The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Water thermometer for bread baking?

katiecooks815's picture

Water thermometer for bread baking?


I am looking for a thermometer that can measure the temperature of water for my bread baking. I'm looking to see between 70 degrees fahrenheit and 125 degrees fahrenheit. Can anyone recommend a good one?



mrfrost's picture

Just about any probe thermometer is more than adequate for that. When I first started making bread(about 4 yrs ago), I bought 2 simple probe thermometers from the grocery store for $1 each(closeout bin after the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday cooking periods). I imagine they are about $4 to $6 each at regular price. Back then, I used to measure everything(temperatures).

They are more than adequately accurate for measuring temperatures from 0ºF to 212ºF.  I worked in the food/dairy distribution industry for over 20 years and these are the same kind we used(at that time), although the ones we used went down to -20ºF(ideal ice cream storage/distribution temp, at the time).

I rarely check temperature any more for bread making any more, except occasionally for oven light proofing. I make about 4 pounds of bread dough a week. But I also make about a gallon of yogurt a month(and sometimes buttermilk), which are made between the exact temperatures you mentioned, so you need to be a little more careful in checking the milk temperatures there. My thermometers are working perfectly for that.

No matter what kind you end up getting, if you come across one of these simple types, get one also(as a spare). I promise, in time, you will end up using it. Needs no batteries or any thing.

Good luck. ps: this is considered an "instant read thermometer", but they are not as fast reacting as some digital types.

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

I'm a Thermoworks fan.  I got tired of thermometers that weren't accurate and had tiny little dials that I need a magnifying glass to read.  Also a lot of them are not water proof.

You don't have to go whole-hog the Thermapen route - though I have one now (gift from a friend) and love it and would not trade it for the world, it IS a $100 thermometer!!!!

Try one of these:

I would suggest going for the max range and the largest display so you can use it for EVERYTHING, including to measure oil temp.  Or just get the $14 cheapy if that's all you really want.  Some of these are available on Amazon for no shipping cost from time to time as well.  They work great.  I had one before the Thermapen and only gave it away because I got the other.