About Dairy Products

Milk and milk products are used to provide moisture, flavor, and color, and to activate the leavening agents.

Butter

Whipped cream, one of our favorite dairy products.
  • Under U.S. law butter contains at least 80 percent milk fat
  • The remaining 20 percent is almost all water
  • European butter, plugras, has up to 4% more butterfat, giving the product a richer taste and smoother feel
  • The water content should be dispersed in fine droplets so butter looks dry
  • Consistency should be smooth so butter is easy to spread and melts readily on the tongue
  • Butter should have uniform color, be dense, and taste clean
  • Unsalted butter is more perishable than regular butter
  • The fat gives baked goods their distinctive flavor and tenderness
  • Read the recipe carefully to see whether it calls for salted or unsalted butter

Buttermilk

  • Buttermilk is low-fat or skim milk to which a bacterial culture has been added
  • It is low in fat, thick, and creamy, with a mildly acidic taste
  • Sour milk, made from milk and lemon juice or vinegar, can be substituted for buttermilk

Evaporated Milk

  • Evaporated milk is milk that has had 60 percent of its water removed
  • It may be substituted for other milk products if you reconstitute it using 2 parts evaporated milk to 3 parts water (for example, 1/2 cup evaporated milk to 3/4 cup water)
  • It is sold in cans and can be stored at room temperature until opened
  • Do not use evaporated milk as a substitute for sweetened condensed milk

Half-and-Half

  • A mixture of milk and cream, half-and-half
  • Can be used instead of light cream in most recipes

Heavy Cream

  • Also called whipping cream
  • Contains between 30 and 49 percent fat
  • Can be beaten to form soft peaks that retain their shape
  • To speed up whipping, chill bowl and beaters

Light Cream

  • Also called table cream
  • Contains 10 to 30 percent fat
  • Fat content is not sufficient to allow whipping

Low-Fat Milk

  • Two types: 2 percent and 1 percent milk -- percentages refer to amount of fat left in the milk

Nonfat Dry Milk

  • Nonfat dry milk has both the fat and water removed
  • Mix nonfat milk powder with water according to package directions to form milk

Skim, Fat-Free, or Nonfat Milk

  • By U.S. law must contain less than 1/2 percent fat

Sweetened Condensed Milk

  • Sweetened condensed milk is milk that has had about 50 percent of its water removed and about 40 percent sugar added
  • Do not use as a substitute for other milks

Whole Milk

  • Whole milk is about 3 1/2 percent fat

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