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Readers Respond: Do You Still Scald Milk in Recipes?

Responses: 26


From the article: scald
Since pasteurization, scalding milk is no longer necessary, but many people continue to do so. I do for yeast breads. For one, it's an old habit and old habits die hard. Secondly, after cooling to 110 degrees, it creates a nice warm environment for the yeast. And thirdly, it helps break down the serum protein in milk that can adversely affect the bread's structure. Do you still scald milk? If so, when and why? Top Reasons to Scald Milk

I Do Too

Not a bread eater but love yogurt. I use a cheap Sous Vide setup and bring it up to 180 for 45 minutes, cool it down and then hold it for 8+ hours at 111F. Haven't had a batch fail yet (knock on wood) and it sets up well without pectin or powdered milk.
—Guest GaryODS

Yogurt & Hot Cocoa

The two recipes that I make regularly with scalded milk are homeade yogurt and hot cocoa. There is no doubt about it - scalded milk IS different - you can smell and taste the difference.
—Guest Heather


My Polish american mother used to call the Skim on top of scalded milk 'Kuza." she said it meant goat. Ever hear of that?
—Guest Paul

Don't need to scald store-bought milk

Most store-bought milk is ultrapasteurized using the HTST pasteurization method. I am not sure when the milk industry started doing this. Basically the milk is heated to temps way above where one would scald. The 'old timey' method of pasteurization is to bring to 165. That is regular pasteurization. That is lower than scalding. So with the milk one usually gets from the store nowadays, you should not rescald it. If you are fortunate enough to get raw, fresh milk, you should probably scald it for breadmaking.
—Guest Cathy

Scalding milk?

This technique is only necessary when using un-pasteurized milk. It may be avoided by using powdered milk as well.

Scalding Milk

I don't find it makes a measurable difference...unless for the "pride of an old-fashioned process." I just made two batches of the same custard filling, one I scalded the milk, the other I didn't. I CAN NOT tell the difference. (I am using store-bought 2% milk, BTW.) Maybe if I used 1/2 and 1/2 or heavy cream I could tell the difference in scalding; but alas, my age and waistline won't allow for that. ;-)
—Guest Sunday Farmer

chilehead53 is wrong

If you're making bread you will need to scald your milk or use high-heat treated dry milk. Why? Because there are enzymes that are killed during the process which inhibits the gluten of the bread, meaning your bread will not rise as high with non-scalded / non-high-heat treated dry milk.
—Guest John

Scalding and raw milk

I use only raw milk and have made yogurt both with and without scalding. The scalding makes it much thicker because it changes the milk proteins. Without scalding, the yogurt is more of a drinkable consistency. For me this has nothing to do with killing bacteria, since I don't scald my milk for plain drinking or any other recipes.
—Guest Sheila


I am from the "old school", as it were. If the recipe calls for scalded milk, then this is what I do...no questions asked. To me, if it is not done this way, there is something different...and "not correct". Something changes...it is difficult to say...but there is a reason. I am all for it!!!

Scolding milk

I scold milk for recipes with require the use of yeast. Why, because my mom always did, and she was a wonderful baker.
—Guest suburbangrandma

Wee bit o' simple science...

If you make homemade yogurt or custards, heating milk to at least 180 degrees is necessary. Doing this makes yogurt consistently and considerably thicker, and custards set with regularity. This has nothing to do with pasteurization, but with making changes to the milk proteins. I don't heat milk like this when making bread, as that heating is just enough so that yeast and sugar can make carbon dioxide (a gas - makes bread rise and also why you have to punch it down) and alcohol, and doesn't concern milk proteins in the least. Elaine Lemm! The About.com celebrity for British and Irish cooking!

Yes I do

If recipe calls for it, I scald milk. I made two bread puddings a week apart, and forgot to scald the milk first on one of them. The texture was not as good in the one that was not scalded. This was the only difference, so I believe scalding does have some effect.

Scalding Milk Improves the Flavor

I scald milk when making homemade yogurt. I put just a half cup or so of water in the bottom of the pan to help prevent scorching.

Scalding milk...Yes!

Hi, All, Yes, I do still scald milk when called for. Why? Because, several times when I have not, the resulting product has not "turned out" as good. Also, I do suspect that scalding milk changes it somehow to allow the recipe to proceed normally...I can't put my finger on it (except that perhaps it "changes something" in the milk...but as for me..."If it ain't broke, don't fix it!!! Walt Gach

My reason to scald milk

Because it tastes good! I began doing this in my early 20's because I found it brought out such a wonderful flavor. Dasvidanya!
—Guest Sharon

Top Reasons to Scald Milk

Do You Still Scald Milk in Recipes?

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