PG 102...(3) Water - Because gluten protein must absorb water before they can develop, the amount of water in the formula can affect toughness or tenderness. The condition of water used in bread doughs, specifically hardness and PH, also affect gluten. Water hardness refers to mineral content of the water, especially its calcium content. Water w/ high mineral content is called hard-they strengthen gluten, often to much, making the dough too elastic and hard to work. Water that is to soft makes a dough that is too slack and sticky.