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Why do recipes need milk???

(9 Posts)
Mangobubbles Sat 16-May-15 13:20:00

So I made fairy cakes using a recipe but forgot the 2 tbsp milk by mistake. Cakes were fab. My best ever. Made them again but remembered the milk, cakes were ok, a bit heavy and stodgy. Have been making bread with our new bread maker, all recipes I've tried have been lovely. Tried milk loaf. Was awful. Heavy and didn't rise. What is the point in baking and using milk? Please enlighten me!

WutheringTights Sun 08-Nov-15 09:15:01

Dunno the answer to that question but when I'm making a sponge type cake I only ever add milk if the mixture isn't of the correct consistency and needs some liquid.

SapientPearwood Sun 08-Nov-15 09:23:20

I was wondering this the other day. One of my DCs has a severe milk allergy, so I use soya milk in baking. But since that is a completely different substance to cows milk, I'm not sure why it should work. But if it's just there to provide wetness, why not just put water in?

Anyway, I can't tell any difference

MrsLeighHalfpenny Sun 08-Nov-15 09:39:05

Milk solidifies when it gets hot, just like eggs. If you added water, the cake would be less likely to set.
I only use milk if the mixture isn't of the right consistency, say if my eggs were too small.

Bodberry Sun 08-Nov-15 18:59:21

Milk solidifies when it gets hot

Mine doesn't, it boils over onto the stove grin .
You add milk to alter the consistency of the paste, too much will make the finished cake heavy, don't put it in if you don't think it needs it.

MrsLeighHalfpenny Sun 08-Nov-15 19:06:56

It would eventually, if you don't boil it.

WutheringTights Tue 10-Nov-15 19:39:20

It must be something to do with the protein and fat in milk (using milk rather than water). After all, if you churn milk it makes butter and cheese; water doesn't do that.

justwondering72 Sun 24-Jan-16 21:45:25

I think the effect is to make cakes softer. No idea of the science behind it, but I've observed that recipes with milk tend to produce a softer crumb than those without.

ouryve Sun 24-Jan-16 21:49:06

It's just added moisture. Small cakes can dry out easily. The 2tbsp was obviously too much, though. I only add it to adjust the consistency so that it drops nicely from a spoon.

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