pH for hydration?
I've been baking successfully for decades BUT, I just realized that my tap water was pH 9.3. Zowie! Tastes fine. The reason is that our lake water is pH 8.2, but it has moderate mineral content, so they add lime (a common procedure) to make it more alkaline, such that some of the minerals precipitate out. So I was wondering about using highly alkaline water for bread. Would I be better off neutralizing it (which I could do easily with a little lemon juice or vinegar).
What is the optimal pH for hydrating flour for bread, and what are the effects of high alkalinity or acidity? For that matter, how does mineral content of water affect bread baking? I could use distilled water if necessary (my a/c produces gallons of distilled water in the summer!)
I should add that while my pH is high, my water alkalinity isn't that high. So yeast action, which tends to acidify, might not have a lot of trouble acidifying this water.
No guesses, please. I'd like some real experience, or scientific understanding.