The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

unconventional ingredients

quickquiche's picture

unconventional ingredients

I'm curious to know if anyone has ever used sparkling water or carbonated water as a substitute for bottled water when baking breads?

I"m guessing it will affect the recipe, but not sure in what way.

Is it even safe to do this?  Its not going to explode in my oven when a bake bread using carbonated water, will it?


If anyone has ever tried this, could you please let me know what your results are?  Thanks.



Franko's picture

I've seen it being used in some pizza recipes but I think it's used more for the mineralization of the water itself, for the flavor, rather than the CO2 content. No worries, I guarantee it won't explode in your oven if you use it in a mix.

noonesperfect's picture

Beer is a common ingredient in bread recipes, both for the flavor and for the acidification of the dough (helps with gluten strength).  I have not noticed any difference in the texture of the bread when using carbonated liquids, and I do use them regularly.

Try it - you may like it.



blaisepascal's picture

I would not expect the carbonation to last long in the dough.  I would expect any excess to be gone by the time kneading is done.  If there's any left, it'll just make the standard proofing overproofing -- remember, the yeast produces carbon dioxide as well, and that's what makes bread rise already.

Unless you are using something like naturally sparkling spring water for the minerals more tha the carbonation, or a beer for the acidity/flavor, or something like that, you'd probably be better of saving your money and using just plain water.

RonRay's picture

I've never used it myself, but have seen it recommended for use in G-F breads.

Miriam Winter's picture
Miriam Winter

I made a loaf with sparkling water some days ago and it came out perfectly well. In fact I wanted to check the possible difference with using still water, but I ventured to use a new flour and I couldn't compare the results, because this flour felt so very different from the one I usually employ. I'd love to learn about others experience with sparkling water.

If you're interested, you can check the loaf here at my blog.


hanseata's picture

I agree with Blaisepascal - when you knead the dough the carbonation will vanish.

In my German pancake recipe sparkling water, together with beaten egg white, is used to leaven the batter - instead of baking powder. But the batter is not mixed very long and doesn't stand long around before baking.


twm3's picture

When making the past couple of loafs, I forgot to put my water out 24 hours ahead of time to de-chlorinate it. The only non-tap water I've had on hand has been sparkling water. I have microwaved the water to bring it up to ~90F and used it. Unfortunately I have been altering the sourdough's loaf white to whole wheat ratio so can't directly compare the results but the results have been edible. :-)

I'm not concerned about the CO2 making up the water's carbination. Some of the carbination is lost when microwaving (warm/hot water has less gas than cold water) and more is lost as I mix and knead the loaf.

Where it gets interesting though is that according to WikiPedia (, sparkling/carbonated water has a pH of 3-4. I have second hand information from a microbiologist that bugs, loose term for microbiologic life such as yeast (molds) and bacteria, do better in an acidc, ph less than 7, environment. Since it is a symbiotic relationship between in the yeast/mold and bacteria in sourdough, one may get a more sour loaf (which is a good thing for me). Of course if one gets to much CO2 production, there is more rise than the gluten will support and the loaf will collapse.

My two cents worth as I try to come to grips with a consistent loaf at 6500'. :-)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

lowering the pH when mixing the dough using mineral water would actually taste less sour.  The bacteria might stay lethargic being happy with the low pH and not kick into high gear as with a sudden increase in pH when fresh food is introduced.  Instead of producing acid themselves to lower pH, it is already done for them so the taste might be very different.  Milder in my guess.  Anyone up for an experiment?  

Could be easily tested if you have a bottle that can carbonate your source water.


LeeBee's picture

I also forgot to put my water out to settle and decided to use my carbonated tap water that I had on hand. I used the Lahey method so temp was not an issue. But the yeast went crazy. My dough kept rising and staying very wet at the same time. It proofed faster than unusual too. And the breads all came out perfect. My son suggested we do a control experiment to see if it really was the carbonation. He thinks that it enhances the yeast action because of a cellular process. Sorry I didn't really get the explanation but it sounded good. I'm looking forward to experimenting and seeing if it's true.