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Gus's experiments in making pizza with very hot ovens.
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May 13, 2013

I know this post might seem a bit neurotic, or crazy, or just kind of "really Gus, water?", but stay with me here.

A few months back when I was playing with a starter, I found out that the water in our pipes had enough chlorine in them to seriously effect the the starter I was trying to get going. I then began using bottled water, and then eventually water taken from a local aquifer* (I really don't want to be buying bottled water). Eventually I gave up on the starter, but I had still had a bunch of the aquifer water siting on my counter so I thought… well, maybe it'll have a positive effect on the yeast for my pizza dough. It worked well enough for the starter, right?

So I tried it out, not really thinking it would make much of a difference. But when I took the first bites from the pies came out- whoa. I could tell right away that it made a significant difference in the quality of my dough. Subsequent pizzas all had the same characteristics, and now I always use the non-chlorinated water for my pies.

I'm not ever sure how to describe the difference - it just tasted better to my palate. Am I crazy? Will the average person not even notice? Probably. But it might be worth trying this out with your pizzas if you're uncertain about the quality of your tap water.

Next up - old vs. new yeast. Just as soon as the new yeast shows up…

* Here's a short and amusing article about the aquifer I get the water from in the Seattle Times. The locals don't want too many folks to find out about it, lest the lines get too long.