Six Ways to Make Your Baking Better


Ingredients to Enhance to Your Bread and Pizza Doughs

What do the pros know that you don’t?  They understand the science of baking and what they can use to enhance their baked goods.  We’ll tell you what those enhancers are.

Dough conditioner.  Dough conditioner is a proprietary product, that is, every producer sells his own formula.  Ours does four things:

  1. It strengthens the gluten structure by increasing the length of the gluten strands.  Your bread will rise higher and be less crumbly.
  2. It lowers the pH.  Yeast grows best in a slightly acidic environment.  Your bread will be lighter and more airy.
  3. It retards staling.  Your bread will stay fresher longer.

Dough relaxer.  Dough relaxer relaxes the gluten strands so that your dough is softer and more malleable.  It virtually eliminates springback in pizza dough so that you can easily roll the dough to a thin, uniform crust.  It is not generally used in breads.  It is often used in tortillas.

Wheat gluten.  Two protein strands in wheat flour twist together during kneading to form gluten.  So wheat gluten is protein extracted from flour.  It is used in three instances:

  1. When you are suing lower protein content flour, such as all-purpose, for breads.
  2. When you use whole wheat flour to replace some of the gluten cut by the sharp bran pieces found in whole wheat flour.
  3. When making rye since rye flour does not contain the proteins to make gluten.

Potato flour.  Potato flour is hygroscopic, that is, it draws moisture from the air rather than drying out as wheat flour does.  It keeps bread moister and softer longer.  It also adds a slight taste almost like sourdough.

Buttermilk.  In a quick bread such as pancakes or muffins, buttermilk is used as an acid to react with baking soda and provide leavening.  In a yeast bread, it provides richness and flavor.  The addition of dairy—milk, buttermilk, or sour cream—makes a marked difference in taste.

Baker’s dry milk.  Baker’s dry milk adds richness and a mellow flavor to your breads.  Dairy products have an enzyme that retards the growth of yeast.  Adding fresh milk or instant dry milk will slow the growth of the yeast and may result in smaller loaves.  Baker’s dry milk, as well as our buttermilk and sour cream products, is high-heat treated to destroy that enzyme.

Sour cream.  Dry sour cream, just as fresh sour cream, adds richness and a deep tangy flavor.  Again, diary has an enzyme that retards the growth of yeast.  Our sour cream powder is high heat treated to destroy that enzyme.

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