Hands kneading bread dough
Why It's Crucial To Warm Milk Before Adding To Bread Dough
Warm milk is essential to the body of a good loaf of bread, as it activates the yeast, allows the bread to rise properly, and ensures the breakdown of whey proteins.
These whey proteins can inhibit the formation of gluten and stymie your rise, lengthening rising times and resulting in a less springy and more dense texture.
For the best outcome, match the temperature of the milk to the type of yeast you're using. Keep in mind that too high a heat — around 140 degrees Fahrenheit — can kill the yeast.
The three types of yeast commonly used in bread making are dry, live, and instant. Depending on which one you're working with, your milk temperature might be slightly different.
Dry yeast and instant yeast are both lying dormant and need some warm liquid to wake up. To activate dry yeast, proof it in its liquid at 105 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
Conversely, instant yeast is meant to be added directly to flour with the liquid added secondarily. Therefore, it tolerates higher temperatures of 120 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
Live/fresh yeast does not need to be activated, it just needs to be combined with a liquid. This means milk temperatures can be lowered to about 95 degrees Fahrenheit.