Water pH


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Question about acidity / alkalinity. My tap water is very alkaline. pH of 9.6 or so. Tastes fine as the mineral content is low, but ...
Should this be an issue for bead baking? I've been baking bread for decades with it, and have never been disappointed, but it's not hard to neutralize that water, and I'm wondering if I should.

Now, it seems clear that gluten formation is best in a slightly acidic medium, BUT yeast fermentation acidifies.

Does anyone worry about this?
 
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Question about acidity / alkalinity. My tap water is very alkaline. pH of 9.6 or so. Tastes fine as the mineral content is low, but ...
Should this be an issue for bead baking? I've been baking bread for decades with it, and have never been disappointed, but it's not hard to neutralize that water, and I'm wondering if I should.

Now, it seems clear that gluten formation is best in a slightly acidic medium, BUT yeast fermentation acidifies.

Does anyone worry about this?
alkaline water is good for the body to drink. But for bread it’s not so good in that acidity level is used to control mold development and bacteria that affects the texture of the dough.

You can read more about dough acidity here. It’s a scientific article, but short. But I think it will help you understand the importance of controlling the pH in your dough.

 
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Thank you. As I said, I think I know that *dough* needed to be slightly acidic. But my point was that fermentation is supposed to acidify. So is the alkalinity of my water cancelled out by the time my dough is done? I now have pH paper, so next time I make bread, I'll just test the dough at various stages.

That reference is interesting, since it suggests that fermentation doesn't acidify very much, and it goes into some detail about pH of actual bread, but is says very little about WHY pH of 5 is optimal. Surely in the last hundred years someone has researched this better?
 
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Thank you. As I said, I think I know that *dough* needed to be slightly acidic. But my point was that fermentation is supposed to acidify. So is the alkalinity of my water cancelled out by the time my dough is done? I now have pH paper, so next time I make bread, I'll just test the dough at various stages.

That reference is interesting, since it suggests that fermentation doesn't acidify very much, and it goes into some detail about pH of actual bread, but is says very little about WHY pH of 5 is optimal. Surely in the last hundred years someone has researched this better?
err the paper I attached explains exactly why acidity at certain levels is optimal. It has to do with rope and mold. If you don’t know what rope is bacillus mesentericus.

read what I attached. I answered your question.
 
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I was out running errands today. One of which was to stop by a national chain bakery. This particular bakery is known for their coffee. Some of my friends happen to really like their coffee. So I decided to pick up some of the baked goods as well since this friend is working on some projects for me.

Turned out one of the baked items had mold

Mold is the bane of the baking industry. And this is one reason why pH is a concern.

This is a national chain; they use dough conditioners and mold inhibitors—or they should be using them. And yet there was still mold. This is why pH is a concern.
 
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There are two sides to that coin. The pH conditions that favor development of mold also favor activity of yeast. Both actually outcompete bacteria in favorable conditions.
 
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There are two sides to that coin. The pH conditions that favor development of mold also favor activity of yeast. Both actually outcompete bacteria in favorable conditions.
It’s not a matter of two sides to the coin.

It’s a fact I got black mold on yeast donuts. And if I got black mold then other yeast doughnuts in then their shop also has black mold.

If there is black mold On yeast dough products their is a serious problem in the bakery’s compliance to self life and food safety Protocols

You can talk that kind of theory about how this can cancel that yada yada yada. But the fact is a international donut change is selling raised yeast donuts with black mold on it. We’re not talking theory, we’re talking fact.

That means their bakers have totally failed in the total fundamentals a baking.

Mold is not just a concern in the baking industry


Sqril A restaurant in Los Angeles just got slammed for their practice of scraping mold off of jam. The owner has been producing low sugar jams for years. But without specific fruit to sugar ratio mold will grow. Apparently all these years she’s been instructing her staff to scrape the mold off jam and they’ve been hiding the fact this from food inspectors. Some of her employees got sick of this practice which is illegal. And exposed her.

