Do minerals in the water make a difference in bread quality?
Minerals in the water are beneficial, so long as the water isn't extremely hard.
Here's further reading on the importance of water.
I'm reeeeally new to baking but have been reading and baking to see what happens.
My problem lies is that our area has super hard water (230-530 ppm, our's is toward the higher end). It's hard and chlorinated enough to cause my hands to bleed after washing a load of dishes (never experienced this in my life till we moved here!)
We keep Arrowhead on hand for our baby and also have a filter on the fridge but I don't know what that turns out.
Can anyone suggest a specific bottled water that they've had good luck with? I've been working on my sourdough starter but it's been difficult to get going. And, no we have no Whole Foods within a hundred miles so something generally available would be very helpful!
Although I use filtered tap water in my breads, I experimented a few times with bottled water. The one that seemed to make the biggest difference was Mountain Valley Spring Water.
I struggle with the idea of paying a premium for water. That said, I will buy the Mountain Valley when I see it on sale and use it only for feeding starters.
I've noticed the MV green bottle in the background of a number of pictures posted here at TFL...it must be good.
My goodness, meadmaker - get thee a pair of rubber gloves for those dishes.
As for the bottled water, my only caution is to avoid any water filtered by reverse osmosis as that filtration removes all of the minerals and that will cause problems, too. The label on the bottled water should tell you how it was filtered.
You might look into British Berkefeld water filters as a source for your water. While a bit spendy up front the per gallon cost is much cheaper than most and the quality of the water is quite high. I am simply a satisfied user and have nothing to do with the manufacturer or any seller.