If this is your first visit, be sure to
check out the FAQ by clicking the
link above. You may have to register
before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages,
select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.
Forum Issues Update
We are continuing to work diligently to resolve the issues currently being experienced with the PhotoPlog. Thank you for your patience!
Tap water is fine. Temp is not a big deal unless you want to effectively stop fermentation before you even retard the dough. In general you want to give the dough some time for the yeast to get going before you retard.
The caveat to this is that the bulk fermentation/proofing time appropriate to the situation will vary with the water temp so if you use 50 degree water and you want the pizza today it will take longer as the water has to warm up to the temp where the yeast will be reasonably active. But fermentation on pizza dough isn't nearly as demanding as bread so...most anything will work (over/under proof no big deal) so temp is not really a big deal
Be sure your tap water doesn't have too high of a chlorine residual (from the water treatment plant). Generally public water supplies will be chlorinated so there is a significant chlorine level at the "farthest taps" (from the distribution centers). Treatment plants are constantly monitoring and adjusting their chlorine treatment...sometimes going a little too high for even hardy yeast cells.
I gave a sourdough starter to a co-worker a while back and her "city water" killed the starter. I've begun using bottled water for my breads & starter just to avoid any possibility of high chlorination slowing down or killing my hard working yeast cells. I refill at a local supermarket machine for 25 cents/gallon...seems like a pretty good investment to me.
p.s. My sourdough starter is always on my kitchen counter and seems to have no problems with cool house temps in the winter (60-65F). In addition I do all of my breads at 35-45F cold preferment levels and 70-75F final proofing temps with no problems...yeast is a remarkable & flexible critter!
For the water are talking about just the filtered water or is it R/O water? I assume you are talking filtered and if so I may have to try that, and see if there are npany differences. Some times it seams like I get different yeast response and I buy my yeast in frozen bulk from a co-op so there can't really be difference from one batch to the next, but sometimes I have noticed different reactions. Thanks for the info.
By RO I meant Reverse Osmosis. It is filtered as a precursor. To be candid there are beliefs that RO is not good - at least highly pure RO, but my water is super hard and my RO is still higher in minerals than some so...
Distilled water and highly purified water are NOT particularly good for yeast likes a reasonable mineral level.
As TexasSourdough inferred above, distilled water is "normally" 99% pure--lacking the minerals, salts, and other compounds found in most tap water. Yeast cells like and need trace amounts of many salts and minerals (often found in water) for active fermentation. Pure "distilled" water doesn't make yeast cells very happy. FYI: Several compounds & minerals are often added to flour to ensure good fermentation (happy yeast cells) and your health. For example, a touch of citric acid is commonly added to flours by the mills because it improves fermentation significantly and Niacin is added as a human dietary supplement to prevent Pellagra, a vitamin deficiency disease--common in the US in the early 1900's.
In post #4 of this thread, I noted that I now use water from a supermarket vending machine for my baking needs and my sourdough maintenance. Those machines generally use charcoal filtering+RO units to produce a relatively soft, de-chlorinated water that doesn't smell or taste bad. After filtering, UV lamps are used to kill harmful bacteria/yeast cells still present in the water--that's really all I want...no chlorine residuals, few/no bad water borne organisms, and no funky smells/tastes that will ultimately affect my dough.
p.s. As a home brewer (if your water is soft) you will find many beer recipes that have you add certain minerals/salts to more closely imitate the water where a particular beer style is brewed. Many English beer styles are based on pretty hard water and so if you want a good "clone brew" and you've got soft water, "stuff" has to be added to the water during the brewing process.