The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Warming flour

Larry Clark's picture
Larry Clark

Warming flour


Twice yesterday I applied the rule of 240 for the first time. The dough seemed "better" somehow and 'm really not sure how, but this is something I think I'll keep doing. My house is on the cool side and I was using water tiemps of 104 and 106F. Those temperatures make me very nervous about killing the yeast. Is there any problem with heating the flour a few degrees in a warm oven? I would think this would work as long as the flour isn't scorched.



Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

No, just kidding. Couldn't resist, but couldn't you just see the cloud of flour it would make?

Sounds good to me, I think you could heat in the oven esp. if it came out of the freezer but I wouldn't set it hotter than 50°c or 125°F and make sure it's stired (use your fingers) and at the right temperature before combining it with the yeast.

Can you park the flour on a heater or in the sunshine (or a warm car window) to warm it up?  Or wrap it first in a dark colored towel and then into the sunshine?

Mini O

gavinc's picture


Glad you are experimenting and getting some results. I know about the 240 rule but can’t comment on how good it is as I use one from Hamelman’s Bread book. It’s a bit more complicated but works for me. My mixer is a Theromix so the friction factor will be different from most.

Below is a cut and paste from my spreadsheet from last weekend’s calculation. I was mixing sourdough using a liquid levain.

I use it estimate what my water temperature should be. I’m in Australia, and it’s early spring. Oh, it’s in Celsius, but you can just use Fahrenheit instead.

Multiply the desired dough temp by the multiplier 3 or 4 to get the temp factor. Then minus the flour temp, minus the room temp, minus the preferment temp and finally minus the mixer friction factor. It’s worth the effort as I now get consistent volume and end results.

Desired Dough Temperature


Multiplier (3 no preferment, 4 preferment)


Total Temperature Factor


Flour Temperature


Room Temperature


Levain Temperature


Mixer Friction Factor


Water Temperature



gavinc's picture

Just read in your other post ans read that you have borrowed Hamelman's Bread.  It's worth checking out the theory and formula he describes for calculating water temp.



Larry Clark's picture
Larry Clark

Seeing your blow dryer response first thing this morning got my day off to a good start. I will remember to stir the flour, though. Good idea.

Gavin, thanks for you input. I'll look at what Hamelman has to say. So far, I've only read what Mike Avery has on his web site.