Baking is a skill that involves making a well-balanced batter to ensure the most fabulous taste of your final product. Included in the mixture for baked eatables are ingredients such as flour, sugar, eggs, baking powder and soda, milk, water, etc. Water quality is most important when it comes to baking things that we first make into a dough, such as bread and cookies. All ingredients must be in proper proportion with each other, but this is not all there is to it.
Something that we may not know is that water is one of the essential components for baking. Bakers may often underestimate the functions of water quality in a loaf of bread or other baked goods. However, the paying of less heed to water quality in the process of baking is incorrect. The water we use to knead our dough can have a significant effect on the flavor of the bread we bake, as well as the texture.
Effects Of Water In The Process Of Baking
The water you use to bake can affect your finished eatables more than you may think. Here’s how water affects your bread. First off, it affects the hydration and formation of dough. The starch in flour absorbs water, which in turn combines with proteins to allow the creation of the dough. Water also controls the consistency of the dough; the more water you add, the softer and more flavorful your dough will be, with a chewier texture, and vice versa. Water also happens to trigger the chemical reactions required in the dough to turn it into bread. This refers to the process of fermentation of yeast, which water facilitates. Water also controls the temperature of the dough, according to how cool or warm the water itself is. Hence, water quality is imperative to be at its best when baking.
How Water Quality Affects Your Baked Goods
There are many ways in which water quality affects the bread that you bake. There are four main things to remember when speaking about what all water quality effects in bread; the taste of the baked bread, the results of the chemical content of the water, and the outcomes of the mineral content of the water.
Different countries, states, cities, etc. have different available water quality. Sometimes, rainy seasons or other changes of seasons may affect it, which can result in a difference in the taste of the bread. People believe that some cities have a distinct flavor in their water, such as the city of New York. This also reflects in the bread that they make and sell in New York.
2. Chemical Content Of The Water
All water has different chemicals that purification companies and governments add to it. This is merely done to improve the water quality being serviced to you, to make the water safe to drink. Chlorine is one of these chemicals we add to better water qualities, a chemical that can affect the enzyme and fermentation activities that go on. At the same time, the dough is in the oven, turning into bread.
3. The Mineral Content Of The Water Quality
The mineral content of water talks about how hard or soft water is. These minerals include magnesium, sodium, and calcium, and are present in much higher quantities in hard water than soft. These minerals can affect the fermentation activity of the dough and can make it either stronger or weaker. This is a result of yeast using hard water minerals as nutrients. Once again, mineral content also affects the taste of water, which is why water quality is a vital part of baking.