Calling all experienced bakers!


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Hello Bakers,

I'm fairly new to here but been baking for some time now. I try to make note of ingredients of store broght cakes. Can anyway tell me why store bought cake have dried milk powder? What does this do to the finished product?
 
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Hello Bakers,

I'm fairly new to here but been baking for some time now. I try to make note of ingredients of store broght cakes. Can anyway tell me why store bought cake have dried milk powder? What does this do to the finished product?

It’s not just any dried milk powder, it a specific high heat treated non fat dry milk powder. There are three types of milk powders produced: high heat, moderate heat, and low heat. High heat is for the baking industry, moderate heat is for ice cream and confections, and low heat is for drinking.

The milk powder specifically manufactured for the baking industry is high heat treated to a temperature of 190° for 30 minutes.

Non-fat dry milk powder is added for several of reasons:

1) the protein in milk aids the gluten structure;

2) it adds flavor without increasing liquid;

3) it creates a better texture, so a better mouth-feel;

4) milk powder is a non-perishable form so refrigeration and spoilage are not concerns.

The milk powder available in retail grocery stores will not provide any of the same benefits as retail milk powder is only heated to 160° for only 2 minutes or less. So it’s a waste of money and time to use retail store milk powder. It does not have the same concentration of proteins or the same changes to the protein molecules as high heat treated milk powder. The retail store milk powder is produced to be reconstituted for drinking; it’s not produced for baking.

I don’t know where you can buy high heat treated milk powder for baking in the UK, but I it’s available in smaller quantities to home bakers in the US online.
 
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Hi Norcalbaker59,

Thank you for your reply. Do you know of any replacement or any substitute that may give similar texture/taste?
 
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Hi Norcalbaker59,

Thank you for your reply. Do you know of any replacement or any substitute that may give similar texture/taste?
The only way to achieve texture/crumb similar to commercial produced cake is with emulsifiers. The three most common are:

  1. mono and diglycerides: made by mixing vegetable oils, but some times animal fats, with glycerin.

  1. sodium stearoyl lactylate: commonly derived from soybeans, but sometimes animal products. I’m really not sure how they make it though,

  1. lecithins: a type of fatty substance most commonly derived from soy or egg. Extraction is done either chemically or manually.

While all three are usually used together in box mix and in commercial bakeries, the only one readily available to home bakers are lecithins. Soy lecithin granules are sold in health food stores and a number of specialty cake and chef supply stores.


The amount of soy lecithin to use is 2% of the weight of the flour. DO NOT USE MORE AS TOO MUCH WILL ADVERSELY EFFECT CRUMB!

Example: If your cake recipe calls for 250g flour

250 x .02 = 5. So no more than 5 grams soy lecithin. You will have to experiment to find the right amount for your recipe.

The optimal pH level for lecithin is over 4.0.

It disperses best in room temperature liquid. So dissolve in the liquid, then mix liquid into batter according to recipe. Some sources like King Arthur Flour say lecithin can be mixed into the dry ingredients. But doing so can result in undissolved granules in the finished product.

It increases volume, so you may not need as much batter in the pan, depending on the amount of soy lecithin used.

It also increases shelf life.
 
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The only way to achieve texture/crumb similar to commercial produced cake is with emulsifiers. The three most common are:

  1. mono and diglycerides: made by mixing vegetable oils, but some times animal fats, with glycerin.

  1. sodium stearoyl lactylate: commonly derived from soybeans, but sometimes animal products. I’m really not sure how they make it though,

  1. lecithins: a type of fatty substance most commonly derived from soy or egg. Extraction is done either chemically or manually.

While all three are usually used together in box mix and in commercial bakeries, the only one readily available to home bakers are lecithins. Soy lecithin granules are sold in health food stores and a number of specialty cake and chef supply stores.


The amount of soy lecithin to use is 2% of the weight of the flour. DO NOT USE MORE AS TOO MUCH WILL ADVERSELY EFFECT CRUMB!

Example: If your cake recipe calls for 250g flour

250 x .02 = 5. So no more than 5 grams soy lecithin. You will have to experiment to find the right amount for your recipe.

The optimal pH level for lecithin is over 4.0.

It disperses best in room temperature liquid. So dissolve in the liquid, then mix liquid into batter according to recipe. Some sources like King Arthur Flour say lecithin can be mixed into the dry ingredients. But doing so can result in undissolved granules in the finished product.

It increases volume, so you may not need as much batter in the pan, depending on the amount of soy lecithin used.

It also increases shelf life.
Hi,

Thanks for that detailed response. I'm looking for ways/ingredients give that extra yummyness to my cakes but, not having much luck. No sure if it's the oven as previously I had a fan oven and the cakes came out well risen and fluffy. Now I have a gas oven and my cakes become sticky on the top the next day. I've tried different flours/recipes but nothing is working right for me. Thought if I used milk powered that might help since it's always used in store brought cakes and I'm sure bakeries use other (sectret) ingredients that are not readily available for home bakers.

I've even tried tweeking recipes that did work initially but not anymore. Below is a recipe for a Victoria sponge that was a hit but now a miss, lol.

150g self raising flour
100g butter
20g veg oil
140g sugar
2 eggs
Vanilla bean paste
25ml milk

This recipe never let me down. I used the creaming method. However, if I try using this recipe with any other flour then selfrising, it does not work at all. My hubby going to American on Thurs so I could get him to get me some high treated milk powder in small quantities as it's sold bulk n expensive. How would I use milk powder in a cake recipe if i was to add it?
 
