Thursday, January 10, 2008

Why did no one say!?!?

Did you know that the chlorine in tap water kills yeast!?!?! Yep. It does. For years I've struggled through making bread: maybe the water was too hot; maybe there really is more than a tablespoon in a "package", maybe it just needs an extra fifteen minutes to rise at this altitude.... Nope. The tap water killed the yeast!

I made bread today using bottled water (not distilled) on Alton Brown's recommendation. The results were phenomenal! It took about half the time and the bread was lighter than ever. Ruth Reichl says you should wait 5 minutes after you add the warm water to the yeast to see if the mixture froths indicating that the yeast is active. Previously there were a few bubbles by that time. This time there was a whole layer of thick froth in under a minute! Thank you Alton Brown. No one can say I didn't say!


mary said...

So I just told my roommate, Zina Electa Hemingway, the news. She knew! Why did no one tell me!?!?!

kjirsti said...

I didn't know. I'm stocked! We have been frustrated from time to time over this same issue! Thanks.

Staska said...

I didn't know!! I went through 8 pkgs of yeast the last time I tryed to make rolls until at last I just said a prayer and threw my dead yeast in - it worked, but I must have gotten lucky. yay, I know I'm not a yeast killer anymore - thanks mar!

Mike and Amber said...

Alton is kinda eccentric, but I love his show. I find out all kinds of good info. I love the food network! Too bad I don't make bread or I would find the advice more helpful..

Susanne said...

I had no idea. My bread seems to turn out OK, although I don't make it very often. Is there not as much chlorine in Utah water? I will try your suggestion next time and see if it makes a difference.
Love, Mom
P.S. My lemon marmalade is all gone. So sad!!

Anonymous said...

That's strange. I've never had a problem making bread with plain tap water, here or in California. My neighbor gave me a great recipe that uses extra gluten and ends up with a wonderful light, soft, delicious honey whole wheat.

What kind of bread have you been making?