The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

What kind of water do you use?

HappyHighwayman's picture

What kind of water do you use?

My friend who owns a baking supply company tells me he is obsessed with using pure water for his breads. He says he'd leave water out overnight if necessary to let the chlorine evaporate. I'm using warm water straight from the tap in San Francisco, and I've never noticed any off flavors.


Should I be using bottled water or water from my fridge's filter dispenser or even boiling it before using?

Floydm's picture

I wouldn't worry about it unless you notice the water causing problems.

Antilope's picture

in California. I lived in south San Jose served by municipal well water. The water was so hard it would eat up faucets in a few years and it was hard to raise tropical fish. There was always the heavy taste of chlorine. I moved 10 miles to east San Jose and the water was fine. The faucets lasted for years and fish and house plants thrived. The water still tasted bad from chlorine, however.

Now I live in Sacramento and the water is really nice and tastes good from the tap. Doesn't need a filter like I used in San Jose. So even within 100 miles in the same state the water quality and taste varies. The tap water here makes good bread.

tchism's picture

Chlorine can kill your starter if its present at a high enough levels, you could let it set to be safe. Other than that, I believe SF gets most of it's water from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir near Yosemite. That should be excellent water.

Also, I once used a high mineral spring water that I collected from the actual spring in my starter. It loved the stuff.

Bob S.'s picture
Bob S.

After being pumped out of a river, lake, or reservoir, the first treatment water gets is a big shot of chlorine gas. Throughout the rest of the purification process, the chlorine slowly dissipates as it flows through the settling basins. By the time it gets to a faucet, there is only a trace (or none at all) of chlorine in the water. If there is an odor of chlorine in drinking water, then it is due to improper treatment.

Melesine's picture

I use filtered water from my Berkey for drinking and cooking. 

ichadwick's picture

Tap water, best there is in Ontario. Sometimes I boil it first and let it cool, but not always.

Unflitered, too: it's a fairly low mineral count.

BetsyMePoocho's picture

I've been using bottled sparkling water.  I was looking for consistency more than anything else.  My wife thinks I'm silly, but I tell her that the "bubbles" tickle the little yeast-ies and make them happy.........