substitutes for dry milk

5 Best Substitutes for Dry Milk in Bread

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You may have often seen many bread recipes calling for dry milk. Dry milk, also called milk powder, is a common ingredient in baking that is used to make milk bread, buns, and sweet rolls.

For times when you do not have access to dry milk or cannot use it because of dietary restrictions, there are several alternatives you can use in its place – both in the oven and bread machine.

So, what are the best substitutes for dry milk in bread? Some of the best substitutes for dry milk in bread include fresh dairy milk, cashew milk powder, soy milk powder, rice milk powder, and potato milk powder. 

Read on to find out more about the best substitutes for dry milk in bread, how they change the taste and texture of the bread, and the best proportions to use them in.

Best Substitutes for Dry Milk in Bread

Dry milk is a dairy product made by evaporating pasteurized milk so that it turns completely dry and powdery. It may vary in terms of flavor and density depending on the drying method and heat treatment used.

Dry milk is a common ingredient in several bread recipes. It gives the bread a softer and less chewy texture while enhancing its flavor and giving its crust a nice brown color.

Most bakers and bread machine manufacturers recommend using dry milk for baking because it has a long shelf life and doesn’t spoil if left in the machine on the timer overnight. It can be used in place of dairy milk for nearly 50% of the cost and doesn’t require refrigeration.

However, if you don’t have dry milk at hand, you can substitute it with a variety of other options. There may also be other reasons why you may look for a substitute for dry milk, especially dietary restrictions such as lactose intolerance and veganism.

Here are some of the best substitutes for dry milk in bread:

1. Fresh Dairy Milk

Fresh dairy milk is one of the most obvious substitutes for dry milk. The main reason is that dry milk is simply fresh milk that has been pasteurized and turned into powdered form.

fresh dairy milk

They’re both the same ingredient in essence, just in different forms. Because of this, the taste is almost identical when you use fresh milk in place of dry milk in bread.

Another fact that makes it such a good option is that fresh milk is a pantry staple and is almost always available on hand.

One thing to keep in mind is that dry milk is a more concentrated version of milk that is devoid of any moisture, which is why you need to be mindful when substituting a powder with a liquid.

If used correctly and in the right quantity, there should be no substantial difference in the taste, texture, and consistency of the bread. However, if you disregard the moisture content in the fresh milk and use more of it in the original recipe, you risk altering the outcome.

To use fresh milk in place of dry milk, you need to add less water to the bread recipe to make up for the moisture in the milk.

How much to use:

1 cup of fresh milk is equal to ¼ cup of dry milk. By this proportion, you will have to omit 1 cup of water from the bread recipe before adding the fresh milk to it.

2. Cashew Milk Powder

Although you can use any nut milk powder in place of dry milk, cashew milk powder is a standout option as it replicates both its flavor and texture. It works not only when making bread but also for milkshakes and other baked products.

Cashew Milk Powder

In terms of nutrition, cashew milk is similar to almond milk and is naturally free of lactose, soy, and gluten. This makes it a fantastic substitute for dry milk, especially if you are dealing with allergies or insensitivities.

Cashew milk powder has a creamy, sweet flavor with a hint of nuttiness that makes it taste delicious. It has slight earthy undertones, but nothing too overwhelming or overpowering.

One thing to note is that since cashew milk powder has a naturally low-fat content, it may not give the bread as soft a texture as dry milk.

How much to use:

Since both dry milk and cashew milk powder are in dried form, you can use a 1:1 ratio when substituting one for the other in bread recipes. Don’t worry about including or excluding any ingredients, simply use it just like dry milk.

3. Soy Milk Powder

Soy milk is one of the most popular alternatives for dairy milk, and it comes as no surprise that it is also available in powdered form.

Like dry milk, soy powder milk also lasts a long time on the shelf without going bad and has a somewhat similar flavor profile.

Soy Milk Powder

In terms of nutrition, it offers a variety of benefits and is a good option for people avoiding dairy. However, since it is a somewhat common allergy trigger, be careful when using it if you are baking for someone else.

Since soy milk is close to regular milk in terms of flavor, substituting dry milk with soy milk powder won’t affect the flavor and texture of the bread.

The only difference is that soy milk and soy milk powder can be a bit sweeter than their regular milk counterparts, but the difference isn’t that noticeable. When it comes to the bread’s texture, the added sugar may give the bread more volume and make it slightly browner.

How much to use:

When substituting dry milk with soy milk powder, use a 1:1 ratio. Since they both are in powdered form, you can use the same quantities for both.

4. Rice Milk Powder

Rice milk powder, also called rice flour, is a plant-based powder with a natural flavor. It is another good alternative for dry milk in bread and is free of allergens such as lactose and soy, making it suitable for people with such dietary restrictions.

Rice Milk Powder

Although rice powder is a common substitute for wheat flour, it can also be used in place of dry milk in bread due to its sweetness.

Rice milk powder primarily consists of carbohydrates and has low levels of protein, fat, and calcium. Its high starch content may make the bread tougher and slightly less structured.

As far as the flavor is concerned, rice powder is slightly sweeter than dry milk, giving the final recipe an added sweetness. This makes it more suitable for sweet bread recipes in particular.

How much to use:

Since rice milk powder is in the same powdered form as dry milk, it can be used in an equal ratio. Depending on the recipe, you may want to adjust the level of sweetness by adding a little less sugar to the mix.

5. Potato Milk Powder

Potato milk powder is a relatively new option in the market that is fast becoming popular. One of the most popular vegan products in current times, potato milk powder is a great plant-based alternative for those with allergies and anyone looking for a more sustainable option.

potato powder milk

Potato milk is made by blending boiled potatoes in water and then straining the mixture to extract the milk. On the other hand, potato milk powder is made by evaporating the moisture in the potato milk and working with the dried powder that’s left behind.

Potato milk powder has a mild flavor and smooth texture due to the presence of starch. It has a neutral, slightly nutty taste that doesn’t affect the flavor of the bread.

It lacks protein and may give the bread a softer texture than intended in the recipe. However, if the flour you are using is high in protein, it should balance it out and the change may not even be noticeable.

How much to use:

The best approach to use potato milk powder in place of dry powder is in a 1:1 ratio. Since they both are in powdered form and have a similar structure and volume, you do not have to adjust the quantity.

Summary of the Best Substitutes for Dry Milk in Bread

dry milk in bread
SubstituteSubstitution Ratio (Dry Milk : Substitute)
Fresh Dairy Milk1/4:1 (adjust the water quantity in the recipe)
Cashew Milk Powder1:1
Soy Milk Powder1:1
Rice Milk Powder1:1 (adjust the level of sweetness in the recipe)
Potato Milk Powder1:1

In Conclusion

There are several great substitutes for dry milk in bread. You may want to look for a replacement due to the unavailability of dry milk or due to certain dietary restrictions that do not allow you to consume dry milk.

You can use fresh dairy milk, cashew milk powder, soy milk powder, rice milk powder, or potato milk powder. Some options may work better than others depending on the taste and texture you prefer most.

Also, since most of the substitutes on this list are dairy-free and lactose-free, it gives people with insensitivities and allergies more options to choose from.

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