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Water is the major constituent of all living matter. When pure, it is an odorless, tasteless, slightly compressible liquid oxide of hydrogen H2O which freezes at 0° C (32ºF) and boils at 100° C (212ºF), has a maximum density at 4°C (39.2oF) and a high specific heat. Water is a poor conductor of electricity, a good insulator and a good solvent. Water is responsible for triggering all natural chemical processes in dough, controls dough temperature, and hydrates dough components. Specifically, water is one of the major components in baking, and thus many bakers use lower tempered water or use water to maintain the temperature of their batter or dough. First upon addition of water, starch particles are hydrated, dough is initially formed, and subsequently water molecules begin hydrating proteins that form gluten. Three distinct factors in the quality of a water sample have a vast impact on dough characteristics as well as final bread attributes. Taste, Chemical Content, and Mineral Content variations in water are the three factors crucial to aspects of baking.

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