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Tough Love

March 26, 1992

I am at a loss for an answer to a question and am directing it to you in hopes of an answer.

When making a lot of yeast dough recipes, the instructions are to scold the milk and then cool to lukewarm. This has become like a trivia question --why do you have to scold the milk?

DOROTHY Y. ROBLEY, Torrance

Milk must be scalded, not scolded. Scalding means heating a liquid to 198 degreees. According to Harold McGee, author of "On Food and Cooking": "Milk must be scalded before using in dough because the process apparently alters milk serum proteins that otherwise interact with flour proteins to produce a weak, 'slack' dough."

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