Question for Tom Lehmann

Hi Tom.

Another question for you. Still having some issues with my dough. Can never seem to keep it the same for long periods of time. I think this time it might be an issue with the moisture content of the flour. We weigh all the ingredients and measure water temp to be within 76 to 78 degrees F. Finish dough product comes out between 80 to 81 degrees F. Use Fleischman instant yeast.

I usually get a great product when the dough seems to be somewhat dry as we press it out. Lately it seems to be more fluid with a glossy look. Whenever it looks like this, it never cooks as well or consistently. Does not brown as evenly and slightly paler and even a little bit more bubbly around the crust. Without getting into all the details (I’ll call when you are back in the office next week), is it possible that there is a higher content of moisture in the flour (it is winter here) and therefore need to reduce the amount of water put in. We are at 58.5% water bakers percentage. If this is true how much less water would you go. Is there a way to tell the moisture content of the flour. Last year during the winter you could get a good shock from pouring the 45lb bag of flour into the bowl. Haven’t experienced that yet this year.

We put our dough in plastic bins, cross stack for 2 hours then nest. It is then used over the next two days. Can’t get 3 days but then again we do not put sugar into the mix. Store humidity now at 35%. Walk-in temp ranges from 1 to 2 degrees according to thermometer which records the max and min temps. Relative humidity in walk-in is about 90%.

Thanks, and happy holidays.

Chris