Milk

Milk

By
From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery
Makes
250 ml

Whole milk could be regarded as close to a complete food since it contains all essential nutrients required by the human body, including proteins, vitamins and minerals, especially calcium. Milk or milk foods should be included in the daily diet. There are many lovely milk drinks, but delicious soups, sauces, custards, milk jellies, junkets, scones, cakes and many other dishes also use milk as a major ingredient.

Milk should always be heated slowly and cooked at low temperatures.

Types of milk:

Milk is available in many different forms, depending on the methods of processing.

Fresh whole milk has been pasteurised to remove bacteria, and homogenised to disperse the milk fat evenly through the liquid and prevent it rising to the surface. This gives the milk a smooth, creamy texture. Keep milk refrigerated and use within 3–4 days after buying. Use according to any recipe calling for milk.

Fresh low fat milk contains less milk fat – usually about 2% – than whole milk. Use as for whole milk; however, it is unsuitable for babies except when given under medical advice. Refrigerate after opening and use within 3–4 days.

Fresh skim milk contains little milk fat, having about 0.1% of the total content, and is excellent for use by people on low fat diets. It should not, however, be used for babies except when given under medical advice. Use according to special recipes calling for skim milk. Refrigerate after opening and use within 3–4 days.

Fresh flavoured milk is whole milk that contains added flavouring agents and sugar; the sugar increases the energy content. Refrigerate after opening and use within 3–4 days.

UHT milk (ultra high temperature milk) undergoes a special treatment where very high temperatures are used during pasteurisation for a very short time; this preserves proteins and vitamins while destroying bacteria. The milk is packaged in special containers and, unopened, has a long shelf life of about 5–6 months without refrigeration. It is best chilled before serving. Refrigerate after opening and use within 3–4 days. It can also be purchased flavoured and sweetened. Use unsweetened, unflavoured UHT milk in place of whole milk; however, the high temperature treatment alters the protein structure and destroys the enzymes, making UHT milk unsuitable for junket as it will not set. Evaporated milk is whole milk evaporated to about 40% of the original volume. It is tinned and has a very long shelf life. For the equivalent of full cream milk, add 3 parts water to 2 parts evaporated milk. To make 250 ml.

use a measuring jug and add 100 ml evaporated milk, then fill with water to total 250 ml. Refrigerate after opening and when reconstituted, and use within 2 days. Use, undiluted, to enrich soups and sauces, or as a binding agent in meat loaves or meatballs. Or use as a topping on desserts and where specified in special recipes calling for evaporated milk.

Evaporated reduced fat milk has a lower fat content than ordinary evaporated milk. It is tinned, and should be stored and treated as for fresh milk when opened. Reconstitute in the same proportions as for evaporated milk. Use in special recipes calling for evaporated reduced fat milk, or in some recipes in place of fresh whole milk such as scones, quick breads, soups and sauces. Sweetened condensed milk is tinned milk from which the water content is reduced during processing and about 40% sugar is added. The sugar acts as a preservative, and the milk will keep for up to 1 week without refrigeration after opening and up to 3 weeks refrigerated. It is much sweeter than normal milk when reconstituted. Use 80 ml with water added to make up 250 ml. Use in sweet sauces, pie fillings and desserts which call for sweetened condensed milk.

Sweetened condensed skim milk is tinned milk similar to sweetened condensed milk but with a percentage of milk fat removed. Use as specified in special recipes or reconstitute by using 80 ml and adding water to make up 250 ml. Store and treat as for sweetened condensed milk.

Powdered full cream milk has a long shelf life. Reconstitute powder by adding water in the proportion specified on the packet or use 3 tablespoons 25 g milk powder and add water to make up 250 ml. The milk should then be refrigerated and used within 2 days, and the powder stored in a dry, airtight container after opening. It can be substituted for fresh whole milk in most recipes, following the proportion given for reconstituting. Refrigerate milk after reconstituting and use within 3–4 days.

Non-fat skim milk powder has a long shelf life. Reconstitute powder by adding water in the proportion as specified on the packet or use 2 tablespoons milk powder and add water to make up 250 ml. It is unsuitable for babies except under medical advice, but is excellent for people on low fat diets. It may also be used in recipes calling for skim milk. Store powder in a dry, airtight container. Refrigerate milk after reconstituting and use within 3–4 days.

Milk substitutes are whiteners used in tea or coffee. They are usually made from vegetable oil, coconut oil or soy-beans. Other additives such as sugar, artificial colour and emulsifiers are often added as well.

See also Buttermilk.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

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