Author Topic: how important is the water you use making the dough?  (Read 5237 times)

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Offline Guts

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how important is the water you use making the dough?
« on: October 19, 2009, 03:29:03 AM »
Question; how important is the water you use making the dough?

My tap water has a water hardness 19 / my bottled water well I don' have that test kit any more so I can't tell the hardness.

Chlorine from tap is 3.0+

PH from tap is 7.8 or higher+


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Bottled water Chlorine 0.2 very low

Bottled water PH 7.6

How important is the PH when making the dough?

Thanks in advance
Guts

Guts/AKA/Kim
"Vegetarian - old Indian word for bad fisherman"


Offline Trogdor33

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Re: how important is the water you use making the dough?
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2009, 11:56:25 AM »
I have the luxury of having an under-sink reverse osmosis system and have always used some sort of filtered water for making dough. I guess it comes down to this: when you are making dough, you want to be able to control all the variables so that your recipe can produce consistent results. When you have extra alkaloids in your water, it affects the pH, which may make the yeast act differently or affect the gluten bonds. The chlorine is what I would be worried about. I would expect that the yeast would not proof as well in chlorinated water as in pure water since chlorine is used to kill bacteria.

The way I would test it would be to make two batches of dough at the same time, one using filtered water and one using tap. Make note of any differences and make your decision based on that. I am almost certain that someone on here has already done it though.
For all you non-geeks who may be wondering what the name trogdor is all about, have a look here: http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail58.html

Offline Guts

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Re: how important is the water you use making the dough?
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2009, 12:52:13 PM »
Trogdor33 I think you are right, I'm going to try the bottled water next. ISO oo-flour or some high gluten flour today, and will try soon
Thank you for the reply
Guts/AKA/Kim
Guts/AKA/Kim
"Vegetarian - old Indian word for bad fisherman"

Offline sabinoapizza

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Re: how important is the water you use making the dough?
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2009, 01:55:16 PM »

I was reading an article published on the website www.correllconcepts.com on how hardness and ph of water affect the dough.I hope this offers some insight on this issue.

In addition to the amount of water, two conditions of water affect dough. They are hardness and pH (acidity-alkalinity). We examine each.

Hardness
Various minerals can be found in water. Two of them—calcium and magnesium—play a major role in water hardness and also in dough-making. The type and amount of these minerals varies with the locale.

Medium-hard water—that is, water with 50 to 100 ppm (parts per million) of carbonates—is the best for baking. It contains the right amount of mineral salts—mostly of calcium and magnesium—which strengthen gluten and also, to some extent, serve as yeast nutrients.

Soft water (less than 50 ppm carbonates) has a shortage of those salts, which tends to result in a soft, sticky dough because there’s less gluten-tightening effect from minerals. To counteract stickiness, reduce the water portion by about 2 percent. It can also help to increase the salt portion up to 2.5 percent of flour weight. On the baked pizza, the soft water tends to produce a crust texture and color that’s less than optimum.

Hard water (over 100 ppm carbonates) has too much of the salts. This toughens gluten excessively, which retards the fermentation or rise of dough. To coun­teract that, increase the yeast level and, if it’s used, adjust the amount of yeast food. Also, adding malt or malted flour might help.

Water from a city source usually has a proper degree of hardness for good dough development. However, a pizzeria in a small town or one that draws ground water might have excessively hard water.

pH
To measure acidity and alkalinity, science created the pH scale (pronounced pee-AYCH). It describes the acid­ity or alkalinity of a solution, including foods, in terms of a number called a pH value, which ranges from 0 (zero) to 14.

A neutral substance (neither acidic nor alkaline) has a pH value of 7.0. Acidic substances have pH’s below seven, with acidity increasing as pH approaches zero. Alkaline substances have pH’s above seven, with alka­linity in­creasing as pH approaches four­teen.

Examples of acidic foods are milk (pH6.5), tomato juice (pH4), apple juice (pH3), and lemon juice (pH2). Exam­ples of alkaline foods are ripe olives (pH7.5), soda crack­ers (pH8), and baking soda (pH8). Soap has a pH of ten. Acidic foods tend to taste sour; alkaline foods tend to taste bitter.

Pure or distilled water has a pH of 7.0. However, with the addition of minerals and other substances, it becomes either acidic or alkaline.

pH is important in dough-making because it affects chemical and biological reactions. Most notably, it affects the rate of amylase enzyme performance (conver­sion of starch to sugar) and, as a result, the rate of fermentation. The optimum pH for starch conversion and fermentation and, hence, for pizza dough, is about five, or slightly acidic. This pH level is best achieved by using water with pH6.5 to 8.0, with pH7.0 being the opti­mum.

Highly acidic water (below pH6.5) is uncommon because cities treat water to remove acidity—as it corrodes pipes.

However, highly alkaline water (above pH8.0) can occur. Such water tends to reduce the fermentation rate of pizza dough. To counteract it you can (1) acidify the water by adding acetic acid (i.e., vinegar), lactic acid, or monocalcium phosphate; (2) add a mineral conditioner or “yeast food” (e.g., an ammonium salt); or (3) allow more fermentation time. Also, some yeast strains are tolerant to high alkalinity while others are not. You might try a different brand of yeast to see if one performs better in your type of water.

An independent pizzeria might not even know it has alka­line water because it probably already corrected for the effect by increasing fermentation time. However it’s not uncommon for a chain with standardized recipes and procedures to open a store in a town with highly alkaline water and find their dough performing differ­ently. In that case one of the adjustments described above might help.

If you have a serious water problem that you can’t correct, talk to your local water company about ways to remedy it. They can often provide a water analysis and technical assistance, usually at no charge.

Sabino

 

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Offline Guts

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Re: how important is the water you use making the dough?
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2009, 02:44:53 PM »
Thank you Sabino
I think that is what I wanted, I like this forum ! and I appreciate you taking the time to post this for me.
Guts/AKA/Kim
Guts/AKA/Kim
"Vegetarian - old Indian word for bad fisherman"

Offline king.DS

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Re: how important is the water you use making the dough?
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2010, 01:22:04 AM »
Trogdor is definitely correct. Try to use an ionized alkaline water machine so that you will not have any problem regarding the tap water if you decided to use it. Definitely, you can notice the differences between the filtered one and the tap water.

« Last Edit: December 02, 2010, 04:35:28 AM by king.DS »

Offline DonC

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Re: how important is the water you use making the dough?
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2011, 05:01:12 PM »
I've got well water with a water softener system but my kitchen faucet cold water is unsoftened and thus unfiltered with moderate iron and calcium.I've always used it for bread and pizza dough just to eliminate the possibility of the softened water having any salt in it.I microwave my "hard"cold water for a few seconds to bring it up to room temp before proofing.After reading this I think I'm in good shape continuing what I've been doing but now I do think I'll try some bottled water just to compare.

buceriasdon

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Re: how important is the water you use making the dough?
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2011, 09:07:18 PM »
The saying is quite true about not drinking the water here in Mexico from the tap. It just tastes bad in the town I live in. I always use bottled water from somewhere else for pizza making or coffee. I can buy purified water from city water, still tastes bad and I won't use it.
Don


 

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