? for Tom Lehmann: Soft/Hard Water & Chlorine on Dough


Wondering if you can tell me what differences I can expect when making dough with soft vs hard water? I am considering a water softener for our city water as it is quite hard and leaves a nasty soap scum on everything and wanting to know what to expect.

Also,what effect does chlorine from city water have on dough? Is it worth removing?

Re: ? for Tom Lehmann: Soft/Hard Water & Chlorine on Dou

When going from hard to soft water you will see your doughs get a little softer, and possibly just a tad tacky. Actually, hard water is good for the dough. I would suggest leaving a spigot on your existing hard water that you can draw your dough water from. Why waste soft water on a dough? We live out in the country, and I did something along these very same lines at my home. I plumed in the faucet at the front of the house (where I wash the cars) with soft water, as well as all of the interior faucets, then I left the faucets on the back of the house (used for watering the garden and plants) on hard water. We do this in a lot of bakeries too. The alternative is to BUY mineral yeast food or calcium sulfate to add to the dough to correct the problem. Plumbing in hard water to the mixer is easier, and a lot cheaper.
As for the chlorine, not a problem for the dough, but you might want to consider a charcoal filter for removing the chlorine taste and aroma on the lines going to the water used for your drinks such as coffee or tea, or any other drinks requiring tap water.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor