The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Milk in bread making

ActiveSparkles's picture
ActiveSparkles

Milk in bread making

Hi guys. I am looking to start using milk in bread making, just as an alternative.

Just wondering about the benefits (if any) and drawbacks (if any)

Also do you replace all the water with milk, or parts of both?
Know it would vary from recipe to recipe, but for basic bread is what I am looking at using it in.

Thanks,

Charlie

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Yes, you can replace milk 1:1 with water. You will end up with a softer, possibly fluffier, richer tasting bread with a slightly longer shelf life (depending on the fat quantity in your milk). 

If you want to manage the softening/enrichening effect, try going 50/50 with milk/water ratio. Or try using just water and powdered milk for similar results. 

There really aren't any drawbacks, except if you are using milk in pre-ferments, I'd be a little wary of leaving them for long periods at room temp. 

ActiveSparkles's picture
ActiveSparkles

thank you a million for your reply. Just the information I was looking for.

I am currently trying to perfect my soft rolls recipe to personal taste, so that will come in handy for something to try :)

Charlie

jcking's picture
jcking

Whole milk is 87.4% water and 3.6% fat so you may need to add a little more when substituting. Milk that is not scalded contains Glutathione. Glutathione works to weaken bonds in gluten. If you need extensibility or tenderness, that might help you a bit.  Glutathione will usually reduce loaf height or volume, though, due to these weakening effects. To avoid the weakening affect scald milk to 170 ~ 180°F.

Jim

RobynNZ's picture
RobynNZ

Some of the protein in milk effects gluten structure, to avoid this when using liquid milk, the milk needs to be scalded (to about 190°F/88°C) and then cooled to a suitable temperature, before using it in making bread. Scalding denatures the protein and it no longer has the undesired effect on gluten.

This protein is already denatured in milk powder so the scalding step is not needed.

Edit: Snap

jcking's picture
jcking

Reference;

"Not all dried milk is heated to 180.  In my experience, the standard stuff you get in the supermarket (Carnation instant, etc.) is usually NOT heated to 180.  Not all dried milk used by foodservice professionals is treated that way either."

"There is a very specific type of dried milk available to professionals called "high-heat" dried milk, and this designation means that the milk has been heated to at least 180 to deactivate the glutathione.  I think that's the stuff that King Arthur  is referring to when they say it will give you better loaf height."

The above quote is from --Dan DiMuzio

RobynNZ's picture
RobynNZ

I should have known better than to assume what I knew about the milk powder I use would apply elsewhere. Thank you for sharing Mr DiMuzio's explanation about the milk powder available at retail in the USA.

I learned of the recommendation to scald liquid milk in Jeffrey Hamelman's 'Bread', and noting his indication that bakers' use of milk powder overcomes the need to scald,  I did some bread baking experiments using the milk powder I buy and found no difference in side by side scald/non-scald tests. 

This article, although a little dated, indicates that here in NZ  a range of times v temperature(°C)  is used during the preheat phase, depending on the end use of the product, to achieve protein denaturation, enzyme deactivation etc:

http://nzic.org.nz/ChemProcesses/dairy/3C.pdf

It also states: "It is very important to use a powder suited to the intended application". So to be sure, scalding is easy to do!

 

jcking's picture
jcking

Most times one has no idea if the milk, powered or otherwise, is heated to a high enough temperature to ward off Glutathione. Yet Glutathione isn't always a bad thing. My personal experience with powered milk in a bread machine was that the Special Milk Powder from King Arthur rose higher that generic store bought. I haven't used it in other applications so I can't comment.

Jim

Chuck's picture
Chuck

My experience is it's pretty safe to assume that no powdered milk that doesn't explicitly say it's for making bread has reached a high enough temperature to denature the proteins that interfere with gluten. The reason is such high-heat causes the dried milk to clump and be quite difficult to dissolve (which doesn't matter when it's mixed in with flour). Anything sold for drinking will emphasize convenience, which means rehydrating easily, which means the heat was too low for the special bread use. If it says anything like "instant" or "easy-stir" on the packaging, it's definitely not for bread.

(That said, personally I find the extra steps and/or expense to treat milk the "best" way in my bread just isn't worth it to me. I use plain old drinking powdered milk with no special handling on my part. Although it doesn't rise quite as much, the difference isn't terribly noticeable. And there are so many other things that too often go wrong with my bread that worrying about the milk too just isn't worth it to me:-)

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

Nearly all my bread  is sandwich bread where I require a soft, fluffy crumb and a good shelf life. I have tried scalding both whole milk and milk made up from dried milk solids (e.g. Carnation skim milk powder or dried buttermilk solids (my favorite)). Compared to non-scalded, I saw no appreciable difference. Whether that's due to a lack of discernment on my part, or simply an artifact of my methods, I don't know, nor is it particularly important to me. :shrug:

Before accepting the need to scald the milk as gospel, try some loaves both ways to see if it matters to you.

cheers,

gary

ActiveSparkles's picture
ActiveSparkles

Thank you for your reply. Scalding milk is an entirely new concept to me. As always with bread making, there are hidden variations and techniques that I had no idea existed. I shall try it when I have a little more time to do a side by side.Think I will just try standard milk first and see how that goes :)

Charlie

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

I am also one who has tried regular powdered milk and the special high heat milk... I used organic non-fat powdered milk, powdered goat's milk and powdered buttermilk....I didn't get a difference in the loaves I was making using any of them.  I also tried scalding milk and no discernible difference there either so I go with what is available here and is organic.  The hh powder ain't cheap and shipping is costly too.

