The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Tap water

agres's picture

Tap water

I have been making bread here for 22 years. We have good tap water, so I used it for bread, and never thought about it. My schedules for starter were about the same as it the books, so I was happy.

A few years ago, I started milling my own flour, and my starter with the fresh ground flour, was more active. I was happy.

Recently I was reminded that even good tap water has disinfectants in it that kill microorganisms such as those in sourdough. I moved to boiling my water to remove the . Now my sourdough rises faster. I am happy.

I use boiled and cooled water for the sourdough starter, and that works.

However, I suddenly understand the value of a 3- hour autolyze for bread flour. As the flour is hydrating, the disinfectants are dissipating. By the time you add the leaven to the hydrated flour, the disinfectants that were in the tap water are gone, and your sourdough can rise very fast.

In the spring and fall, I let the sourdough final rise on the kitchen counter at 65 - 68 F and that works. As summer approaches,  I do the bacterial fermentation at room temperature (74F) and do the final rise in refrigerator.