Dough temperature

Discussion in 'The Think Tank' started by bluemoose, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. bluemoose

    bluemoose New Member

    I have read on several other posts that: 1. The dough temperature after mixing should be in the neighborhood of 80-85 degrees. If it's warmer it increases the likelihood of blown dough because it doesn't cool down quickly enough. 2. A reach-in fridge is inferior to a walk-in because if it is filled with 85 degree dough, there is too much thermal mass for it to cool down in a reasonable time, even if the dough is cross-stacked for a few hours, etc.

    My question is, Would the final product be adversely affected if one were to make dough with ice-cold water? Would a reach-in then be able to cool the dough down quickly enough?

    OK, I guess that's two questions. Anyway, I intend to experiment, of course, but was wondering if anyone has any first hand experience wih this.

    Thanks in advance for any sage advice.
  2. durbancic

    durbancic Member

    Well, I can tell you this. Our dough is typically 75-80 degrees when finished. The colder the dough, the tougher it is to work with. It is MUCH easier to work with a warmer dough - anything below 70 would be stiff and harder to ball up. But that aside, it would give the reach in a fighting chance to cool it down.
  3. Patriot'sPizza

    Patriot'sPizza Active Member

    We make our dough with water stored in he walk-in cooler...

    We also make our dough 2 days in advance...

    But we also bring out our dough from the cooler for a 'final' floor proof before tossing/baking...
  4. Tom Lehmann

    Tom Lehmann Active Member

    When using a reach in cooler we recommend using a final dough temperature of 75 to 80F (favoring the 75F side) fror the very reason you cite. If you were to use all ice water the dough would be so cold that it might not be ready to use for the better part of a week or more in the cooler (do you really have a reach in that large?). Keep in mind that final dough temperatures are just recommendations. The actual final dough temperature that works best for your specific shop conditions may vary somewhat. If you have an old, tired reach in cooler, you might need to be looking at a final temperature closer to the 65 to 70F range. Some reach in cooler do not allow enough room to cross stack the dough boxes so we must off set the boxes at the ends, and this is not as efficient as cross stacking, so again, another reason for using a lower temperature. The best advice I can give to anyone using a reach in cooler is to experiment with finished dough temperatures to find the one that works best in YOUR shop.
    Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
  5. bodegahwy

    bodegahwy Well-Known Member

    We use water as cold as we can get it and have a large walkin to cross stack for a few hours so we get the temp down as fast as possible. We generally use dough the following day, but the 2nd day following is fine and the 3rd day is usable.

    Unless we are using 3rd day dough, we bring trays for dinner out of the walkin around 4PM to warm up the dough before handling.
  6. Tom Lehmann

    Tom Lehmann Active Member

    Depending upon your location, and season, tap water temperature can run from a low of about 50F to a high of around 60F. Because of the seasonal difference in temperature in many cities, I strongly advise that both the water temperature as well as the finished dough temperature be recorded for every dough. Remember, control of dough temperature is the key to effective dough management. Since you are not getting three days out of your dough, it sounds like you might be at the high side of the ideal finished dough temperature for your store. With effective dough management and a balanced dough formula, you should be able to use the dough after 16 to 18-hours in the cooler, with a "sweet spot" between 36 and 48-hours, but still be able to use it on the third day with relatively good success.
    Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
  7. bluemoose

    bluemoose New Member

    Thanks for all the responses/advice.
  8. ryank

    ryank New Member


    Would the same advice apply to a roll-in cooler, if you place your dough balls on sheet pans on a rolling cart instead of using dough boxes? Do you recommend walk in coolers for fresh dough pizza operations?
  9. Tom Lehmann

    Tom Lehmann Active Member

    Do you mean a cooler where you place the dough balls onto a wheeled rack and then push the rack into the cabiner cooler? This type of cooler is essentially the same as a reach in cooler. We have one here and we just leave the rack in it so the cooler is actually a reach in in that case. So, yes, treat your rack type cooler just the same as a reach in cooler. As for the type of cooler I recommend for stores, I always recommend a walk in cooler whenever possible.
    Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
  10. ryank

    ryank New Member

    Thank you. Yes, that is what I meant to describe. I'm designing a new store right now and wasn't sure whether to install a walk in, or use a 2-door fridge and 2-door freezer I already own, and purchase a roll in fridge so I push the rack into the cooler. I have can make the space for a walk in if needed.

    I search through your old threads and think I found your reasoning for the walk in. Walk ins are preferred because there is more cool air to absorb the heat from the dough, so it ends up being a quicker and more efficient way to chill the dough. Right? I also saw that you recommended an individual plastic bag for each dough ball to quicken the cooling.

    Tom, do you recommend a water meter like those sold by Doyon or BakeMax? I think they cost about $1,500.
  11. bodegahwy

    bodegahwy Well-Known Member

    "an individual plastic bag for each dough ball" ??

    Not sure what that would be for.
  12. Tom Lehmann

    Tom Lehmann Active Member

    You can use individual bags for each dough ball or one large bag to cover an entire tray of dough balls. The individual dough ball + bag route is more efficient as it all but eliminates the dead air space created with the large bag cover the tray of dough balls, so cooling and tempering is much more efficient.
    As for the water meter, they are nice to have in a commissary operation, but in a single shop I don't think the cost is justified. Instead, use a 5-gallon pail on a scale (the scale will be a lot cheaper than the water meter), and you're good to go. Put a line on the outside of the pail using a marking pen to estimate the amount of water to add, then place onto the scale (be sure to take into account the tare weight of the bucket) and finish by adding a small amount of water manually to give you the exact weight needed. Probably takes longer to describe than it does to do.
    Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

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