Why Worry About Water (Nifty Calculator Included)

]]>I use excel for everything. What I do is to multiply the weight of each significant temperature driving ingredient in grams (i.e., water, preferment and flour)each by their temperature, to get a product I call “TempGrams”.

I then multiply the weights of each ingredient by a factor that represents how similar to water the ingredient is thermally (essentially a normalized specific heat). Water has a factor of 1.00, flour of .93, oil of .95, etc. Multiplying their weights by this factor does the job of reducing the contribution of temperature to the final dough of the ingredients that require less energy to affect their heat than water does.

I add all the “TempGrams” together, and then divide it by the sum of all these above “adjusted weights” together, cancelling out the weight and just leaving the temperature.

This allows me to dial the temperature of the water (the easiest to control) until the result is the DDT (desired dough temperature) I am looking for. This approach is always accurate, no matter how much or how little water, preferment, flour or whatever is in the recipe. The classic bakers’ method of using the TTF (total Temperature Factor) is workable, but can’t handle situations where ratios are significantly off standard. My method allows me to predict the dough temperature after mixing (but before kneading)to 1 degree Fahrenheit every time.

Once you can do this, and you know how much heat your mixer will add (which you can do by simply adding 2degF per minute, or better yet, measuring the temperature of the dough before and after mixing and dividing by time (assuming the same mixer speed)you can home in on a desired dough temp easily. I built an excel calculator I’m happy to share with anyone who asks.

]]>Why Worry About Water (Nifty Calculator Included)

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