When it comes to baking bread, many recipes call for purified or chlorine free water. But why? After all, history books don’t mention bottled water being around when early Egyptians were cranking out Pharaoh’s royal bread. So what’s the deal?
It turns out that using purified or chlorine-free water is actually important for making a good loaf of bread. The chlorine in tap water can kill the yeast that is needed for the bread to rise. And while you could let the tap water sit out for 24 hours to allow the chlorine to evaporate, using purified water is simply easier.So if you’re looking to bake some bread, be sure to use purified or chlorine free water. Your loaves will thank you!
Baker’s yeast is a fickle creature. It thrives in warm, wet environments, but it can quickly become dormant in dry or cold conditions. As any experienced baker knows, the temperature and humidity of the kitchen can have a major impact on the outcome of a loaf of bread. But what about the water used to make the dough? Does it really matter what kind of water you use?
As it turns out, water quality can be important in some circumstances. If the water is too hard, it can prevent the yeast from thriving. Conversely, if the water is too soft, it can make the dough too sticky and difficult to work with. In most cases, though, the difference in water quality will be negligible. The type of water you use is only likely to matter in extreme cases or when working with starters. For everyday baking, tap water is usually just fine.
Water quality is an important factor in bread making. The most important factor in monitoring water quality is the chemicals used to purify it. Chlorine levels are the most important player here as it is able to slow or end fermentation. However, most sources conclude that the levels of chlorine present in tap water in nearly every major industrialized city would not be enough to negatively impact commercial yeast activity. In fact, a test done by Modernist Bread showed nearly no difference in several bread recipes using several water types. They even performed the test with sourdough starters and found no distinguishable difference. In short, most water sources will produce a quality loaf of bread. Therefore, when choosing water for bread making, the chlorine levels present in the water should be monitored.
When it comes to baking bread, one of the most important ingredients is yeast. Yeast helps bread to rise and gives it a characteristic flavor and texture. However, yeast can be sensitive to chlorine, which is often added to tap water as a disinfectant. While small amounts of chlorine are not likely to have a significant effect on the taste or texture of bread, too much chlorine can kill the yeast, preventing the bread from rising. For this reason, many bakers prefer to use bottled water or water that has been filtered or treated to remove chlorine. However, if you don’t have access to filtered water, you can still use tap water for baking; simply let the water sit for 24 hours before using it, so that the chlorine has time to evaporate.
Why Chlorine can be Bad for Bread Making
Chlorine is a common element used in many industries and has a long track record of being an effective sanitizer. When it comes to drinking water, chlorine has been used to eliminate harmful bacteria since the early 1900’s in the U.S. While chlorine is effective at killing bacteria, it also has the unfortunate side effect of killing beneficial bacteria. How chlorine kills or neutralizes bacteria is still the subject of debate. One of the most prominent beliefs is that chlorine destroys cell walls, which prevents the bacteria from functioning. However, researchers do know that chlorine is not selective and has little control aside from dosage. This means that it reacts to all bacteria it comes in contact with, and will destroy or harm any bacteria when it has the proper potency to do so. While chlorine is effective at killing harmful bacteria, its indiscriminate nature means that it can also cause harm to beneficial bacteria. As a result, its use should be carefully considered in order to ensure that the benefits outweigh the risks.
When you think of bread, chances are that you think of a fluffy, white loaf. However, the bread that we know and love today is actually the result of centuries of evolution. Early breads were often dense and hard, and it wasn’t until the introduction of commercial yeast that lighter, fluffier breads became possible. However, unlike traditional starters, which rely on naturally occurring bacteria to leaven the bread, commercial yeast is an isolated bacterium. This means that it is particularly vulnerable to chlorine, which is often used to disinfect water supplies. As a result, the overuse of chlorine can actually destroy commercial yeast, making it impossible to produce light, fluffy breads. In addition, chlorine can also kill the bacteria that are responsible for developing many of the flavors and aromas that we associate with bread. Consequently, the overuse of this disinfectant can negatively impact both the flavor and texture of bread. Therefore, it is important to use chlorine only in moderation if you want to enjoy delicious, freshly-baked breads.
