Thermal expansion of a wheat flour-water dough was measured with a dynamic mechanical analyzer (DMA) at a temperature scan range of 25 to 160°C, in 5°C/min increments. Dough water-absorption levels were increased from 50 to 70% (14% mb) in 4% increments. A standard breadbaking method was used, and loaf volume was measured for regression analysis. The thermal expansion pattern of flour-water dough during heating included four stages with changes in the thermal expansion coefficient: gas thermal expansion (GTE) (25–60°C), starch gelatinization-gluten matrix formation (GMF) (60–100°C), vapor pressure expansion (VPE) (100–120°C), and structure fixation-crust formation (SCF) (>120°C). The onset temperature (To) between each stage and the thermal expansion coefficient (Ce) of each stage were affected significantly by dough water content. The onset temperature (To1-2) from GTE to GMF (the starting temperature of gelatinization of starch in dough) decreased from 68 to 55°C as water absorption increased from 50 to 70%. The thermal expansion coefficient (Ce2) of flour-water dough during GMF was highly correlated (r2 = 0.886) to bread loaf volume. The ratio (Ce2/Ce1) of thermal expansion coefficient during the GMF stage to the coefficient during the GTE stage also was significantly correlated (r2 = 0.882) to baking volume. Thus, DMA measurement of dough thermal expansion has the potential to be a powerful method of predicting baking quality in cultivar screenings, baking simulations, and scale-up studies.