I've been looking for a good 100% whole grain bread recipe that I like, and came across one that looks promising in the book Home Grown Whole Grains (pp. 152):

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup dry milk powder

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the ¼ cup water and allow to stand until the mixture begins to bubble. Add the 2 cups warm water, oil, honey, and salt and then begin beating in the flour. When you have about half of it worked in, beat in the dry milk, a little at a time, taking care to break up any lumps. Then beat in the rest of the flour....

What is the purpose of the dry milk? And what guidelines can I follow to replace the powdered milk with something more "self sufficient"? Perhaps normal milk, and a little less water?

3 Answers 3


Milk is added to bread for flavour, a tender crumb and well-coloured crust.

Dry milk is used because it easy to store and easy to use in bulk. Milk also contains an enzyme called glutathione which can weaken gluten and result in a poorer quality loaf - the drying process destroys this enzyme.

You can substitute regular milk in various proportions, but you may as well simply replace the 2 cups of water with it, which will give you a nice soft loaf. Opinion is divided whether you should scald the milk (by heating to 180°F/82°C according to How Baking Works, page 150) to destroy the glutathione, but in any case it's probably a good idea to warm it anyway, to help the rise.

  • +1 Note: Modern milk powder (at least from NZ) is not heated that much. It is evaporated at very low air pressure, and then spun dried. Both processes are designed to use the lowest heat possible to be more energy efficient. So it may not be that useful for this purpose?
    – TFD
    Commented Mar 15, 2012 at 10:13
  • Most dried milk is either low fat or non-fat in order to keep shelf life longer. Since the recipe already calls for fats in the form of oil, you may want to use skim or 1% milk instead of whole milk if you are trying to replicate the recipe as closely as possible. Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 22:46
  • Thank you for the substitution suggestion. I did as you suggested, and scalded some milk, and my bread loaf came out quite well.
    – Flimzy
    Commented Nov 23, 2012 at 18:01

According to the good folks at "King Arthur Flour" dry milk is added so that:

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

The most direct effect that I noticed is that it tends to make the crust softer. This has been the result in a "bread machine" where the only recipe difference was dry milk.

  • 1
    Is that dry milk vs no milk or dry milk vs wet milk? Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 12:20

I used 22ml oat milk instead of dried milk in a bread maker and added 15g extra white flour.

The whole wheat loaf looked a good colour, the texture difference was unnoticeable and the taste was just as good.

  • Welcome to SA, Stuart! You could improve your answer by addressing the asker's question directly ... how much dried milk did you replace? What kind of bread?
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 21:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.