Why Chlorine in Tap-Water is Likely not Harmful to Commercial Yeast
Like all substances, chlorine has an effective dosage threshold. For example, vitamin C can be harmful and toxic to humans in extremely high dosages. Yet, it is beneficial for proper health when dosages are moderate. The dosage of chlorine in tap-water is controlled to neutralize the bacteria present in the water source, but it has not been shown to be potent enough to effectively harm bacteria in which the water source comes in contact with. This is why many city health organizations require commercial facilities to clean utensils with bleach (bleach being the liquid form of chlorine). The chlorine present in water is not strong enough to be an antibacterial agent in most applications. In large doses, however, chlorine can be harmful to humans. That is why it is important to control the amount of chlorine that enters our water supply. Too much chlorine can lead to skin irritation and other health problems. But at moderate levels, chlorine can help keep our water safe and clean.
Commercial yeast is a type of yeast that is commonly used in baking and brewing. It is a robust strain of yeast that is able to withstand a wide range of temperatures and other conditions. This makes it an ideal choice for use in commercial settings where it can be exposed to a variety of different environments. While commercial yeast is not as sensitive as some other strains of yeast, it is still possible to damage it with high levels of chlorine. However, this is not typically a problem in water treatment facilities, as the levels of chlorine used are usually not high enough to cause significant damage to the yeast. In conclusion, commercial yeast is a robust and versatile strain of yeast that is well-suited for use in a variety of different settings.
In recent years, a number of test kitchens have put different types of water to the test in order to see if there is a difference in the fermentation process or the finished product. The test results showed that there was no discernible difference between tap water, hard water, distilled water, and filtered water. In some cases, such as when using sourdough starters, the results were even better when using tap water. These results suggest that there is no need to avoid using tap water when baking bread. This is good news for home cooks who want to save money and reduce their environmental impact.
What if I do Suspect Chlorine is Doing Harm?
If you do suspect chlorine is doing your dough damage, then there are a few things you can do.
- Start using bottled water – while there are certainly benefits to using bottled water in cooking, many people find the expense prohibitive. Additionally, bottled water can be inconvenient to store and transport.Fortunately, there are a few inexpensive and easy ways to ensure that your dough is safe without resorting to bottled water.
- Buy a water filter – Not everyone can afford to buy a water filter, and that’s perfectly understandable. However, if you can swing it, buying a filter is a great way to remove chlorine from your water. Chlorine is incredibly harmful to bacteria, and even a small amount can kill off your dough’s natural community of microorganisms. A good water filter will do a great job of removing chlorine, keeping your dough healthy and alive. Just make sure to double check that the filter you’re buying actually removes chlorine before making your purchase.
- Boil your water – While many people assume that boiling water is the best way to remove all contaminants, it is actually only effective at removing certain types of bacteria. Boiling water will allow for chlorine levels to burn off, which will give you water that is free enough of chlorine. However, boiling water will not remove heavy metals or other toxins. Just be sure to allow your water to cool to less than 120 degrees fahrenheit, as yeast will begin dying out above that temperature.
- Check your dish soap for bleach and other antibacterial substances – Recent studies suggest that the detergent used to clean counters and dishes could also be a factor in dough failures. Bleach and other antibacterial substances can kill the yeast cells that are essential for rising. As a result, bakers who use dish soap to clean their surfaces may be inadvertently killing the yeast they need for a successful loaf of bread. To avoid this problem, bakers should either choose a dish soap that is free of bleach and other antibacterial agents, or they should rinse their counters and dishes thoroughly with plain water before beginning to make dough.
Can I Use Tap-Water for Sourdough?
While it is possible to use tap water to develop a sourdough starter, it is generally not recommended. Tap water can contain chemicals that can be harmful to the naturally occurring bacteria and organisms that are essential for the fermentation process. In addition, tap water can also affect the flavor of the starter. For these reasons, most bakers use purified water when making a sourdough starter. While it may take slightly longer to develop a starter using purified water, the results will be worth the extra effort.
Why is Warm Water Used in Bread?