Janet

ActiveSparkles's picture
ActiveSparkles

Thank you for taking the time to reply, appreciate it.

Think I will go with what is readily available in my area and see how that turns out before I worry too much about shipping things in. It could get costly, as you mentioned!

Thanks again,
Charlie

ActiveSparkles's picture
ActiveSparkles

Just wanted to leave a general note to everyone who took the time to reply to say thanks, so many of you!

I have to say, I had no idea about scalding before this thread. Glad I asked now!
Going to take some time over the weekend to try it out with a non scalded attempt, see if it makes any difference to the types of bread and methods I am using.

Things are never as simple as they seem in the world of bread! Such fun :)

Charlie

ActiveSparkles's picture
ActiveSparkles

Also, does milk effect rising times? I tried a batch today and I thought I had a dead batch. almost no activity for an hour, then bam.. it came to life?

cranbo's picture
cranbo

It shouldn't...but then consider that most milk is cold (coming out of a fridge) and so your dough temp is probably lower, thus the longer rise time.

 

 

ActiveSparkles's picture
ActiveSparkles

well, that is the weird thing. I made sure the milk was at a temperature similar to the water before I used it. It wasnt straight from the fridge.

The rolls it made were quite nice actually! Think I needed more milk, as the dough became quite firm while kneading. (Maybe explaining the trouble it had while rising?)

Thanks for your reply,

Charlie

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Just read this today in 'Bread' (pg 59)

" the lactic acid in milk tightens the gluten structure, the fats present soften the structure and the result is baked products that have less elasticity and an even grain." 

Hence the firmness in your dough while kneading :-)

Janet

ActiveSparkles's picture
ActiveSparkles

ahhh. Yes, that explains that then. :)

Thank you for referencing that for me, very interesting. It does make a delicious soft roll though!

Charlie

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Charlie,

Glad to help :-)

I know I love it when something finally clicks and I know how to use the information..

Try buttermilk for soft rolls too.  I use powder.  (3g for each ounce of liquid required. For 8 oz liquid I add 24g powder and then the 8oz water.)

Janet

Gene New's picture
Gene New

Hi All

I know this is an old thread and I am pretty new to bread making so I am by no means an expert but I do have some experience of milk having worked in a dairy many years ago and I come from a dairy farming family so but I just wanted to add a point re the comments about scalding the milk in the above posts.

If you get raw milk straight from the farm then yes it will no doubt need scalding as it won’t have been treated in anyway.

However you shouldn't need to treat the milk you buy in stores since these days all shop bought milk should be pasteurised which means it's been heat treated in some way or another.

Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia explaining the processes

Pasteurization of milk was suggested by Franz von Soxhlet in 1886. It is the main reason for milk's extended shelf life. High-temperature, short-time (HTST) pasteurized milk typically has a refrigerated shelf life of two to three weeks, whereas ultra-pasteurized milk can last much longer, sometimes two to three months. When ultra-heat treatment (UHT) is combined with sterile handling and container technology (such as aseptic packaging), it can even be stored unrefrigerated for 6 to 9 months

Pasteurization typically uses temperatures below boiling, since at very high temperatures, casein micelles will irreversibly aggregate, or "curdle" rendering it unusable. The two main types of pasteurization used today are high-temperature, short-time (HTST) and extended shelf life (ESL). Ultra-high temperature (UHT or ultra-heat-treated) is also used for milk treatment. In the HTST process, milk is forced between metal plates or through pipes heated on the outside by hot water, and is heated to 71.7°C (161°F) for 15–20 seconds. UHT processing holds the milk at a temperature of 135°C (275°F) for a minimum of one second. ESL milk includes a microbial filtration step and is processed at lower temperatures than UHT milk

However if you have any doubts you can buy UHT (Ultra Heat Treated) Milk also known as long life milk.  It is available in most super markets certainly over here in the UK and is popular because it keeps for ages and doesn’t need refrigeration. I am sure I also saw it on the shelves of super markets and smaller general stores when I was in the States in September; we even found it in Yellowstone.

I now use UHT milk warmed to 43C/110F instead of water in all of my sandwich loaf and roll making whether white,  part wholemeal or granary since as I said at the outset I am new to bread making and I don't want my bread to be dense. 

Once I learned not to knock or squash all of the air out of the dough after the first rising, how to get my oven to the right temperature and how to add steam when baking my loaves started to rise consistently as you can see here

Even in the Granary the crumb is light and fluffy and the bread tastes great so I would definetely recommend using liquid milk in sandwich loaves; I havent tried dried milk powder so I can't comment on that.