Author Topic: Water Temp - Cold or Warm ?  (Read 2468 times)

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Offline MilitantSquatter

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Water Temp - Cold or Warm ?
« on: August 28, 2010, 11:33:41 PM »
I was talking today with an acquaintance who happens to serve on the Board of Directors for the Culinary Institute of America and is a legit chef..

Anyway, I mentioned dough making techniques and he gave two pieces of advice

1) try to not have your hands touch the dough so much to conduct less heat (use bench scrapers or similar

and

2) Ensure your ingredients are cold (water, flour and yeast).  This seemed to contradict much of what I read which often discusses room temp water.  I didn't ask for his reasoning as I hadn't fully processed his thought before we moved onto another point.

Anyway - I'd appreciate anyone's thoughts on the pro's vs. con's of using cold or warm water when making dough so the next time I see him I can follow up with anything that may not be appropriate for pizza making and ask him to clarify his opinion as to why he recommends cold.




Offline c0mpl3x

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Re: Water Temp - Cold or Warm ?
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2010, 11:43:25 PM »
depends on what you are doing.  cold ferment, cold ingredients.  one day or less, warmer.  pretty sure most will agree with that but i stand to be corrected
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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Water Temp - Cold or Warm ?
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2010, 12:57:17 AM »
I just watched a pizzaiolo make dough this morning using a fork mixer and he stood by the mixer the whole time with his hand constantly in the dough.

scott123

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Re: Water Temp - Cold or Warm ?
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2010, 05:56:38 AM »
MilitantSquatter, no offense, but when it comes to making pizza, your acquaintance is an idiot  ;D

Some of the folks (not all) at the CIA have a good understanding of classic French cuisine, but, outside of that,  they have no clue whatsoever. It's like Julia Child or James Beard- you know, the kind of person that makes curry with curry powder.  They're about 50 years behind the learning curve with food that isn't French/French derived.

You want to use the temperature of water that will encourage the yeast and enzyme activity that will give you the preferred end product in the desired amount of time in your particular setting (fridge, proofing box, warm kitchen, cellar, etc.). Unless the room temp where you happen to be is particularly warm or your goal is to extend cold fermentation well past the norm, room temp flour and water are perfectly fine for cold fermented doughs.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Water Temp - Cold or Warm ?
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2010, 07:42:57 AM »
That advice may be valid for doughs that have globs of solid fat such as croissants, puff pastry, etc. where you don't want the heat from your hands to melt the butter.

Offline Chet

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Re: Water Temp - Cold or Warm ?
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2010, 08:40:28 AM »
I was talking today with an acquaintance who happens to serve on the Board of Directors for the Culinary Institute of America and is a legit chef..

Anyway, I mentioned dough making techniques and he gave two pieces of advice

1) try to not have your hands touch the dough so much to conduct less heat (use bench scrapers or similar

and

2) Ensure your ingredients are cold (water, flour and yeast).  This seemed to contradict much of what I read which often discusses room temp water.  I didn't ask for his reasoning as I hadn't fully processed his thought before we moved onto another point.

Anyway - I'd appreciate anyone's thoughts on the pro's vs. con's of using cold or warm water when making dough so the next time I see him I can follow up with anything that may not be appropriate for pizza making and ask him to clarify his opinion as to why he recommends cold.





      MilitantSquatter

      If I am reading you question correctly, you are not specifying if you want to use the dough within  a specified time. I don't think cold water doughs make an emergency type pizza doughs like within a few hours, I use cold water from the fridge and do a 2 1/2 day ferment with above average results.

  Chet

Offline MilitantSquatter

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Re: Water Temp - Cold or Warm ?
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2010, 10:06:11 AM »
Thanks guys !!

That's why I asked here.. I knew his "advice" seemed a bit off to me.

appreciate the quick replies.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Water Temp - Cold or Warm ?
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2010, 10:16:57 AM »
MilitantSquatter,

My practice is to adjust finished dough temperature based on the type of dough I plan to make and the fermentation method I plan to use. For example, if I want to make a typical cold fermented dough, such as a NY style or an American style dough, I try to adjust the water temperature to give me a finished dough temperature of between 75-80 degrees F. The range recommended for finished dough temperature for professionals is 80-85 degrees F (see, for example, Tom Lehmann's instructions given in Reply 3 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7953.msg68396/topicseen.html#msg68396). The reason for the difference is that commercial coolers are more efficient for cooling than home refrigerators (they run several degrees cooler than a typical home refrigerator). If I want to make an emergency dough that is to be used within a few hours, I will use a water temperature that can be around 120 degrees F.

The range of water temperatures I use can be very wide. For example, if I want to make a cold fermented dough that will last a few weeks in the refrigerator, I would use a water temperature of in the 40s degrees F. See, for example, Reply 29 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3985.msg36081.html#msg36081 where I used water at 44.1 degrees F to make a dough that was cold fermented for about 12 days. I once even conducted an experiment in which all of the formula water was in the form of ice cubes, and another member, Les, perfected a method in which all or nearly all of his formula water was in the form of crushed ice. I have also tried using frozen and refrigerated flour to try to achieve a lower finished dough temperature. Using refrigerated flour is a method that Bev Collins, who worked for years in the R&D group at Domino's, often recommended (see, for example, Reply 26 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4625.msg40011/topicseen.html#msg40011). (I think I can find the links on these methods if you are interested.)

