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Base Temperature for Bread – how to calculate?


lizztwozee
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Greetings, Bread Bakers! I was watching a YouTube video which profiled a baker in Paris last Saturday night (I don't get out much), and he was explaining that the temperature of the water, flour and air should equal 52 degrees Centigrade. Hmmm, I kinda remembered something like that from the 3-day intense bread class I took at the French Pastry School in Chicago (oh, for the budget to take more classes there!), and my notes translated the temperature into approximately 129 degrees Farenheit. Soooo, just for kicks, I measured the temperature of the air and flour I had on hand, and came up with 71 degrees for both, not unexpected, and certainly within range in a commercial baking space. My question is, how does one come up with approximately 129 degrees (which is about 54 degrees Centigrade), since 71+71=142? Your input gratefully acknowledged, thanks! --Lizz

Lizz

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"you miss 100% of the shots you don't take"

-Wayne Gretzky

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Rereading this, it sounds like what's being advocated is having each ingredient at about 17 degrees C (63 F), which is a bit cooler than standard room temperature. This would indeed contribute to a longer ferment (since yeast is less active in the cold) and therefore a loaf with a lighter, more tender texture (if I'm recalling my theory of French breads correctly....)

One comes up with these temperatures in practice by chilling the ingredients before you begin.

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Panaderia Canadiense, I think just the opposite is being suggested: 52°C is quite warm, basically the maximum temperature before you start killing the yeast. It's probably the absolute hottest you could go, and will give you the fastest possible rise time. I don't quite follow Lizz's question, however: to make the final mix wind up at 52°C you will need to use hot water, so that when you mix it together it comes down to 52, I'd think. I'm a low-and-slow sort of guy, though, I never try to minimize rise time like that.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Chris, what's being said above, is that flour + water + air temperatures should equal 52, isn't it? So 17+17+17=52? (roughly...) I could of course be wrong..... But wouldn't that mean a cooler flour than normal?

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Don't forget that the mixer will add energy to the dough, raising the final dough temp.

Also don't forget, F->C is not a linear conversion so you can't just switch to F. 71F = 22C. 54 - 22 - 22 = 10C so you should use 10C or 50F water. Alternatively, you can work in F but add up to 188F.

Edited by Shalmanese (log)

PS: I am a guy.

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You need to calculate the friction factor for your mixer. Every mixer is slightly different, even different examples of the same make and model.

http://duelingmargaritas.blogspot.com/2011/01/friction-factor-in-bread-part-deux.html

Here's a moe complete discussion of temperatures and dough:

http://thebakerynetwork.wordpress.com/2011/01/28/baking-science-principles-of-bread-production/

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Wow, thanks for all the input, folks. Unfortunately, I don't have the YouTube link anymore, as I buzzed by it and don't remember the title.

The Bakery Network blog has some great information, thanks Lisa! I'm going to modify my thinking -- it says that a base temperature (really just a numerical factor) of 240 represents a mixed temperature of 80 for the dough coming off the hook, that sounds just right. I've been mixing dough with water at approx. 100 degrees, so if the flour and air are 71 degrees, that leaves 98 for the water. That'll work! I have a small 12 qt. mixer, so I don't take into account the friction factor, mixing at 7 minutes first speed, and 3 minutes second.

Lizz

---

"you miss 100% of the shots you don't take"

-Wayne Gretzky

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