Function of non-fat dry milk in bread recipes?
The Secrets of a Jewish Baker bread book I have has non-fat dry milk (it says "skim milk powder" which I assume is the same thing) as an ingredient in a lot of the recipes and that is an item I don't normally stock in my pantry. I got into the middle of making honey oat wheat bread the other day and had missed that the recipe called for non-fat dry milk. It was 2/3 cup for a recipe that had about 5 cups of flour and 2 cups of oats.
I decided to go ahead and make the bread without it. I was very pleased with the resulting loaves and my DS (aka the food critic) who has made that bread before but not recently said he couldn't detect any difference.
So what is the skim milk powder or non-fat dry milk suppose to do? If it is just to beef up the nutrients, I think our family gets enough milk protein and calcium without that. The book says it imparts flavor, adds color to the crust and acts as a tenderizer but if DS can't detect the difference, it isn't doing much.
So, bread bakers - do I need to add powdered milk to my already full pantry? Or can I ignore it in the otherwise interesting recipes in the book that call for it? Or should I get a different bread book?