The Fresh Loaf

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Proper dough temperature of dough after kneading

caviar's picture

Proper dough temperature of dough after kneading

I have been unable to achieve a dough temp of over 75 degrees from the kneading. I hand knead on a granite counter at a rate of every two seconds with my 220 pounds. The recipes all call for 78 to 81 degrees. Is it the counter which is cool? I do get a window pane effect. I have a couple of instant thermometers which give a reading of about one degree difference from each other so hopefully it isn't the thermometer.

Should I try increasing the water temperature. Also I have not used the temperature formula which I don't think I understand. If I use a whole grain flour fropm the fridge it is probably 37 degrees but even using flour at room temp I still can't get 78 degrees.

noonesperfect's picture

I was taught to start by multiplying the desired dough temperature by 3 - the number of ingredients that could significantly affect that temperature - flour, water and room temp.  There is also an adjustment for friction from kneading, which is negligible if you do it by hand.

That would mean you would start with 80 degrees times 3 (240).  Subtract the room temp, the flour temp and the friction adjustment, and you get the necessary water temperature needed to get the final desired dough temp.  In your case, if you assume a room temperature of 70 degrees, and flour at the room temp, you would need 100 degree water to offset the fact the your flour and room were a bit colder than ideal for this recipe.

 The dough temperature really only affects the time it takes to get the dough to rise the desired amount.  If your dough temp is too low, put the dough somewhere warmer to get the same general result.  Honestly, I think you are better off leaving it where it is and simply allow for more time for rising.  You get more flavor that way.



holds99's picture

FWIW.  If all your other elements are correct; mix, kneading, fementation, etc. then an increase of 3-5 deg. F. isn't all that critical and 75 deg. F. dough temp. shouldn't cause a problem.  It should be fine.  However, be aware that your dough may need a bit more time during bulk fermentation and final rise.  Just be sure your dough has doubled in volume at the end of bulk fermentation and final rise and you should be fine.  I wouldn't add warm water to get the increased 3-6 deg. F.   


caviar's picture

Thanks to both of you. I'll try the 240 degree method and see how it goes. Otherwise I won't sweat it and just wait a little longer or put it in a place I have that's a little warmer. Thanks again.

I hope I can help someone someday.

ramat123's picture

Thanks, David

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven


LindyD's picture

Hi David,

Most wheat doughs do best between 75F-78F, so regardless of whether it's very hot or very cool inside your home, you do have control over the dough temperature if you do some simple calculations to come up with the correct water temperature for the initial mix.  

Jeffrey Hamelman has a good primer on the topic which you can find here at the King Arthur Flour site.

Hope this is of some help with your question.

richawatt's picture

I think you should increase the water temp.  it will bring it up.  Also let the flour come to room temp.  The cold dough will make gluten development harder.  As far as the window pane test...I don't really like to even use it.  If you work the dough long enough to to window pane then it is over worked.  Just take kneed it to just before it can window pane, and it will develop the rest of the way during fermentation