The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

temperature regulation tips?

jeffy1021's picture

temperature regulation tips?

Here is the bread baking schedule I have used a few times that has worked for me thus far:

Day 1

7AM - mix leaven

7PM - mix dough and bulk ferment overnight at 65o

Day 2

7AM - divide and shape, retard final rise in refrigerator

7PM - bake

This worked great the past few times because the weather was cooperative (high of 72 in the day, low of 60 at night).  California weather can be very sporadic this time of year and I am not able to control the climate in my house.  Today, we are supposed to have a high of 92 and low of 62.

Today, I mixed my leaven using room temperature water @ 67o before leaving for work.  Normally, I could simply leave it out on the counter, but I decided to put it in an insulated lunchbox with an ice pack in the upper compartment.  I do not want the yeast to be spent by the time I make my dough later tonight.  If there is not enough activity, I could probably leave it on the counter for an hour.  Hopefully that strategy works.

I am not sure what to do about the long bulk fermentation since my kitchen will be very warm tonight.  But I plan to check the temperature in my garage and in my car (which is parked outside) before I go to sleep and my leave my dough at either of these locations overnight. 

Does anyone have any other temperature control tips to share?


Chuck's picture

  • one of those simple small not-very-well insulated "ice chest"s for carrying beers

  • throw an unopened bag of rice in the freezer (or the microwave), later put the bag of rice and the payload in an insulated chest

  • a light bulb and an aquarium thermometer

  • the sort of large firm zippered plastic bag quilts/comforters come in

  • a tupperware cake carrier

  • styrofoam insulation "recycled" from toy- or electronics- packaging

  • a separate small (hotel- or counter- or office- or dorm-sized) refrigerator with the temperature control set where you want it

the last is ideal - need 62F?, dial it! - having an "extra" refrigerator isn't as crazy as it sounds, especially if you can find a used one lying around somewhere - a "half" or "quarter" sized one doesn't take up too much space or use too much electricity (you'll probably need to obtain a refrigerator thermometer too to see what the "real" temperature is)


(One thing I suggest against: a mug of steaming water under a cover - it can quickly mess up your hydration level really badly)

highmtnpam's picture

You always have such great suggestions.  Now that winter is here, our house drops to 62ºF or a bit chillier at night.  Several of those ideas would work well for me.   Pam