Why Scald Milk When Making Yeast Rolls?

You finally remembered to get your favorite bread recipe from Mom, and the ingredients are measured and ready, but now you’re wondering why scald milk when making yeast rolls? Surely this part of the recipe no longer applies. Nobody scalds milk anymore when making homemade yeast breads, right? Well, that’s not entirely true. Many avid bread bakers swear by this trick when making yeast rolls and other yeast breads that require a milk base. So, why is it necessary to scald milk when making yeast rolls?

Ingredients needed for homemade yeast rolls:

  • milk
  • oil
  • sugar
  • salt
  • flour
  • one package yeast
  • cookie sheet or shallow baking pan
  • mixing bowls
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • microwave safe measuring cup
  1. It’s often believed killing bacteria was the only reason why Great Grandma scalded milk when making homemade yeast rolls. And, that was certainly true. All milk needed to be scalded for safety reasons before there was pasteurization. Bacteria in the fresh cow’s milk were killed during the process of scalding the milk. But then there’s Grandma and Mom. Why did they scald milk when making yeast rolls?
  2. Today’s modern bread baker will tell you science is the reason she will scald the milk for yeast rolls. Milk makes a cute moustache and is a refreshing drink, but it’s complicated where molecular structure is concerned. It has many types of proteins and enzymes. The enzymes are not destroyed during the pasteurization process. When the milk is scalded, it destroys an enzyme called protease which effects the yeast in breads. Without yeast, the results will be a sticky dough that won’t rise properly.
  3. Try a taste test to see if it's necessary to scald the milk for those mouth-watering yeast rolls. Multiple attempts of making breads and yeast rolls using milk both ways leaves most bakers with the conclusion that scalding the milk indeed produces better results. The texture of the yeast bread is the difference. That alone is the reason why the milk should be scalded for yeast rolls and other milk-based breads.
  4. It’s super quick and easier to scald the milk for that favorite yeast roll recipe in today's modern kitchen. You don’t even need turn on the stove for scalded milk. The microwave will give the same results in less time. Scalded milk is simply milk heated to just before the boiling point. Milk that just begins producing steam is scalded. Skim off the skin that forms on the surface after the milk has been heated, and it’s ready for that delicious yeast rolls recipe. Grandma would be proud.
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