I shared recently about how time affects sourdough and today I want to share more about how temperature affects your baking.
Awareness of the temperature in Sourdough baking means knowing how it will affect the outcome. You slow down the whole process of bread baking using a cooler temperature for things to rise and develop slower. As this process happens it adds more time (like the previous post) and makes the carbohydrates in the bread break down making the bread easier to digest and creating the familiar sourdough flavour.
Reasons for choosing a Slower fermentation could be are for the health benefits or for the familiar sour flavour or for fitting baking better into your lifestyle.
Reasons for choosing a faster fermentation could be you don’t care about the health benefits or want less tangy flavour or just want bread faster.
The total temperature of your completed dough is made up from the temperature of ingredients, temperature of the room where you are working, how you form the dough and temperature where dough rises. All of the different parts add to the total temperature of your bread.
The temperature of ingredients: Just like in cookie recipes where room temperature butter or eggs can be required, the temperature of the individual ingredients in sourdough affects the total temperature of combined ingredients that make up the dough. (science – homeostasis)
Temperature of the room where you are working: Mixing a dough in warm room makes the dough heat up quicker, just as having a colder room will slow down the process. Sourdough is especially sensitive to the room temperature. That’s why having a slow fermentation in the fridge works so effectively.
How you form the dough: When you mix a dough in a stand mixer the movement makes the temperature increase (again because of science: friction).
Temperature where dough rises: Again it can slow it down or speed it up. A warmer temperature speeds up the reactions happening in the bread dough, making it rise sooner.
Being aware of how temperature affects your dough so that you can choose to use it for your advantage. It can be used a problem technique to adjust your dough.
In every single yeasted dough, whether commercial yeast or sourdough, temperature affects the outcome but sourdough seems to be especially sensitive to temperature.