On the other end of the spectrum, if I want to make a dough that can be used within, say, an hour, I would use a water temperature of close to 120 degrees F and maybe closer to 130 degrees F. See, for example, Reply 12 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2250.msg19793/topicseen.html#msg19793 where I used water at about 115-120 degrees F to make a dough that was used to make the pizza within an hour total, from beginning to end.

Professionals generally adjust water temperature for their cold fermented doughs. There are even charts that they can use that tell their workers what water temperature to use based on their particular mixers (and, specifically, their friction factors) and temperature conditions.  You can see an abbreviated version of such a chart on the last page of the General Mills piece at http://www.gmflour.com/gmflour/PDFs/Website%20A49104%20Just%20Crust%20Brochure.pdf. Absent such a chart, there are formulas for calculating water temperature to use to achieve a desired finished dough temperature based on flour temperature, room temperature, and mixer friction factor. Tom Lehmann discusses these formulas in an article at http://www.pmq.com/mag/2003spring/tom_lehmann.shtml. I hasten to add, however, that the methods described by Tom work best for straight doughs in a commercial setting, as I discussed at Reply 18 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10152.msg88757/topicseen.html#msg88757. Since most of my doughs are straight cold fermented doughs, I find the water temperature calculations useful in even a home setting and use them pretty much for all of my straight cold-fermented doughs.

I tend to agree with Bill/SFNM that your acquaintance was perhaps thinking of doughs other than pizza dough. However, the notion of keeping things cold does have merit although I did not find that using cold yeast and cold flour (even frozen) had a lot of value in my dough making, at least for the quantities of dough that I make. I have found that both yeast and cold flour can approach room temperature quite quickly. That is especially true where I am in Texas in the summer. In my setting, if I don't use water cold enough, I run the risk of my dough fermenting faster than I would like.

As you can see, water temperature is not just an abstract notion.

Peter

EDIT (1/25/13): Since the link to the above Lehmann article is no longer operative, see the Wayback Machine link to the same article at http://web.archive.org/web/20070502014430/http://www.pmq.com/mag/2003spring/tom_lehmann.shtml

EDIT 2 (3/22/13): EDIT (2/4/2013): For an updated link to the General Mills brochure, see http://www.professionalbakingsolutions.com/water-temperature-chart
« Last Edit: March 22, 2013, 12:19:51 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline RoadPizza

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Re: Water Temp - Cold or Warm ?
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2010, 11:29:01 AM »
Here's a Friction Factor chart:

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Water Temp - Cold or Warm ?
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2010, 11:43:03 AM »
RoadPizza,

Than you for posting that. You are a good man, and then some!! Now I will be able to refer people to the chart even though it may not apply specifically to all stand mixers, dough batch sizes, and dough formulations. But it will at least give people an idea as to how water temperature can be adjusted to achieve a particular finished dough temperature.

Peter


Offline RoadPizza

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Re: Water Temp - Cold or Warm ?
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2010, 11:47:56 AM »
You're very welcome, Peter.  That was given to me by someone in the business who's a serious home baker.

Offline yulong

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Re: Water Temp - Cold or Warm ?
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2010, 12:27:33 AM »
Hi Peter,

Interesting you talk about the difference between commercial and home refridgeration and the temperatures therefore required. Is there an ideal refrigerator temperature for cold ferment dough? Does it depend on how long you plan to ferment or does this conversly depend on the refrigerator temperature?

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Water Temp - Cold or Warm ?
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2010, 10:36:56 AM »
yulong,

Professional pizza operators fare better with their commercial coolers than individuals with their refrigerators in a home setting. Professionals put the dough balls in their coolers and there is usually not a great deal of traffic into the coolers that can affect the temperature of the dough balls. In fact, many operators make their dough balls at night after the last service and, as a result, there is just about no traffic into the coolers until the next day. By contrast, people who have home refrigerators go into and out of the refrigerators many times a day. There are even statistics that say how many times the typical refrigerator door is opened in the course of a day. Also, the loading factors of refrigerators (the number and types and temperatures of items in the refrigerator) can vary quite substantially as people remove and add items to the refrigerator. In the case of dough balls placed into a home refrigerator, where the containers with the dough balls are placed can also have an effect on how the dough balls are cooled. My practice is to put the containers with dough balls toward the back of the refrigerator away from the door as much as possible or in an enclosed compartment where the dough is unlikely to be affected by door openings and closings.

Different types of containers also cool differently. For example dough in a metal container or in a zip type storage bag will cool faster than in a plastic or glass bowl or like container.

As you can see, there are far more variables when trying to cool dough balls in a standard home refrigerator than in a commercial cooler. But, at the end of the day, I would say that if you can cool your dough balls at a refrigerator temperature of around 35-40 degrees F, you will be doing well. But even 45 degrees F shouldn't be a real problem.

Peter


 

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