Water tempurature

I know this has been asked a million times.

Some fellow operators have begun refrigerating their water they use to make their dough. Would this make a difference in the performance of the dough or is it just retarding the abilty of the batch reaching optimal temperature prior to balling and proofing for use?

I know in my stores, my mixer is technically a 60qt and we make 80qt batches in it and it never reaches the “desired” temperature, but we have a great looking product on the 3 and 4 day old dough.


Check out my signature for Encyclopizza. Good stuff.

Proper dough management benefits from careful consistent controls. You should track each batch so that you can tweak them or solve problems. Make sure you follow the same recipe and control processes such as balling quickly, cross-stacking, record fermentation time, and slacking out.

Measure the temperature of the bowl water before adding ingredients and after mixing. With multiple batches, your bowl can heat up and change your ending ‘mixed’ temp so you may have to drop the beginning temp. Or you can put ice water in the bowl before your first batch and between subsequent batches so that the bowl is always the same beginning temperature. After all, the bowl is a substantial mass of conductive material.

Your store temperature and cooler temp should be fairly consistent but if they are not, you may have to factor in those variables. I have heard of some that store the flour they plan to use in the walk-in cooler in a flour-only trash can.

Perhaps I went too long here, but the point I am trying to make here is that you must measure and control the entire dough management or else you frankly cannot tell what works or what is causing problems. Careful measurement also allows folks like the Dough Doc to make specific recommendations that will save you hours or days of tweaking.

where have you been dale hows it been going

When they changed the board around several years back I just lost interest in hangin. I have always checked in, but just not posted.

Finished dough temkperature (that is the temperature of the dough immediately after mixing) is the key to successful dough management. Most of us will do well with a finished dough temperature in the 80 to 85F range, but for others, it could very well be something different, what ever it is, we should strive to keep it as consistent from one dough to the next since it is this temperature that controls the amount of fermentation that the dough receives in the cooler. Temperatures that are too high can result in blown dough, or, it might cause us to reduce the yeast level in an effort to reduce the blowing problem, then we begin experiencing problems with a gum line or crust edges that don’t rise (all due to an excessively low yeast level, resulting from incorrect finished dough temperature). The formula to follow when looking for the correct water temperature to use is as follows: 3 X the desired finished dough temperature minus the sum of the room temperature, flour temperature, and friction factor (just plug in 35 for the friction factor) and you won’t be too far off.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

During the “hot” summer months we kept a bucket of water in the walk-in for batches as the tap water did not keep the water cold enough. This was easier than getting ice for every batch to cool the water off.

You’re absolutely right, I’ve even seen shops where they have a large water container in their cooler which they refill with water daily. When they need cold water they just draw off whatever they need from a spigot on the container. We used to use 5-gallon pails to keep our water in. Just be sure to put them in the cooler at night so they will have all night to cool down.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

I’m assuming here that you’re indicating that you prefer your dough after “3 and 4” days rather than overnight. So are you making dough intended for use after that time and not for the next day?

It seems that what your’re observing goes along with what is commonly discussed about dough here. The colder the dough coming out of the mixer, the longer the proof time in the cooler can (should) be. The operators here who do get their dough out of the mixer at 80 to 85 degrees are typically proofing their dough overnight and using it the next day.

You get your dough out of your mixer at a lower temperature, it never having reached the 80 to 85 degrees and thus never having reached the yeast activity level it does for those with higher temps. So your dough is great after 3 and 4 days proofing instead of overnight.

By the way, for you and Tom and everyone else out there, what adjustments, if any, are common for typical American and New York style hand tossed pizza dough that is prepared and baked at high altitudes, such as where Dale is?

P.D. You’re absolutely correct with the correlation of temperature and time in the cooler. With yeast leavfened doughs you don’t need to make any formula adjustments up to 6,500 feet altitude above sea level, but you will need to bake the pizzas at a slightly higher temperature (15 to 25F higher) than you would if baking at 2500 feet or less. This is due to the reduced boiling point of water. Failure to make this adjustjment can result in a hard crust edge (pizza bone). Once you get above 6500 feet, the rule to follow is to reduce the yeast by 10% for every 1000 feet in additional altitude, so if you were in Quito, Ecuador, at roughly 10,500 feet, you would need to reduce the yeast by 40%, and due to the very low boiling point of water there, you would need to add a little additional water to the dough (about 5% of the flour weight) in addition to the 25F increase in baking temperature.
With chemically leavened products, such as cakes, and the like, the rule is to reduce the chemical leavening (baking powder) by 10% of it’s weight for each 1000 feet above 2500 feet above sea level. Between sea leavel and 2500 feet, no formula changes are typically needed.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor