Baker's Special Dry Milk


Hi there,

In many of the yeast bread recipes call for "Baker's Special Dry Milk". Is there a substitute for it or can I ommit it?

Thank you.

badge posted by: c_wei on September 09, 2011 at 5:09 pm in Baking, yeast
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reply by: placebo on September 09, 2011 at 5:20 pm

You could substitute ordinary dry milk.

I think you can also use a cup of regular milk in place of 1/4 cup of Baker's Special Dry Milk and 1 cup of water. You might want to scald the milk first, though.

reply by: CookinATX on September 09, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Yes, substitute the Special Dry Milk + the liquid content of the recipe for either liquid milk or reconstituted "regular" dry milk.

For instance, if your recipe is for 1/4 c of Special Dry Milk + 1 c. water, substitute with 1 c of liquid milk, OR reconstitute regular powdered milk according to the directions to make 1 c. of liquid milk.

Either way, scald the substitute and then let it cool down before incorporating the dough.

The Baker's Special Dry Milk is usually called for when you want a high rise in yeast breads. The "Bakers' Special" milk is treated with high heat, which is why you want to scald any substitution. Heat breaks down milk protein enzymes which can inhibit the yeast from rising your product as high as it should rise.

reply by: c_wei on September 09, 2011 at 6:56 pm

Thank you.

reply by: c_wei on September 09, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Thanks for the suggestion. I will try it out in the future.

reply by: swirth on September 09, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Here's some info from two resources that I typed in an earlier thread re the Baker's Special Dry Milk:

Here's info from the Baker's Catalogue Online page:

Baker's Special Dry Milk helps yeast breads rise higher.

Looking for a better rise for your yeast breads made with milk? Try the dry milk professional bakers use.

The special processing method used in creating this dry milk makes it super yeast-friendly. Substitute Baker’s Special Dry Milk in any yeasted recipe, and see how much taller your bread rises.

Your bread will be softer and more tender, and will stay fresher longer when you use dry milk.

Never mind scalding and cooling liquid milk; substitute our dry milk in any bread recipe calling for milk: 1/4 cup dry milk + 1 cup water = 1 cup milk.

1-pound bag, enough for about 16 loaves of bread or batches of rolls.

Comes with complete instructions and a delicious recipe.

And here's info from the Prepared Pantry re their Baker's Dry Milk (High Heat Treated Nonfat):

If you bake bread or yeasted pastries, use this high-heat treated dry milk in place of both the nonfat dry milk you buy in the stores and liquid milk. Your products will be lighter and better with a better crumb. A 12-ounce package (about 2 1/2 cups).

Baker's dry milk makes better bread.

High-heat treated dry milk is a nonfat milk product but it has been produced at higher temperatures to destroy certain enzymes naturally found in milk. These enzymes in milk will degrade the gluten structure in bread dough. Because of this, commercial bakeries nearly always use high-heat treated dry milk in their yeasted products.

Important note: This is not instant dry milk which is not high heat treated and it is not intended for table use. The taste is a little different and it will not dissolve as readily in water. It dissolves in the bread as you knead the dough.

We add this or dry buttermilk to most of our bread mixes. It really improves the flavor of bread. We love this product.

reply by: psycnrs1 on September 18, 2011 at 10:31 am

You can substitute it but if the opportunity comes that you can purchase some please make the recipe on the bag. It is wonderful.

reply by: Mike Nolan on September 18, 2011 at 6:24 pm
Mike Nolan

Since King Arthur changed their packaging and uses brown paper bags rather than resealable plastic bags for this (and other products), I find myself less likely to order it, because I really dislike the brown paper bags and they leak, so I have to put it in a plastic bag or other container.

reply by: uninvited-guest on September 19, 2011 at 1:11 am

I often will keep some of the "shelf stable milk boxes" (like Parmalat) on hand for quickie substitutions. No need for scalding as the milk is processed at ultra high temperatures in the packaging process.

reply by: easyquilts on September 21, 2011 at 7:25 am

Should you scald any milk used in anybrecipe? I have not been scalding called for milk, even when it is supposed to be warm.

reply by: frick on September 21, 2011 at 8:27 pm

After growing up in Texas, a buggy place if there ever was one, I psychologically cannot leave anything in the bag it came in. As soon as it is opened, everything goes in Cambro, or glass quart canning jars, or gallon pickle jars. I cut out the label and either put it in the jar, or tape it on the side. It helps with finding things, too.

