The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Room Temp

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Cregar's picture

Room Temp

Hey all,

I have a very basic question...

I keep reading about fermenting at room temp... What is the correct room temp? I live in Phoenix and in the summertime I keep my apartment at around 76 to 78 degrees.

Is that too warm?



BTW... my first formula from this site is the Rosemary Olive Oil Bread, have the pre-fer in the fridge right now and will be baking the bread tonight hopefully.

proth5's picture

Ah yes, Phoenix.  I was just near there.  Toasty.  Dry, too.  Make sure you take care that your dough doesn't dry out.  I was baking near there and we had to go to extraordinary lengths to keep our dough workable.

76-78F is within a perfectly acceptable range for most breads.  (There are special techniques that require more stringent temperature control, but I will assume that you are not asking about these.)

Fermentation temperature is the subject of much ardent discussion.  Lower temperatures and longer fermentation times are thought to bring better flavor.  Retarded fermentation (even lower temperatures) also brings benefits. As the baker, you can explore these and find out if you like different temperatures for bulk and final fermentations.  There is no one "right" answer.

My breads/my hands - I like the 76-78F range and will provide this environment for my breads even when my actual room temperature is lower. It allows me to produce breads that I like on a schedule that fits.  Your experiences may vary.

Hope this helps.

ejm's picture

As far as I know, generally, room temperature is considered to be around 21C(70F), give or take a few degrees in either direction depending on whether it's summer or winter. But the temperature doesn't have to be exactly that for bread to rise. A little warmer and the bread will rise faster. Cooler and it will rise more slowly.

The only things you really have to guard against is the dough drying out when it's rising (as already mentioned) and temperature that is too hot so that the yeast is killed. Yeast begins to die when the temperature is higher than 50C(120F).

So I think 27C(80F) is a perfectly acceptable temperature for rising bread.


(Our kitchen is around 15C in winter and 25C in summer.)

phxdog's picture

Another sweating desert dweller!

I also live in Phoenix and make the Rosemary Olive Oil Bread a couple of times each month. I find that my warm kitchen results in a pretty quick rise time (shorter than most recipes indicate).

This recipe is so flavorful that a more rapid rise time won't really impact the flaor too much. Elizabeth is sure right about keeping an eye on the dough to prevent it form drying out. If I'm making a pan loaf, I use a large reclangular clear plastic container (about 6x6x12) that originally contained pre-mixed salad from Sam's Club. I put about a half inch of cool water in the bottom and spray the sides and top with water and place the bread and the pan in this container. It stays nice and cool and very humid. Works for me anyway!

Phxdog (Scott)

Cregar's picture

Cool... thanks for all the info