The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Dough Strength Table

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varda's picture
varda

Dough Strength Table

I have been thinking a lot about dough strength lately because of the difficulty I've had baking with durum flour.    I saw a great article on dough strength referenced in an old TFL post.   It is in the SFBI Fall 2004 newsletter - link can be found here:  http://www.sfbi.com/newsletter.html It was quite an eye opener since so many different factors impact dough strength.    In trying to wrap my brain around this, I put together a handy one-page table.   Maybe others will find it useful as well.   I tried to summarize a lot of material, and may not have it all right, so have at it, but even more important read the original article! 

Factors that affect dough strength – Sourced from SFBI Newsletter Fall 2004

Factor

Strength / Elasticity

Weakness / Extensibility

Comments/Examples

Protein Quantity

High Protein

Low Protein

 

Protein Quality

High Quality

Low Quality

Durum has high protein but poor quality

Ash Content

Low

High

Whole wheat flour is more extendable, less elastic than white flour

Additives

Ascorbic Acid, Potassium Bromate, Malt

 

 

Maturation

Matured flour

Fresh flour

 

Water Quality

Hard water

Soft water

 

Hydration

Low hydration

High hydration

 

Added Ingredients

 

Added ingredients

Butter, nuts, berries, etc.

Autolyse

Autolyse

Autolyse

Autolyse strengthens gluten bonds, but also increases enzymatic activity which makes dough weaker

Mix Time

More mixing

Less mixing

 

Dough Temperature

Higher

Lower

This is an indirect effect – higher temp gives faster fermentation leads to stronger dough

Fermentation Time

More

Less

Acids from fermentation strengthen gluten bonds

Dough Mass

Higher

Lower

The more dough mass, the faster fermentation

Starter

Starter

 

Starter strengthens dough due to fermentation acids

Hydration of Preferment

Less 

More

Wet environment of preferment increases enzyme activity which makes dough more extensible

Preferment Quantity

More

Less

More preferment means more acid which strengthens dough

Preferment Maturity

More

Less

Mature preferments have higher acid content

Shaping

Tight

Loose

Baker can adjust based on dough strength

Comments

lumos's picture
lumos

wow, this is great! Thank you for digging up such a treasure, Varda!  ::copied & filed::

lumos

 

p.s. The link doesn't seem to work, btw.

varda's picture
varda

I fixed the link.  -Varda

lumos's picture
lumos

Double WOW!  Thanks for the link.  What a great site!

And I realised at last how much work you put  into the chart above. Thank you!!!

lumos

varda's picture
varda

my ancient study skills to try to learn the material.   But I didn't have Word Tables or Excel last time I had to take an exam.   My exam today is my 100% Durum loaf.   We'll see how much I've learned.   -Varda

sheffield's picture
sheffield (not verified)

in the newsletter.  Thanks for the link.

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Varda,

Thanks for the link and your concise summary.  Your time and effort to present it here is greatly appreciated by me!

Copied and filed :-)

Janet

jcking's picture
jcking

As a collector of bread facts this is right up my alley.

Thanks,

Jim

varda's picture
varda

Jim, I finally got a very active and happy durum starter going which I've been baking with.   I remember you asked me about that ages ago and I said no way, never.   I guess never for me lasts 3 months or so.   Anyhow, my interest in dough strength comes from the fact that when I try to bake a loaf with a lot of durum (processed, not whole) I've been getting BIG tunnels.   So today, I'm trying to use just about every fact in the table above, to see if I can beat the tunnel problem with a 100% durum loaf.  -Varda

jcking's picture
jcking

Varda,

You sound like me, if at first I don't succeed I keep on tryin'. My Atta/Durum starter is still alive, healthy and wishing you well. I don't remember if I mentioned that I switched over to the Atta that KA Flour sells because it is a dollar cheaper per bag.

I've had better results with Durum by increasing the salt to Two and a half percent and adding a crushed 250mg vitamin tablet per loaf.

I haven't aked a 100% Durum loaf in a while, but I have used the starter in non- Durum loaves as a sub for a WW starter. I'll bake a 100% loaf this week and check back with you.

Keep rising - Jim

jcking's picture
jcking

Varda,

Upon re-reading Leaders' Altamura process I may have missed something. After a final proof (banneton or tied in a dry kitchen towel) and before going into the oven, give it a quick final shaping.

Jim

varda's picture
varda

Jim, If you see the comments at my latest post on durum bread Nico is suggesting adding salt in the autolyse.   Interesting that you are saying to add more salt during the mix probably for the same reason.   -Varda

babskitchen's picture
babskitchen

Thanks for this information.

Barbara

 

 

EvaB's picture
EvaB

and so useful! Thanks also for the list. Looks like a great site, wonder if they stopped the newsletter as there is nothing past 2009.

mwilson's picture
mwilson

I am a fan of that article (if one can be) and made reference to it recently. Well done varda for extracting the data.

varda's picture
varda

I missed the discussion on the recent post where you referenced this article and see there was some disagreement about acid.  I finally dug up the old post where I saw the reference - http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/4675/folding-windowpaning-and-dough-strength   This is from 2007 - ancient history on this list.   I found the article illuminating because I had been thinking in simpler terms i.e., weak flour needs a lot of mixing.   Now my thinking is more complicated.   I guess that's good.  -Varda

GermanFoodie's picture
GermanFoodie

Thanks for taking the time to post this!

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Varda, Thank you so much for preparing this table.
:^) breadsong