By the way, I use regular milk, usually unscalded, most of the time. Only if I perceive a recipe as tricky, or expensive, or delicate, do I bother with scalding the milk or using my precious Special Dry Milk. I can usually get a light enough product, and if I don't, well, there's always crostini. I love salty things spread on crispy crostini . . . hummus, chevre, tapenade, pesto, tomato pesto, and then there's peanut butter, egg salad, & the list goes on.

reply by: C Austin TX on March 07, 2015 at 6:58 pm
C Austin TX

Sounds Great, I'm a TXEX
New to baking and want to use something other than the dry milk.

I read (from a baker) that Vital wheat Gluten (flour) help with raising and Potato Flour can help bread texture. Can you give any ideas about this for possible additions with the amounts for each as a substitute for some of the main flour used to bake breads?

I also like to use Silk nut milk if it calls for milk, I don't know if it needs to be called?

Thanks for all your help

Live like you have everything God gave you.

reply by: frick on March 07, 2015 at 7:22 pm

Vital wheat gluten is most useful when baking with whole grain flours and rye breads. The bran cuts gluten strands and inhibits rise, therefore, extra gluten is advised. Potato flour helps with tenderness in mainly white breads and rolls. I suggest you follow some tried and true recipes, then branch out with substitutions. Though when you say "Potato Flour can help bread texture", that depends on what texture you are trying to achieve. It would be detrimental to artisan breads and their much desirable "chewy" texture and crustiness, and things like pizza dough.
We have two very knowledgable Texans who contribute here almost daily, MsCindy (Houston area) and bakeraunt, who lives in Lubbock. I moved to CA in 1971, so have been an TEX EX longer. :))

reply by: C Austin TX on March 08, 2015 at 11:05 am
C Austin TX

Thank you frick! I am keeping a diary of all the great advise! I live in GA now and miss Texas so nice to know there are knowledgeable people from the area.

reply by: hickeyja on March 08, 2015 at 3:26 pm

You can generally replace powdered milk and some of the liquid in a recipe with the equivalent amount of most any nut milk you prefer. It will change the taste of the finished product slightly. In some recipes, it may also affect the tenderness. Personally, I prefer the nut milks from the refrigerator section at the grocery store, rather than the shelf stable packaging. Jan

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on March 09, 2015 at 3:08 pm
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

The only time I've seen scalding milk to make a noticeable difference is if the flour is a whole grain type, like whole wheat or rye, which are typically less vigorous in the rising department.
Even then its either not that much difference, or maybe I'm just good with the normal texture - so I basically never bother with scalding milk any more. Similarly I don't bother with the special dry milk either. Regular powdered milk is sufficient unto the cause - or at least it has been for me, LOL!

reply by: C Austin TX on April 15, 2015 at 8:40 pm
C Austin TX

I wish the Bakers' Special Dry Milk was in packages like yeast. I don't know if I will use recipes with milk in them all the time. I am new to all this but I saw a video on Red Stare Yeast showing their new

Platinum Superior Baking Yeast and how it has additives to the packet to make higher rise. I know this isn't your product but this I have now and wondered if it might be a little help until I use the Baker's Special Dry Milk?


reply by: bakeraunt on April 16, 2015 at 12:16 am

I like the Baker's Special Dried Milk. It keeps well in Tupperware, although I bought the canister that KAF sells that holds a bag, and it works fine. I prefer to use the special dried milk rather than regular milk. I use water and usually 1/4 to 1/3 C special dried milk, depending on the recipe. It is a good way to get extra calcium into our diet, and I like how the bread turns out.

