The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Developer or Improver

mido_mijo's picture

Developer or Improver


I can't seem to find much information on dough developers or dough improvers. I searched, but didnt' find information on differences or usage. Any links are always appreciated.


Thanks in advance.

haxbybaker's picture

How about don't use either?

ananda's picture


Ascorbic Acid [Vitamin C] is used to strengthen the dough, as an oxidiser.   Protease enzymes, or, L-Cysteine di Hydrochloride are also added to weaken, or, reduce the dough structure to give extensibility to the dough.   Ultimately, this speeds up the dough making process exponentially, creating bland but uniform bread.

The fermentation process does both of these things, and a whole lot more besides.   If you are patient, and want to make the finer type of bread, you may want to heed the excellent advice of the York, UK, baker as given above!

I just thought you might want to know what those commercial bakers like to use in their industrial loaves!

Best wishes


proth5's picture

bakers like to use dough conditioners in their decorative live doughs.  After working with doughs with dough conditioners, I can see why.  Does make rolling long strands of dough a lot easier.

Of course, although technically edible, they are not meant to be eaten....


Chuck's picture

Ascorbic Acid and Diastatic Malt are already included in reasonable small quantities in North American flour. (Of course you can add even more, but since you don't know how much is already there, it's easy to get "too much". And the quantities that are already there vary from year to year, and often even from batch to batch.)

You control the amount of fats (eggs, olive oil, butter, etc.) with your recipe.

You also control the amount of milk with your recipe.

And you have quite a few ways to adjust crust color: a bit of sugar in the dough, a bit of malt in the dough, a wash (egg whites, whole eggs, cornstarch, etc.), and baking at a higher temperature for a shorter time (or vice versa).

My personal experience with "dough conditioners" is nothing beats a spoonful or two of plain old olive oil  ...and for "lean" breads I of course don't even use that. The recipes that strongly suggest dough conditioners seem to be the same recipes that specify huge amounts of yeast (and salt) and hope to complete the whole bread-making process start to finish in under three hours. With recipes like that, why not just buy bread at the local supermarket rather than baking your own?-)

mido_mijo's picture

Is there a reason why olive oil would be a conditioner for breads?



mido_mijo's picture

I have a few recipes that call for bread for Baker's Bonus A (improver) that I wanted to try out. But since I only have dough developer I wanted to see what difference it would be.

I'm not concerned with taste since the bread is so heavily topped. (Taiwanese sweet breads)

Chuck's picture

A reference from another thread that may be helpful is

It suggests a couple things:

First, that although I've only ever heard the term "dough improver" as a synonym for "dough conditioner", in some parts of the world it actually means something rather different. (Yet another baking term that doesn't seem to be crisply defined... what a pain:-)

And second, that this other meaning of "dough improver" can easily refer to something that has the right ingredients and is used in large enough quantities to significantly affect the taste of the bread.

...once again I've learned something new...