First timer with dry-milk for bread making

I make lean yeasted and sourdough loves mainly, but I got curious about a KIng Arthur 100% whole wheat bread (if that’s what one can call something with oil, non-fat dry milk, honey, etc, in it). Anyway, I never have used dried milk. Now I’m bewildered by variety, and beset by viral induced spotty availability. What a mess.

Any tips on powdered milk issues for bread? Why use dry milk at all if you have water elsewhere? dry milk is expensive, too, it seems. The brands vary considerably as to contents, with many adding in stuff.

Mi deal would be to tinker with long-fermented or sourdough rustic whole wheat rounds, but I’m game to knead by hand. I like no-knead, but ain’t afraid to knead by hand. (No machines handy.)

Thoughts?

You can substitute liquid for dry milk but I’m not sure of the conversion factor. For that specific whole wheat recipe, contact the King Arthur folks for their help.
I didn’t use my bread machine for the simple reason too many recipes called for dry milk, something I didn’t have on hand. I do now and the machine has been put to use. However, yesterday I followed a KA recipe with whole milk in a bread machine and It turned out great.

I disliked nonfat dry milk as a kid because of the off-putting taste, but recently started using it after purchasing a Zojirushi bread maker.

The only nonfat dry milk brand I’ve used for baking is Bob’s Red Mill Nonfat Milk Powder (hormone free) and it comes in a 22 oz bag - I found it at a local organic foods supermarket for $9.99 (not Whole Foods Market).

It’s cheaper than what King Arthur sells online. I’m not a big milk drinker, but besides baking it comes in handy when I need a little milk to put into black tea or to make Thai style “pink milk” (I whir the powder with water in the blender and keep it bottled in the fridge) and luckily it smells and tastes much better than the dry milk of my youth.

PS: I took at look at some of the whole wheat bread recipes on KA and was surprised they called for 1/4 cup of milk powder (my bread machine’s recipes on average use 1 tablespoon for a 1 lb loaf).

Sometimes milk powder and liquid milk is interchangeable, but I don’t think it would work in KA’s Whole Wheat Pan de Mie recipe since it calls for both 3/4 c. of milk and 1/4 c. of milk powder.

2 Likes

One possible reason for using dry milk plus water instead of using regular milk: by mixing the dry milk with far less water than the milk package recommends, you would increase the amount of milk protein/milk solids in the bread. You could get regular milk and cook it down at home, but that is time-consuming and prone to error.

2 Likes

Putting foodshutterbug and DavidPF comments together makes me suppose that it is some proportional matter of water to other milk matter like proteins. Maybe it even functions like gluten powder at some point. Makes sense!

3 Likes

At the usual ratio, that 1/4 cup of powder is the equivalent of an extra 3/4 cup of regular milk (but without the water). So in that recipe you end up with “double-strength milk”, if that makes sense.

1 Like

Not exactly, but probably related. Too much gluten powder and the bread turns rubbery; too much milk powder and the bread turns [something, I’m not sure what]. I’ve never used it in bread.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold