The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

temperature is so important

hullaf's picture
hullaf

temperature is so important

The more I read the more I learn.  I was worried about my sourdough starter and decided to check it out using bwraith's "maintaining a 100% hydration white flour starter" (#3064) and other blogs. After going through the workings, my starter has jumped and is now nicely active. I realized that my 'room temperature' is cooler than most average rooms -- we keep the house at 66-67 degrees most daytime hours in the winter and 60-62 degrees at night.  (Originally from WI, now reside in TN -- it usually is warmer down here, though tonight it's to get to a cool 15! . . . that's another story!) I needed to compensate and give it more time and/or more warmth. And then, I realized I was also underfeeding it (less than the ratio 1:2:2) and consequently affecting the rising/proofing/etc. Gee, what a difference. Thanks so much for all the info here in TFL -- though sometimes it's hard to get through it all and read all the pertinent subjects. 

I also just went a class by Peter Reinhart for his new WGB book (superb class - so many new tastes), received a sample rye starter, went through the feeding schedule -- it too is bounding with activity and flavor.  I can't wait to try new recipes. 

Anet 

AbbyL's picture
AbbyL

I just happened to be on the site trolling for a definition of "room temperature". We are very parsimonious about turning on the heat, and it's about 60 degrees in my house right now-- colder upstairs. I'm going to try again to make a pain de campagne that came out a dud the first time I tried, probably because room temperature was 62 and it hadn't proofed enough. So I'm thinking I'll turn the oven to warm for a few minutes, enough to get it to about 80, then turn it off and put in my dough for proofing.

AbbyL

Oldcampcook's picture
Oldcampcook

Try this one - Put a cup of boiling water in a corner of your microwave.  Then put the dough in and shut the door.  Make sure everyone in the house knows you have dough in the mic. DONT TURN ON THE MIC!

hullaf's picture
hullaf

I also put rising dough in the microwave or oven (not turned on of course), put in a two cup container of boiling water AND another cup of plain room temperature water with an instant thermometer in it to check the ambient oven temperature. I've learned quickly what temperature does best for rising and can control the numbers better! Also, I can fill up the oven with more than one rising dough.  Anet  

P.S.  This TN morning's outside temperature was only 9 degrees. It guess it is winter.  Can't control that.   

buckeyebaker's picture
buckeyebaker

hi, all, it's cold here too.  another thought on temp control, since we too keep our house COLD (62/63 day; 57night, yeah we're cheap!). but we have a nice espresso machine with a flat top. i found that keeping proofing dough there, or my starters or levain, wrapped in a towel or two, keeps them at a cozy 75-78 degrees, depending on the number of towels. works terrific.just made Leader's Rye Auverge bread, can't wait to cut into it, will try to figure out how to post pics. it lived on the 'proofing ledge' the entire time, since it's SOOO cold in the kitchen. buckeyebaker