Tempering Dough

In order to make fine bread, you need to temper the liquids you mix with the dry ingredients prior to kneading. To determine the necessary temperature of the liquids, you need to know the temperature of the room you are baking in (Troom) and the temperature of the flour you’re using (Tflour).

The base temperature (Tbase), is the sum of the room temp and flour temp. The goal is to obtain a dough with a temperature between 23-25 deg C. or (73-77 deg F.) after kneading. For that you need the dough to be at the following temperatures at the start of kneading (Tknead):

  • Kneading by hand: want dough between 72-74 deg. C., (161-165 deg F.).
  • Using a mixer: want dough between 62-64 deg. C., (143-147 deg F.).
  • Using bread machine: dough between 52-54 deg. C., (12 -129 deg F.).

To determine the base temp (Tbase), measure the room temp (Troom), where you are working, and the temperature of the flour (Tflour).

Tbase = (Troom + Tflour)

The needed liquid temperature (Tliquid), is the required kneading temperature minus the base temperature.

Tliquid = Tknead – Tbase


If the needed temperature of the dough for kneading with the mixer is 63 deg. C., (145 deg F.), and the flour temp Tflour = 65 deg. F. (18 deg. C.), and the room temp Troom = 68 deg. F. (20 deg C.), then the needed temperature of the liquid can be found

  • Tknead = 145 deg F, (63 deg C)
  • Tflour = 65 deg F, (18 deg C)
  • Troom = 68 deg F, (20 deg C)

The goofy thing about this formula is that it only works in Celsius. Once you get the temperature of the liquid in Celsius, you have to convert back to degrees F., if that’s your deal. Don’t blame me, I’m not French.

Tbase = Troom + Tflour = 20 + 18 = 38 deg. C.

Tliquid = Tknead – Tbase = 63 – 38 = 25 deg C. = 77 deg. F.

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