Why It's Important To Warm Milk Before Adding To Bread Dough

Using milk instead of water in breadmaking can add sweetness, make the crumb softer, and result in a nicely browned crust. Warming the milk before adding it is essential to activate the yeast and allow the bread to rise properly. It also breaks down whey proteins in the milk, preventing them from inhibiting gluten formation. The temperature of the milk should match the type of yeast being used, with dry yeast needing temperatures between 105-115°F and instant yeast tolerating temperatures between 120-130°F. Live/fresh yeast requires temperatures around 95°F. Scalding the milk is not necessary, and it should cool down before adding it to the yeast.