11

We're attempting to reduce dairy consumption in many of our staple foods. Almond milk has worked very nicely for some things, but in baked goods I'm often failing. If a recipe involves baking soda or baking powder, almond milk produces a less satisfying rise and there's a bitter aftertaste.

I can get the same rise and flavor with soy milk. However, if I'm cooking for somebody with a soy allergy, that's not an option. Why is almond milk failing to fulfill the same role as dairy milk, and how can I tweak a recipe to get the same results?

  • What kind/brand of almond milk? There are so many variations. Lots of brands mix it with rice (without declaration) or add emulsifiers to it. Depending on what brand you're using, it might be as easy as switching the brand. – Turion Feb 15 '17 at 19:47
  • @Turion Same effect with both Silk and Almond Dream; I'm not sure if I've tried any others, and haven't tried with homemade almond milk yet. – Erica Feb 15 '17 at 21:19
  • There are two different almond drinks I know of that are called "Almond Dream", and both contain Gellan. I'd assume that the cake doesn't rise because of the Gellan, but I don't know. – Turion Feb 16 '17 at 9:48
  • It might be helpful to take a look at recipes which are designed to use almond milk from the start to see how the proportion of various ingredients differs. – nloewen Feb 16 '17 at 20:26
5

There's a similar cooking.SE question: Adjusting baking powder to work with almond milk

if a recipe involves baking soda or baking powder, almond milk produces a less satisfying rise and there's a bitter aftertaste. [...] Soy milk does provide the same "lift" and eliminates the bitterness the same way that dairy milk would. [...] Is it possible to adjust our baking powder recipes to use almond milk?

The only answer there:

Baking soda reacts with acid to create CO2 and lift. Baking powder already has the necessary acid included. Cow's milk is slightly acidic. Almond milk is slightly alkaline. It may be that there is just a little bit less of the necessary acid to make your leavening react. Experiment adding a little acid.

Another reason for the better rising properties of soy milk could be its high amount of lecithin. Beyond that, soy milk is closer to cow milk in terms of nutrient composition - especially the missing protein in almond milk could result in a different baking behavior.

  • 1
    That's correct. In addition, the aftertaste stems from the bicarbonate not having been broken down by the acid. The solution is to add a teaspoon of lemon juice. – henning Apr 16 '17 at 19:44
2

Some recipes will rely on milk curdling/thickening at a step where acid is added, essentially creating buttermilk ad-hoc. These will work well with soymilk since it is, if anything, more susceptible to that curdling effect than even some dairy products - some other plant based milks will not coagulate, or not in the same manner.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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