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The intention for this page is to provide a set of common bread baking calculators. These calculators will help you quickly determine desired dough temperature, hydration levels, and much more.


Desired Dough Temperature Calculations

The Perfect Loaf Common Bread Baking Calculators

The following calculator will determine the necessary water temperature needed to reach your desired dough temperature (DDT) when you finish mixing your dough. For example (using the default values below), if we want our dough to be 78°F at the end of mixing (this is our DDT) and we have a multiplication factor of 4 (see definition below), a flour temperature of 72°F, an ambient room temperature of 75°F, a preferment (levain/leaven) temperature of 75°F, and a friction factor of 0 (see definition below), we would need to heat our water up to 90°F to ensure our dough is 78°F at the end of mixing.

Start at the top of the form and fill in the information as you measure it with a thermometer. Once you reach the bottom, the necessary water temperature will be calculated for you. Heat up your mixing water to the output value right before you start and you’ll hit your DDT.

Note that all numbers below default to Fahrenheit but the calculations will work just as well with Celsius (just make sure to keep all the numbers in the same system).

See my post on The Importance of Dough Temperature for a more in depth explanation on everything discussed here!

Multiplication factor: this number takes into account the total number of temperatures we’re dealing with in the calculation. Typically for a sourdough formula the multiplication factor will be 4: we need to factor in the 1) preferment temperature, 2) flour temperature, 3) room temperature, and 4) friction factor. For a straight dough with no preferment, the multiplication factor would then be 3 (flour temperature, room temperature, and friction factor).

Friction factor: this number represents the amount the dough will heat up when mixed in a mechanical mixer. As the mixing apparatus (spiral, etc.) spins the dough in a mixing bowl heat is generated and must be accounted for. When mixing by hand I typically set the friction factor to 0°F.