reply by: frick on April 16, 2015 at 2:11 am

Whether or not a bread rises higher is dependent on a lot of factors other than yeast. The list is lengthy, such as 1) whether you have used more flour than indicated, depending on how you measure. 2) the proportion of liquid in the recipe; 3) whether or not you are using things detrimental to yeast (such as cinnamon); 4) the salt balance; 5) the temperature of your kitchen and/or the temp of your liquid; 6) the quality and % of the protein in your flour; 6) the degree to which you have developed the gluten, primarily through kneading; and the length of time allowed for rising. The list goes on beyond these. The main thing I have against the Platinum Yeast is that if you are a dedicated baker, baking probably at least a couple of times a month, or more probably weekly, you should be buying yeast in bulk, not little packets. I don't use the Special Dried Milk because I have found regular milk works just fine for me, and we use milk daily anyway. I haven't scalded milk in years.

reply by: C Austin TX on April 16, 2015 at 10:42 am
C Austin TX

Wonderful information thanks, this help me tremendously! You are so right about how difficult it is to bake bread when you know so little.

How important to using real milk? I don't drink it because I only use almond milk. I know you can use this kind of milk but what about the difference in chemistry.

Also, I didn't know the salt was that balanced, if it calls for 1 TBSP can you use less?

I'll stop now! LOL

reply by: Mike Nolan on April 16, 2015 at 1:15 pm
Mike Nolan

There have been many discussions on the feasibility of cutting the salt in a recipe. Salt provides flavor and it also impacts dough structure and yeast growth. (Salt inhibits yeast growth.)
Taking the salt out completely is likely to result in a bland-tasting loaf that rises more (Tuscan bread is the ultimate example, it has no salt in it, and not a lot of flavor), but in many cases you can cut the salt in half without seriously impacting flavor and without the yeast going crazy.

reply by: frick on April 16, 2015 at 5:16 pm

Yes, 1 Tbsp salt sounds like a lot but remember, the key word here is proportion -- to yeast and flour. I use 2 tsp in a recipe of around 18 to 18.5 ounces of flour. I do use a bit more than Mike, but we both are within the basic parameters. So the question is not "can I reduce the 1 Tbsp" because we have no idea of the quantities in the recipe you hope to use. We don't mind at all answering questions, but without the context of a recipe, any answer is a shot in the dark. It's best to first let us know what you are trying to bake, the exact recipe you hope to use, what experience you have and what kind of bread you hope to successfully produce. Bread is at once simple and complex. Just flour, water, salt and yeast can make wonderful bread, IF you do certain things to those ingredients.
A few of the important things to get acquainted with right away are. There really aren't that many and you will learn as you go, and be able to build on these basics.
1 - how to knead and how to check for a "windowpane" to tell if you have reached the right point.
2 - how to measure your ingredients for the greatest accuracy. PS: a scale is best
3 - depending on the type of bread you want, you may need a baking stone.
4 - you should get an oven thermometer. They aren't expensive, and ovens are wildly variable.
5 - don't overheat your liquid. If you use instant yeast, you won't need to proof it. Whatever you use, keep your liquids no higher than 110. Lower is probably better.
Don't worry about using almond milk. I don't use it and really can't compare it to using dairy, but I'm not aware of any issues. Dairy milk does tenderize bread. Unless you have an allergy, remember dairy is a valuable source of calcium and protein. Whenever anyone says they use only almond (or soy) milk, I always wonder why.
If you need recipe suggestions, there are a wealth of recipes here, both from KAF and members. Many have had many comments and recommendations to help you decide what to tackle. White flour breads are best for beginning success. Whole grain recipes are the most difficult.
Ask all the questions you want, but supply as much info as you can. This would include whether you have a stand mixer or plan to knead by hand. There are also many excellent instructive videos from first class professionals that can give you a head start. Good luck.