The process of scalding milk involves heating the milk up just below the boiling point, or to about 180 F (82C). This is typically done in a saucepan over medium-low or medium heat and watched fairly closely being careful not to boil. A kitchen thermometer can be used to know when the milk has been sufficiently heated and should be removed from the heat. However, if a thermometer is not available, you can easily tell when the milk is hot enough when a good amount of steam is rising off the milk. Scalded milk is used for various reasons in cooking and baking. One of the most common is for yeast bread making. Yeast bread relies on fermentation and growth of the yeast put into it. Scalding the milk ensures that all bacteria, enzymes and wild yeast that may be present in the milk are killed. The heat also causes the proteins in the milk to become “denatured.” Basically this is an unraveling of the protein strands. Denatured proteins in the milk will help the yeast bread to rise. Scalded milk is also used for various sauces such as a bechemel or it’s small sauces. The sauce will thicken more quickly and create a more smooth sauce when warm milk is added to the roux.