The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

making bread by using ice water

  • Pin It
sansanmlg's picture
sansanmlg

making bread by using ice water

I just moved to United States from Indonesia not long ago and I found out that all the recipes for bread making here has a big different step. During the first step we mix all the ingredient (flour, sugar, yeast, salt) with ice water while in United States , the recipes always says warm water. Does anyone know what make the different? Fyi, Indonesia is a tropical country with hot weather all year ( like summer here).


Thanks for the information.

cranbo's picture
cranbo

If you use warm water, your dough will probably ferment too fast in hot weather like there is in Indonesia. Ice water slows down the fermentation time to help you develop flavor. 


In the US generally the weather is more mild (but not everywhere): some places it's very cold, and some places it can be similarly hot (like in Florida). The water temp helps adjust the final dough temp to keep fermentation at the right rate.


Hope this helps!

sansanmlg's picture
sansanmlg

Thanks a lot for the explanation. I will come back Indonesia soon so I just wonder that I should try using warm water with less yeast than using ice water cause in US, I just need to knead the dough couple minutes to make it elastic, but in Indonesia I need almost one hour ( both by hand). Do you think it is good idea? Thanks

cranbo's picture
cranbo

yes that sounds like a good idea. you may want to compromise: instead of using ice water, use room temperature water 65-70F (18-21C), and reduce the yeast just slightly. 

Chuck's picture
Chuck

The goal -generally named "Desired Dough Temperature" or DDT- is to have the finished dough be a good temperature for yeast to live. That's typically about 80F. Too low, and the yeast slows down in preparation for sleeping; too high, and the yeast slows down in preparation for dying.


A way to approximate it is to calculate 1/3 contribution from the flour you put in the dough, 1/3 from the air, and 1/3 from the water you put in the dough. For hand-mixed doughs (little "friction factor") this leads to the "rule of 240": Measure the actual air temperature and subtract that from 240, then measure the actual flour temperature and subtract that from what's left, the final number will be approximately the temperature the water you put in the dough should be.


Sometimes it's simplified even more: "if you live in a hot climate, use ice water; if you live in a mild climate, use room temperature water".


It's a good idea to once in a while actually measure the temperature of the mixed dough and check that your "approximate calculation" is really doing what it's supposed to do. If not, the simplest adjustment is to next time use a lower or higher number than 240: 220 or 200 or 260 or 280.


(Of course DDT calculations can be made much more accurate: allow for cold ingredients like eggs or butter, allow for the temperature rise from mixing, allow for using motorized appliances, allow for sourdough starter, allow for soakers, and so forth. Find your own "sweet spot" balance between accuracy and simplicity.)

sansanmlg's picture
sansanmlg

Thanks guys for the responses. As soon as I make it , I will post the result :)