The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Cool as a cucumber...

  • Pin It
jeni_rainbow's picture
jeni_rainbow

Cool as a cucumber...

or all hot and bothered?

Here in the UK we have just had our coldest spring for 50 years. There isn't really a spot in my house which has a consistent temperature, so I just go with the temperature that there is, and it works fine, except things take longer. Sometimes much longer. I notice with some recipes posted on the site, that a time is given for proofing a dough, or whatever, and the temperature. What I am wondering is, is there any way of calculating how much longer each stage is likely to take, at the lower temperature here? I'm somewhat mathematically challenged but I can use a calculator. Are there any mathematical geniuses out there who could point me in the right direction? It would make it so much easier to schedule my baking!

Many thanks,

Jeni

RobynNZ's picture
RobynNZ

Hello Jeni, my commiserations for the cold spring. It may be of some assistance to you to read through the links I made in a comment a while ago:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/9720/long-bulk-room-temperature-fermentation-compared-bigapoolish-or-fridge#comment-134313

Realise that thread is on different topic but the referenced material could be useful to you.

Good Night from New Zealand, where winter has arrived and we too are seeking cosy spots for our proofing bread doughs.

jeni_rainbow's picture
jeni_rainbow

I've had a look at the thread and it's really fascinating, and does help! I need to take a bit more time to read it through thoroughly and check out some of the links, but there's some great stuff in there!

Keep warm this winter! It looks like summer is just thinking about arriving here...

Jeni

isand66's picture
isand66

Jeni,

I would say that there are way too many variables to use a formula to calculate.  You have to consider the temperature of the water and flour as well as the starter.  You also have to calculate the temperature rise caused by mixing as well as the air temperature.  The hardest thing to calculate is the strength of your starter.  While baking certainly can be considered part science it is also something that depends on feel and experience. 
Many people will use the pilot light in their oven to try and provide a warmer spot for the dough to rest and rise.  If you have an electric oven you can turn the inside light on which will generate a small amount of heat, or turn teh oven on for a couple of minutes and let it cool down to around 75 to 80 degrees.

Some people use an electric heating pad to try and control the temperature or you can buy a proofing box like have or make your own with a cooler and some parts you can pick up at a hardware store.

Ian

jeni_rainbow's picture
jeni_rainbow

Gosh, I can see why it would be hard to calculate a formula! I never even thought of most of those variables!

I guess you are right that finding some alternative way of controlling the temperature might be an option (building my own proofing box is probably beyond my level of technical skills at the moment, though!)  :-)

Thanks so much for your response.

Jeni