The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Question about Sweet Dough

uberathlete's picture
uberathlete

Question about Sweet Dough

Hi everyone. I'm making a sweet bread that has a lot of sugar (about 20%) , a lot of milk, and a lot of egg yolks. When making sweet doughs with this much sugar, should the sugar be added to the flour before the liquids? Or should the sugar be dissolved in the liquids? Also, when is the best time to add the egg yolks? I usually just dump everything in all at once (but partially dissolve the sugar in the milk first) . Still produces great bread, but maybe there's a better sequence to adding ingredients. Also, I'm wondering if some sort of autolyse could be useful. Any comments would be much appreciated. 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Uberathlete,


An excellent question.   You should always dissolve the sugar in the liquid when making any flour-based dough/paste/batter to my mind, if at all possible.


I usually make a ferment with many of my sweet dough recipes, so it is difficult to dissolve all the sugar first, as the sugar levels are too high for the yeasts to feel comfortable about.   However....


This is why:


Both the sugar and the flour will compete for available water in any given mix.   The sugar will always win, of course, given it's hygroscopic nature.


So if you dissolve the sugar, then it can take up all the water it needs first.   This means all the spare liquid is then available to the protein and starch [and bran, if using] fractions of the flour.   It may be a neat trick to allow you to get just that little extra liquid into your dough.


Best wishes


Andy

flournwater's picture
flournwater

Great explanation.  Sugar is always considered a "liquid" ingredient so it's mixed with the other liquids before being incorporated in the total mix.

kiki30's picture
kiki30

Hi!I make almost the same dough and i have also a question..My sweet dough needed to be more sweet so i increased the amount of sugar a bit. After that change the final bread was not the same..It didnt rise as it did before this change..I was wondering what else to change in order to have 

the same bread as before but with more sweetness..Should i increase the liquids when i add sugar? Also the difference in my recipe compared to the recipe mentioned above is that i add the whole eggs instead of the egg yolk only. Is it better to add only the egg yolk? Any help would be so much appreciated..

cranbo's picture
cranbo

My sweet dough needed to be more sweet so i increased the amount of sugar a bit. After that change the final bread was not the same..It didnt rise as it did before this change..I was wondering what else to change in order to have the same bread as before but with more sweetness

After you hit a certain % of sugar in your dough you must increase your yeast % to get similar lift. IIRC, if your sugar is more than 10% of your total flour (by weight), you may need to increase yeast. I believe Rose Levy Beranbaum specifies 13% as the cutoff value. High levels of sugar affect both fermentation & gluten development. 

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Egg whites dry the crumb because during baking the proteins - coagulating - squeeze water away. better use them for something else, like white omelettes :-) . Milk and water are much better ingredients for doughs.

As for sugar: high levels of sugar slow down fermentation, but it's not the only factor to consider. The more sugar you add the more the dough will be slack, at least initially. You should always work the dough for as long as necessary to bring it to a very good level of gluten development, even if it takes more than one hour. At the end proteins will win.

 

baybakin's picture
baybakin

If the sugar percentage (or butter) is over 10% or so I actually mix these into my doughs in stages after I develop the gluten.  I started doing this after reading about it in Glezer's Artisan Baking Across America, concerning her kugelhofp recipe.  I've found that this gives better lift in the final product.