Lactose intolerant baking enthusiasts no longer have to give up certain milk-heavy recipes, thanks to the growing availability of plant-based milk products. Though there are many types of nut and grain milks to choose from, the most popular options by far are almond-based milk products. Save for a mild hint of nutty flavor, almond milk barely changes the color and taste of baked products, hence its ubiquity in many vegan recipes. If you’re interested in using almond milk as a baking substitute for cow’s milk, here are some things you’ll have to take note of.
What is the recommended ratio of almond milk to cow’s milk?
Luckily, this is super easy to remember: just substitute the exact amount of cow’s milk with the same amount of almond milk. However, do keep in mind that almond milk may not provide the same amount of creaminess in certain recipes due to its lack of saturated fat. The solution to this is not to add more almond milk, but to add a different ingredient in order to make up for it, which we’ll discuss in the next section.
Can I use almond milk to create desserts that are creamy in nature?
For any desserts that are intended to have a thick and creamy texture (e.g. custard or pudding), try adding some thickening agents such as flour or cornstarch. If the mixture is still not creamy enough, try stirring the almond milk in a saucepan over low heat. Gradually pour in some rice flour and mix well until the almond milk has thickened to your liking.
Is it possible to burn almond milk on the stove?
Even though almond milk may not contain casein—which is what burns when you overheat cow’s milk—you should use only moderate heat for it. Keep an eye on almond milk at all times, because it will burn once it reaches a temperature of 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, if you accidentally leave the milk over high heat, it may end up forming an odd top layer of film. To keep this from happening, don’t forget to regularly stir it in the saucepan.
Should I bake my recipes for the same amount of time when using almond milk?
In most cases, it’s best to let the desserts bake for a little less time than recipes normally call for. This is because the consistency and contents of almond milk may affect the overall baking time. Thus, you should err on the side of caution, and take your dish out of the oven a few minutes earlier than usual.
Can I make buttermilk out of almond milk?
Just like with cow’s milk, you can substitute buttermilk with almond milk. All you have to do is add a teaspoon of vinegar to it. If you don’t have any vinegar on-hand, you could opt for a teaspoon of lemon juice instead. Vinegar and lemon juice are both types of acids which cause milk to curdle when added. These acids interact with baking soda, which causes the batter to rise without the use of yeast.
Will I need to add more sugar when using almond milk?
You’ll probably want to do the opposite, actually. Though mostly unsweetened, almond milk’s natural flavor lends a tiny bit of sweetness to baked goods. In many cases, you may want to reduce the amount of sugar used by a third or a half of the original recipe.
Though all of this may seem like quite a bit to take in, it’s worth knowing how to properly use almond milk in order to make the best out of it. The last thing you’d want to do is waste a perfectly good carton of non-dairy goodness, after all. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be whipping up scrumptious lactose- and gluten-free desserts in no time!