She tried to make the claim that she was doing was acceptable and attempted to use the work of a food scientist to back up her claim. He immediately refuted her claim and said he is never even met her.


No shop can afford to sell black moldy yeast donuts or jam. Whether you bake professionally or at home for yourself, friends and family, shelflife and food safety has take precedence over all else.

Theory is all good and well but the bottom line is we bake in real time, for real people.

And as you can see mold wins almost every time.
 
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I'm just pointing out that it is well understood that the same pH conditions that help yeast ferment also help mold grow. That's a fact. I'm not talking about anything cancelling anything. Of course, baking kills both yeast and mold - what comes out of the oven is pretty sterile, so if something gets moldy it mainly has to do with being stored in a well ventilated container, and how old it is.

That being said, acidification is one strategy to suppress mold growth. Of course, when you acidify strongly, the yeast won't grow as well either, so there is a tradeoff.

It is a pity that you got moldy donuts. That happens. It mostly happens because the donuts were old and stored poorly, and probably has little to do with their recipe. But I'd certainly want to avoid eating mycotoxin producing molds.

BTW, baking in real time for real people shouldn't justify dismissal of, or ignorance of theory.
 
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I'm just pointing out that it is well understood that the same pH conditions that help yeast ferment also help mold grow. That's a fact. I'm not talking about anything cancelling anything. Of course, baking kills both yeast and mold - what comes out of the oven is pretty sterile, so if something gets moldy it mainly has to do with being stored in a well ventilated container, and how old it is.

That being said, acidification is one strategy to suppress mold growth. Of course, when you acidify strongly, the yeast won't grow as well either, so there is a tradeoff.

It is a pity that you got moldy donuts. That happens. It mostly happens because the donuts were old and stored poorly, and probably has little to do with their recipe. But I'd certainly want to avoid eating mycotoxin producing molds.

BTW, baking in real time for real people shouldn't justify dismissal of, or ignorance of theory.

No this is a major chain and the turnover rate is extremely high with both a drive thru and open store front. Fried dough simply has no shelf life to speak of. And low shortening absorption is a major causes of loss of shelf life. You have to hit the mark just right in mixing and proofing with donuts to ensure the correct level of shortening absorption. Too much shortening and the donut is greasy; too little and the donut is doomed to an early death.


As bakers we have to work to a standard to ensure quality of product and food safety, rather than work to a theory. This means we control everything that we can control and leave nothing to chance.


It’s not uncommon for bakery owners to test their water and install expensive water filtration systems to ensure the quality of water used in the doughs and batters meets certain specification.


This idea that the oven is the sanitizer is one that I would step back from.

If heat were the solution we wouldn’t have a mold problem in the baking industry or the food industry at all. But in fact we do have a mold problem. A serious mold problem. So serious that we spend millions of dollars every year trying to find a solution for the mold problem.


In fact this donut had black mold from the inside and was just starting to be visible under the crust of the donut. It wasn’t surface mold. It was just by chance that I pulled it out of the bag upside down. I wasn’t even sure it was mold at first and did a double take. Then examined it very closely and I was certain I could see spots under the crust. So I ripped the donut in half and sure enough there was mold inside below the crust.


We think that just because we set the oven or frier at 350°F and that we bake is going to then heat to that temperature. But in fact we do not bake anything to those temperatures. If we did, they would be too dried out to eat. And the “danger zone” that we talk about in food safety is the optimal range of temperatures that microbes reproduce, not the absolute temperatures in which they survive. The concept that the oven is the sanitizer makes us complacent and abdicates all responsibilities for food safety to a single action. Both of which are unacceptable in the food production and violate food health and safety codes. It’s one of my pet peeves—some of the top bakers in the country use this motto. Some times I cringe when I see what goes on in a commercial kitchen. Thank goodness the inspectors in Napa County are sticklers for the rules.


The water where I live is actually pretty good. But in Southern California where the water is crap, they absolutely need a water filtration system.
 
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