The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

ingredient temperature

guy4814's picture

ingredient temperature

The receipe book that came with my bread machine (West Bend) calls for ingredient temperature of 80 to 90 degrees.  Our home temperature stays right around 75 degrees.  How important is the difference?  Should I compensate by adjusting amount of ingredients?  First two efforts for whole wheat failed miserably, although I followed the receipe exactly.


Craig_the baker's picture
Craig_the baker

describe what about it failed. I'm guessing it didnt rise before the machine baked it. You should warm the water (about 90-100F) so the yeast activates properly. If using a bread machine, it doesnt know whether or not the dough is ready for the next stage of the process. The machine mixes for a certain amt of time then lets rise for a fixed amt of time. If your dough temp is too cold, the machine will bake it before its ready.

mariana's picture

Bread might fail in a bread machine for a variety of reasons, most important being wrong amount of ingredients (not enough water, too much flour or salt, or wrong kind and amount of yeast, etc). But temperature is exceedingly important too.


My bread machine (Zo Virtuoso) requires water to be 2-12C (34-54F), otherwise it overheats the dough and during kneading destroys its gluten. If your water is too cold for your machine, bread dough would not be ready for shaping and  baking on schedule. Bread volume would be too small, crumb too tight, aroma - too flat, and taste - tasteless.  


To see how important the difference between 85F/29.5C water and 75F/24C water for your bread machine is, try measuring dough temperature at the end of kneading. If it is significantly different from using 85F water vs 75F water, then use warmer water from the faucet or heat it up a little in microwave before adding to your breadmaker. I don't see the difference between 75F/24C water in your kitchen and 80F/28C (still acceptable by the instructions) as significant, but who knows... Only trial bakes will tell. 


In my bread machine, this slight difference of 3-4C, between 20C/68C water and 23C/73F water already gives a significant difference in outcome. At 23C/73F dough overheats too much during kneading and its gluten is destroyed by a combination of thermal and mechanical stress, but at 20C water is still acceptable IF I use very strong bread flour with 13.5-14% protein content. 


Some bread machines and books about bread in bread machines require water to be as hot as 43-51C/110-125F, or else recipe will fail. So water CAN be too hot or too cold for your model or for a specific recipe. I would pay attention, definitely.


good luck!


jcking's picture

An investment in a scale, that reads grams, (around 30-35$) and a probe thermometer (around 10-15$) will allow you to make consistently nice loaves. Use your microwave to warm the water and add a few degrees to compensate for room temperature ingredients. Whole wheat in any bread machine is not an easy loaf to make. I would suggest, if you haven't already, trial an error to a good white loaf. Once that is mastered add whole wheat and subtract white, making adjustments as you go. Personal preference is 50/50 whole wheat and white.


Alpana's picture

When I use 100% WWF in BM, I get best results if I do an additional kneading cycle. I start the machine on any cycle and let it finish kneading. Then I stop the machine and let the dough rest for 20 minutes. I again start the machine on WW cycle and let it run its course. I also keep the dough wetter than white flour (more sticky than tacky) as WW absorbs more water. Check during the final rise to catch any over rising due to the extra time and water . If you feel that the dough has risen sufficiently, stop the machine & start the bake cycle. Adding vital wheat gluten or egg white (as someone suggested in TFL) also helps 100% WW bread. But extra time & water are the best bets. Even then, 100% WW  bread is going to be slightly dense. As an alternative, you can use Peter Reinhart's mash or soaker technique and proceed with the final dough in BM. It works very well. 


JOHN01473's picture

i work to a Desired Dough Temperature (DDT) of 28°C.

search for articles on DDT like the one on the link below.