I've been working on a recipe for Japanese milk bread and in the process I pulled out my buttermilk powder. It's a roux-based dough based on the Tang Mian method (often used for sponge cakes) which has led to some interesting doughnut explorations. Adding a cooked starch paste to the dough helps give it a unique firm-tender crumb. I grew up loving Japanese milk bread. It was only an occasional treat because I could only find it at Asian bakeries and supermarkets. To me it was practically a meal in itself, so sweet and tender. Asian white bread was so much better than packaged loaf bread we used for sandwiches and so different from the fresh Italian breads we bought from the Sicilian bakery every weekend that it always seemed like a special treat when we had some.
As I played with the recipe, I found that many versions out there were good but somewhat flat, either lacking salt or a bit too sweet. Many of the recipes out there call for adding nonfat milk powder to the bread dough. This Organic Valley buttermilk powder happened to be on my shelf right next to the nonfat milk powder, When I saw it a light bulb went off in my brain. It's actually a blend of buttermilk and non-fat milk powder. When I added it to the dough, that tiny hint of tang gave it just the boost it needed to reach full flavor. It's like a secret weapon because you'd never even know it was there. Now that buttermilk powder is back on my radar I'll have to find other recipes where its subtle impact will be welcome.