilk in several of her bread recipes. 

Since there are only a few recipes, it is hard to see a pattern.  However, in one case, the recipe is for a whole wheat bread that includes a little gluten flour, but no unbleached white; another is for a rye bread.  Does powdered milk complement heartier flours in a way that distinguishes it from fresh milk or buttermilk?  Or might it be an established, superior source of protein for vegetarians?

Edited to ask:  Do I need to make any adjustments in simply replacing some of the water in the recipe with milk--other than, perhaps, increasing the amount of flour slightly?

You can sub milk / buttermilk for water in equal measure. Buttermilk, IMO, gives a superior result (better flavor, more tender crumb) and I always add it to my regular sandwich-type breads. Saco powdered buttermilk is nice to have on hand, too.

There are different kinds of powdered milk. King Arthur sells a special Baker's Special Dry Milk forumated specially for yeast breads. I recommend it as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But why?

Is it mere convenience?

See questions in my original post above.

I once tried using dried buttermilk, but was not impressed. It may have been the brand, definitely not KAF's.

These days, I buy fresh buttermilk at least twice a month since I love the stuff in pancakes and baked goods. It freezes well, although I only tried that once to see if an assertion was true.

I tried reading McGee, and can now report that Marco Polo saw powdered milk produced in Asia way back when. Nothing's said in Bread Alone and it is my beloved old James Beard that is hiding from me.

Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pro bakers tend to use dry milk in recipes to save precious fridge space and to aid in liquid temperature calculations. Cold milk can throw off the temperature and creates another factor to take into consideration when aiming for a specific "Desired Dough Temperature."

One other advantage to using the powder is for mise en place. One can weight the milk into a container with the other dry ingredients (including instant yeast) and just add the water for mixing.

I've also heard of the enzyme interference but have never heated milk for this reason or used heated milk powder.

Note: most fresh buttermilk contains enough salt to cause a slowed activity. I've reduced the salt amount to 1.8% the flour weight quantities with perfect results.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Milk tenderizes the bread and makes it less chewy. However, milk contains enzymes that adversely affect yeast. You can deactivate the enzymes by scalding the milk (which is why you sometimes see "scalded milk" in recipes), or by using milk powder (instant milk).

He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise. --- Henry David Thoreau
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can deactivate the enzymes by scalding the milk (which is why you sometimes see "scalded milk" in recipes), or by using milk powder (instant milk).

This is the reason I started using powdered milk years ago--no waiting for the scalded milk to cool. Proof the yeast in the water alone, then add powdered milk and other ingredients.

Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's the protein glutathione, not an enzyme, that denigrates gluten. DMS is heated for 30 minutes at 190 degrees as is high heat NFDM before the drying process. Milk is typically scalded at 180 degrees. Heat kills this particular protein. That said, my perception is that most bakers use powdered milk(s) for convenience, accuracy, non-spoilage, and storage space as addressed above. There are some recipes using milk and dried milks together in order to increase richness and perhaps avoid any further protein weakening. The gluten is not completely destroyed by glutathione, it is only weakened.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...