Scalding milk in the microwave is as easy as making popcorn! But do we really have to our scald milk? Many older baking recipes call for scalded milk to kill potentially harmful bacteria and to remove enzymes which prevent the milk from thickening when cooked. Today, the pasteurization pretty much takes care of both these fears for us.
So why do modern recipes still call for scalded milk? The main reason is heated milk speeds the baking process. By scalding the milk, we are helping butter melt, sugar dissolve, and yeast rise more quickly. Scalding is traditionally accomplished by placing milk in a saucepan and heating until “scalded” or near boiling (185-190° F).
But, since scalding has essentially become a way to heat the milk why not use the microwave?
Scalding milk in the microwave
To scald milk in the microwave, pour the milk in a plastic or glass microwave-safe bowl.
Place a chopstick, bamboo skewer or other microwavable tool in the milk. This will break the surface and prevent the milk from super-heating beyond 212° F without boiling. This is a good thing since super-heated liquids can cause serious burns.
Microwave the milk on high for 3-4 minutes or just until the milk begins to boil. Use pot holders to carefully remove the hot bowl from the microwave and place it on a hotplate. The “scalded” milk is now ready for use.