The Fresh Loaf

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Forgot my Sugar, added in after a well kneaded dough still works!

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jennyloh's picture
jennyloh

Forgot my Sugar, added in after a well kneaded dough still works!

I was making a chocolate bread today. After putting all ingredients I kneaded the dough well, it felt a little harder than usual, I decided to add a liitle water and finally it came together. I put it aside to proof. Then It suddenly dawned on me that I didn't add in sugar. Instead of throwing itbout or leaving it as is ( it'll be alittle bitter because of the cocoa), I decided to take the risk and add in the sugar and knead some more. Adding the sugar in the middle of the dough a little at a time, I managed to incorporate the sugar in. Initially the dough was turning sticky, I persevered, it finally came together, with all the sugar melted into the dough. This texture felt right this time with the sugar. I didn't realize how important sugar is to the texture of the dough till today!

Learning from this is, remember to place all ingredients in front of you, and there's always a way to solve a dough problem!

My chocolate bread turns out as require.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

It was a 50% hydration dough with instant yeast.  I had just added salt and I had only begun to work it in when I had to drop everything for something else.  I threw some plastic over the bowl and came back 4 hours later and had a most lovely risen dough full of hard dry layers and lumps of salt.  Yuck!


That my salt was coarse sea salt didn't help matters.  Unlike sugar, the salt had encapsulated itself using the surrounding dough, the salt tightened the gluten around itself and refused to soften or dissolve.  I ended up tearing open the thick dough lumps and dripping water on the salt crystals inside.  I cut my skin with tiny little cuts working the dough, but I eventually got the lumps out and the salt distributed.   Then jumped into shaping and a final proof. 


Looking back, my hands paid dearly and took a long time to heal.  I don't know if I was wise or just stubborn.  I think the latter, but if I had to do it again, I wouldn't.  I would start over.  


 


 

clazar123's picture
clazar123

It think it takes a LOT for Mini to say she'd start over so it must have been a really dire experience.Ouch! That sounds so painful.


 I agree that most doughs can be rescued and congratulations on a good save.

jennyloh's picture
jennyloh

Thank goodness that I forgot sugar instead of salt. The experience you have Mini sounds so painful. Thanks for sharing.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

And I'm very careful with folding and kneading not to put my skin in direct contact with salt and motion keeping plenty of dough between me and the crystals.  The bonding abilities of sugar vs salt crystals must be drastically different.  I was always amazed observing fresh cubed yeast (which seems pretty dry) and sugar; without adding any liquid the cube just melts into a thick puddle.   Sugar tends to want to bind to something whereas salt wants something to bind to it.   One is a food and the other a mineral.  (Ever hear of a sugar mine?)  Must be a positive/negative ion sort of thing on the atomic level.  Molecularly, sugar contains water.


Food for thought:   I wonder what could be done with the salt to aid it's incorporation into the dough... something safe like crushing large crystals to powder or crushing in combination with sugar crystals.  Actually delayed salt additions have not been a problem for the home baker as long as the dough is mixed well after the salt addition.  On a large factory scale, I can imagine that delayed salt additons might present big problems.  So large bakeries may tend to avoid it.   This could be one area in factory bread where flavor is being lost simply because delaying salt gives many flavoring "bugs" and enzymes a chance to contribute to overall bread flavor.

rhodriharris's picture
rhodriharris

Both the salt and the sugar are in crystal form which is their dry form, although it will add a small percentage of water to the final dough hydration it would take very little water to break the crystal bonds and make a sugar or salt solution.  When i have forgaot my salt in the past i added a teaspoon or so of water to the salt and made a thick paste and then incorporated into my dough, seemed to work really well.  Maybe oil can be used as well.