Some recipes suggest to add carbonated water instead of milk or water. Does this practice accelerate the rising of the dough and why?

  • 2
    What kind of dough? Yeast? Welcome to the site! – Stephie Oct 9 '15 at 20:23
  • We'd also appreciate a sample recipe with carbonated water, if possible. – Stephie Oct 9 '15 at 21:28
  • Related: I heard carbonated water makes a fluffy omlette. I've never tried it. Googled google.com/search?q=carbonated+water+omelette – Paulb Oct 11 '15 at 16:24

This is rather simple. The carbon dioxide created by yeast does not generate new air bubbles in the dough - the yeast fills and enlarges existing air bubbles, that are in the dough due to the kneading, whipping of eggs etc.. If you add carbonated water to the dough, you create more air bubbles that the yeast can enlarge.

This should have no dramatic effect on the rising time; temperature and yeast amount will matter much more. But it strongly influences the final texture of the baked good, as more initial air bubbles before the rising will result in a finer and tenderer product.

  • Have you tested this yourself? – Stephie Oct 10 '15 at 14:11
  • @Stephie No. For all food-science stuff I trust Harold McGee. – John Hammond Oct 10 '15 at 15:52
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    @LarsFriedrich This contradicts my understanding. The "enlarges existing bubbles part" is how chemically leavened batters function, e.g. cake batter with baking powder. But it is very normal for fermentation to create new air bubbles where there were none, in fact yeast was used to create "carbonated" beverages before pressure carbonation was invented. It is possible that the OP is asking about recipes for chemically leavened batters (many languages don't differentiate between 'dough' and 'batter'), but your answer claims it of yeast leavened doughs. – rumtscho Oct 11 '15 at 10:07
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    @rumtscho The yeast used for carbonating drinks is an anaerobic version, the yeast for dough is aerobic - the yeast only produces carbon dioxide while there is oxygen. Once the oxygen in the dough is depleted, it creates ethanol - the fermentation. The fermentation is what you actually don't want in the dough. It does not cause the rising, it adds flavor you don't want. Baking powder is used for batter, because batter can't hold the gas bubbles very well over time - but yeast needs time. Both processes require initial air bubbles for a satisfying end result. – John Hammond Oct 11 '15 at 17:17
  • See thefreshloaf.com/node/28719/… – TFD Oct 12 '15 at 8:30

It simply accelerates the rising of the dough by adding more bubbles of carbon dioxide into dough.

  • How does it accelerate anything? For a faster rising, the yeast would have to produce more carbon dioxide in the same time. How would existing carbon dioxide bubbles make the yeast produce faster carbon dioxide? – John Hammond Oct 12 '15 at 18:47

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