I'm doing food tech coursework, and I'm really confused on how temperature of water affects the texture of the bread. If someone can answer scientifically that would be great : ) thank you!

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    Water used for what? Added to the bread in general? Used to "wake up" the yeast? Which part of the breadmaking process is the water you're talking about involved in? – Catija Oct 2 '17 at 18:28
  • Water used in bread rolls, adding it to a mixture of flour and yeast @Catija and how this would affect the final texture of the bread, thank you x – anon Oct 2 '17 at 18:33
  • There are already many questions on bread, I'm sure this is covered in one of them. – GdD Oct 2 '17 at 19:15
  • Which temperature range are you talking about? Effects seen in some ranges are absent in others. – rumtscho Oct 13 '17 at 19:51
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    There is another important effect to be aware of: If you go REALLY hot (eg by adding straight boiling water), gluten formation is affected, and possibly the flour is par-cooked. This effect is used in certain chinese breads (dough made with boiling water is added to conventional dough), some asian flatbread recipes, and some kinds of pie dough. If this should be an answer, comment... – rackandboneman Dec 12 '17 at 21:42

The yeast (and other microorganisms) will effect bread dough over time, breaking down sugars and fermenting the dough. The speed and character of how the yeast will work is a function of time and temperature. At colder temperatures, like in the refrigerator, the yeast will work slower and take a longer time to ferment. At warmer temperatures, the yeast will work faster and reproduce more frequently. At hot temperatures (140 F) the yeast will start to die off and be useless.

Therefore, the temperature of the water added to the dough will help determine what temperature the yeast is starting at. Adding colder water is a good way to delay the fermentation process, and warmer water can help speed it up.

Since your question was about texture the question now becomes how does fermentation time effect the texture of my bread? All other things equal, slower fermentation times produces larger and more irregular holes and faster times produce smaller, regular-size holes in the crumb. A fast rising dough will have many small air pockets all of a similar size and shape.


The texture gets affected indirectly by the yeast over activated and ending up overproofed, affecting the oven spring as well. With time, the yeast runs out of food and will break down the starch (to get the sugar portion), not a bad thing in itself if not pushed too far. So the proofing time needs to be adjusted depending on the dough and proofing environment temperatures. Typically more critical in a manufacturing application where the temperature of all ingredients are taken into consideration plus factoring in the heat generated during kneading, the goal being to have exactly a certain temperature when proofing starts, making the following steps timed precisely for consistent results.

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