I have noticed that most bread recipes call for "tepid" water, but many artisinal books call for room temperature water. On last week's episode of America's Test Kitchen, I think that they (potentially) ruined all the careful hard work. They made a biga (excellent), but when they made the final dough they were using water that was more than hand hot. Probably around 110F. Clearly that will cause it to ferment faster, but other than that does it have any effects (good or bad)?
I know I am careful to use room temperature ingredients because it was the way I was taught. Certainly some of the fermentation is slow, but the products are generally pretty good.
Please weigh in with opinions, thoughts, ideas.....