Any seasoned baker knows milk is essential in several popular baking recipes. However, not every baker knows that there are alternatives to liquid cow’s milk that you can utilize for baked goods. Powdered milk, or “milk powder,” is a fantastic alternative that makes baking easier, more efficient, and better tasting. If you want to try some new tricks in the kitchen, consider using milk powder in your next recipe. Here’s everything you need to know about baking with milk powder.
What Is Milk Powder?
Milk powder is a dehydrated form of milk that has been turned into a powder by removing the liquid content. The powder is made by evaporating milk into a dry substance. Powdered milk has a longer shelf life than liquid milk, which is part of what makes it so appealing. People often use it as a food additive in recipes, especially to add protein and nutrients to baked goods and other dishes. You can also add milk powder to beverages, soups, and sauces to give them a creamy texture.
Milk powder is a versatile ingredient for both sweet and savory recipes. You can use it to thicken puddings and custards or add it to sauces and soups to create a creamy texture. It is also a great addition to baked goods such as cookies and cakes, as it helps give them more flavor and texture. You can also use milk powder as a creamer for coffee and tea or as a thickener for smoothies and protein shakes.
Types of Milk Powder
Just like liquid milk, powdered milk comes in different varieties. The most common types of milk powder include whole milk powder, skim milk powder, and cereal milk powder. Whole milk powder is made by evaporating the liquid from whole milk and grinding it into a fine powder. This type of milk powder has a high fat content and provides an intense creamy flavor when used in baking recipes. It can also be reconstituted with water to create regular cow’s milk, making it ideal for use in both sweet desserts and savory dishes.
Skim milk powder, on the other hand, is created by taking out some of the fat from whole milk before dehydrating it into a powdered form. This low-fat version contains fewer calories than its full-fat counterpart. Still, it carries many of the same benefits, like adding protein and creating moist baked goods without adding extra butter or oil. Skim milk powder is perfect for those looking to reduce their daily calorie intake while enjoying all their favorite recipes.
Finally, cereal milk powders are specifically designed for breakfast cereals and other grain-based products. Cereal milk powders include skimmed or partially skimmed cow’s milk and vegetable fats such as palm oil. These powders provide extra sweetness and creaminess that helps make cereal taste delicious. They help improve texture and add essential vitamins like calcium, which can be beneficial for growing children.
Shelf Life and Storage
One of the most appealing aspects of powdered milk is that it has a much longer shelf life than liquid milk. The shelf life of dairy-based milk powders varies, but most brands have a shelf life of about one or two years. However, properly storing milk powder is essential for maintaining its freshness and quality.
Store milk powders in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent moisture or heat damage. It is also important to keep the container tightly sealed when it’s not in use, as this will help preserve the flavor and texture of the powdered milk. Additionally, it’s best to store opened containers in an airtight plastic bag or other suitable food-grade containers with a tight lid. This helps keep out any contaminants that could spoil the product over time.
Always check for expiration dates when purchasing milk powder and follow them accordingly, as expired products can become rancid and unusable. It’s also important to avoid buying large quantities if you don’t intend to use them soon after purchase.
A Baker’s Secret Ingredient
Bakers love using powdered milk for a variety of reasons. For one, it adds a rich and creamy texture to baked goods without adding extra moisture, which can make them soggy. It can help add protein to a recipe while boosting the flavor of the finished product. It also helps create a better texture in bread and pastries thanks to the additional protein content from the dairy product. Powdered milk is an inexpensive way to get a creamy texture in recipes without using fresh dairy milk. Plus, milk powder has a long shelf life, so you can store it for extended periods without it spoiling.
How To Use Milk Powder When Baking
When using powdered milk in baking, it’s best to reconstitute it with water before adding it to the recipe. To reconstitute, mix 1 cup of warm water with 1/3 cup of powdered milk until the powder completely dissolves. You can then use this mixture in place of fresh milk in most recipes. When adding it to baked goods, it’s best to sift the powder into the dry ingredients before adding the wet ingredients, as this will help to ensure that the powder evenly distributes throughout the batter. Powdered milk in other recipes, such as sauces or custards, can be stirred directly into the recipe without being reconstituted.
Common Recipes Using Milk Powder
You can generally utilize milk powder in most baking recipes that call for milk. But we’ll provide you with a few popular examples of recipes that are perfect opportunities to use powdered milk. Strawberry powder cake is a delicious and easy dessert recipe that you can make with just a few simple ingredients. The use of milk powder helps to keep this cake moist and flavorful. Vanilla ice cream cake is another decadent treat you can use milk powder to make. And, of course, we can’t forget about banana bread, one of those classic recipes everyone loves—especially when it’s homemade from scratch using ingredients like powdered milk.