The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Using whey as liquid substitute

hullaf's picture

Using whey as liquid substitute

I've just tried a "30-minute mozzarella" recipe, and it turned out wonderful, but the book it came from said that the leftover whey can be used as a substitute liquid in bread making. Has anyone tried this? Book reads: "whey contains milk sugar, albuminous protein, and minerals." So, is the part that is called "albuminous protein" same as the serum protein in milk and thus has to be scalded (just below the boiling point = 190F) before it could be used? The whey in the mozzarella cheese making process only got to 105 degrees F. 


subfuscpersona's picture

I've used whey left over from making ricotta cheese in a one-to-one substitution for the water called for. I did not scald the whey prior to using. It works very well.

I use mostly instant yeast (not sourdough) and I do notice that the dough rises somewhat more rapidly than the same recipe made with plain water.

You can freeze whey if you want to save it for later bread baking.

I've also used the whey left over from making tofu (bean curd) from soy milk instead of water in bread baking.

If you have further questions feel free to post back to this thread.

Joe Schlobotnic's picture
Joe Schlobotnic

I NEVER boil milk when I'm making bread and use liquid whey left over from Alton Brown's recipe for quick cottage cheese in soups, stews, rice, breads, and any other recipe that calls for a liquid

Joe Schlobotnic's picture
Joe Schlobotnic

ONE of the many reasons I Love making bread is I can use ANY liquid.


I've used beer, the juice I drain out of canned black olives, tea, cold coffee, soup.  You name it, I've used it to make bread.


I also make one to two gallons of yogurt a week and just like the milk I use in bread I have NEVER boiled or even heated the milk.  I let it come to room tempreture all by itself.  (I make my yogurt in the gallon plastic jug the milk comes in, put in a cup or so of fresh store-bought yogurt or what's left of the last gallon, and put it at the lowest setting in a crockpot full of water.  It's ready in 5 - 10 hours.)  If the whey seperates out, I either mix it in when I drink it or drink it straight. 


Not only can I use any liquid, I can throw darn near anything in the bread itself:  olives, coffee grounds, all kinds of vegies, you name it, I've probably put it in bread.


Bread is NOT magic and is VERY forgiving.  Let yourself go and put what you like in it.



rainbowbrown's picture

Oh this news is super awesome. I recently began making cheese and this is so good to know. Thank you, you geniuses, you.

Oldcampcook's picture

I make cheese once in a while and make ricotta from the whey.


If I don't make the ricotta, I also use the whey as a direct substitute for any liquid called for in the recipe.  Seems to add a bit more "oomph"' to the rise and makes for a softer crumb.

 Whey is also good for your animals!

Richelle's picture

we keep goats and not a drop of their milk is wasted. We make cheese and feed the whey to our horses or we make yoghurt and feed the chicken what we don't need for our own use (we soak old bread in it). The kittens that were born in the chickencoop love this as well! Clever mum to raise them just there!

Oldcampcook... how do you make ricotta from whey... ? The way we make cheese hardly anything of substance is left in the whey.... if I want to make requeson (the spanish ricotta) I have to start with full fresh milk and I'm left with almost clear whey, same as with cheesemaking.

Next time we make cheese, I'll save some of the whey to add to a breaddough, I do the same with the cooking water of veggies, potatoes etc. Lots of nutrimients there that are too good not to use. Try adding beetroot-stock to your breaddough... kids love a pink bun!


Oldcampcook's picture

I just heat the whey and then strain it.  Don't get a lot, but waste not, want not.


Here is the page I used for my instructions:



Richelle's picture

The difference lies in the waiting period. I'll try that next time!


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

But keep in mind that those with milk allergies cannot eat bread or any food made with it.

Whey not only contains protein but also adds sweetness.

Mini O

kanin's picture

I've used the whey from straining yogurt for making bread. It tasted like sourdough even though I used instant yeast. Aside from the taste, I'm wondering how the yogurt whey acidity affects the dough.

bearpawqs's picture

When I make my greek yogurt I heat the milk up to 180F, add my honey and vanilla, then allow to cool to mix in the starter. I usually let it drain in a strainer lined with a flour sack towel. I get very clear, thick whey. I am going to try it to make bread after reading this. But I wonder why I would have to heat it up again? Seems to me I already did this. I am also going to try the liquid whey as the liquid for my protein drink after running.



nicodvb's picture

I doubt that whey contains a lot a proteins. Yes, I know that whey proteins are of the highest quality, but I guess that it takes huge amounts of whey to get some decent amount of proteins (in fact they cost a lot). Milk has 3.5-4% proteins, most of which remain in the yogurth.


lacoet's picture


I have some leftover whey from making ricotta and yogurt. According to what I've been reading on the net that would be Acidic Whey and they say it's not good to use in place of water when making yeasted bread dough. That the whey for breads has to be Sweet Whey coming from cheeses made with bacterial cultures, not acids like lemon juice or vinegar as you use in ricotta. I wanted to use mine in place of the water for baguette dough

Can somebody enlighten me on this subject please?

As always, thanks.


Giovis's picture


actually there are 2 different kinds of whey, depending on the type of cheese where they are made from. It is recommend that you use sweet whey instead of acid whey.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Unless the reference means unsalted whey, but even then, We have bakers that use whey in their bread.  

Vinegar and lemon juice are used in baking bread as well.  ...urban legend...