Cooking With Soft WaterOctober 4, 2013
Manhattan and the surrounding cities are renowned for their cuisine. I, for one, will never forget dinners in Little Italy and bagels in Brooklyn. A week in New York introduced me to pizza, bagels, breads and pastries all more tasty than I could imagine in my wildest dreams. So what was their secret? It turns out, the perfect consistency of that fantastic food literally boiled down to the water. Opposite to the situation in Texas, New Yorkers have pure, soft water flowing through their taps.
I know what you’re thinking. Water is water, right? Why should it matter to your food whether the water is soft or not? The answer is surprisingly simple.
Hard water comes chock full of impurities – impurities that can overpower subtle flavors, affect the way dough rises, beans cook and crusts bake. Water is present in nearly every recipe, whether you’re reducing, boiling, simmering, soaking or mixing. When you use soft water from a reverse osmosis filtration system to cook or bake, your final products benefit.
- In baked goods, hard water, like the kind found in 85% of the country, has a negative effect on yeast. Hard water minerals will slow the yeast fermentation by over-toughening the gluten structure. The higher pH level of hard water also neutralizes the normal acidity that necessary to development during yeast fermentation.
- According to Chef Steve Schimoler, when you use hard water to reduce or simmer soups and sauces, you’re increasing the concentration of impurities by double or more.
- Mineral-rich hard water will toughen the skin of dried beans. This leaves you with an undesired, hard consistency.
For every flavor to count, you really need to start with a clean slate. This means clean cookware and utensils along with the freshest, purest ingredients. There’s a reason the top chefs use distilled or soft water for their cooking. When your water is free of contaminants and minerals, your dishes can taste exactly how the recipe intends.
For soft and reverse osmosis water, contact your local San Antonio water softener company. There is a size, style and price to fit your water softening needs. On a budget? At Kinetico San Antonio, we even rent water softeners! When you’re ready to get serious about your cooking, make sure that you start with the purest water possible.
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