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Hi,

Thanks for that detailed response. I'm looking for ways/ingredients give that extra yummyness to my cakes but, not having much luck. No sure if it's the oven as previously I had a fan oven and the cakes came out well risen and fluffy. Now I have a gas oven and my cakes become sticky on the top the next day. I've tried different flours/recipes but nothing is working right for me. Thought if I used milk powered that might help since it's always used in store brought cakes and I'm sure bakeries use other (sectret) ingredients that are not readily available for home bakers.

I've even tried tweeking recipes that did work initially but not anymore. Below is a recipe for a Victoria sponge that was a hit but now a miss, lol.

150g self raising flour
100g butter
20g veg oil
140g sugar
2 eggs
Vanilla bean paste
25ml milk

This recipe never let me down. I used the creaming method. However, if I try using this recipe with any other flour then selfrising, it does not work at all. My hubby going to American on Thurs so I could get him to get me some high treated milk powder in small quantities as it's sold bulk n expensive. How would I use milk powder in a cake recipe if i was to add it?

My guess is temperature and humidity are the issues. Your pervious oven was fan assisted. The fan creates a hotter baking environment by circulating the air more evenly throughout the oven and around the cake pans. Given the hotter environment, baking temperatures are usually reduced by 20° when baking in a fan assisted oven.

Since the current oven is not fan assisted, the cake is baking in a cooler environment. So try INCREASING the oven temperature. I’d start with a 10° increase.

Gas ovens tend to be more humid than electric, convection, and fan assisted ovens. The humidity will create a sticky crust. So while increasing the temperature will help, you will probably not be able to totally eliminate the sticky crust with a gas oven. Cake contains a lot of sugar. Sugar is highly hygroscopic, meaning it attracts moisture from the environment. In a humid oven, sugar is going to attract that moisture.

Make sure a cake is totally cooled before wrapping or placing in a cake cover. A cake with even the slightest amount of warmth is still releasing steam. So it will contribute to a sticky crust if wrapped/covered warm.

I have a gas oven so my cakes become sticky after a day. When I make a layer cake I remove the top crust anyway as I do not like the unsightly look of the crust line. I place a parchment circle on the warm cake. Then invert the pan. After cooling 15 minutes, I gently remove the parchment. Most of the top crust comes off with the parchment. I then use a small serrated knife to gently remove the remainder of the crust.

For an unfrosted cake, removing the crust may not be an option. Sprinkling sifted powdered sugar over the top just before serving is one way to deal with a sticky crust. But of course it changes the look and slightly increases the sweetness of the cake.

============================

Regarding high heat treated dry milk powder.

Given the minuscule amount of liquid milk in this cake recipe, there won’t be much benefit in substituting dry milk powder. To use, reconstitute per manufacturer instructions, them replace the milk with the reconstituted milk powder.

Source for high heat baker’s milk powder in the US is King Arthur Flour. There are other online sources, but shipping and customer service can be slow with some online retailers. King Arthur Flour is a reputable company with an very responsive customer service department.


https://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/bakers-special-dry-milk-16-oz
 
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My guess is temperature and humidity are the issues. Your pervious oven was fan assisted. The fan creates a hotter baking environment by circulating the air more evenly throughout the oven and around the cake pans. Given the hotter environment, baking temperatures are usually reduced by 20° when baking in a fan assisted oven.

Since the current oven is not fan assisted, the cake is baking in a cooler environment. So try INCREASING the oven temperature. I’d start with a 10° increase.

Gas ovens tend to be more humid than electric, convection, and fan assisted ovens. The humidity will create a sticky crust. So while increasing the temperature will help, you will probably not be able to totally eliminate the sticky crust with a gas oven. Cake contains a lot of sugar. Sugar is highly hygroscopic, meaning it attracts moisture from the environment. In a humid oven, sugar is going to attract that moisture.

Make sure a cake is totally cooled before wrapping or placing in a cake cover. A cake with even the slightest amount of warmth is still releasing steam. So it will contribute to a sticky crust if wrapped/covered warm.

I have a gas oven so my cakes become sticky after a day. When I make a layer cake I remove the top crust anyway as I do not like the unsightly look of the crust line. I place a parchment circle on the warm cake. Then invert the pan. After cooling 15 minutes, I gently remove the parchment. Most of the top crust comes off with the parchment. I then use a small serrated knife to gently remove the remainder of the crust.

For an unfrosted cake, removing the crust may not be an option. Sprinkling sifted powdered sugar over the top just before serving is one way to deal with a sticky crust. But of course it changes the look and slightly increases the sweetness of the cake.

============================

Regarding high heat treated dry milk powder.

Given the minuscule amount of liquid milk in this cake recipe, there won’t be much benefit in substituting dry milk powder. To use, reconstitute per manufacturer instructions, them replace the milk with the reconstituted milk powder.

Source for high heat baker’s milk powder in the US is King Arthur Flour. There are other online sources, but shipping and customer service can be slow with some online retailers. King Arthur Flour is a reputable company with an very responsive customer service department.


https://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/bakers-special-dry-milk-16-oz
Hey,

Thanks for that, really appreciate it. Commercial ingredients are confusing to me, there never ending. Think I need to figure out my oven temp and continue experimenting until I find a recipe that works for me. Thanks for the response though really helped.
 

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