The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Dough Conditioner, Enricher, & Vital Wheat Gluten

BakerNewbie's picture

Dough Conditioner, Enricher, & Vital Wheat Gluten

I have a bun recipe that I want to make better. From my research, it seems that I could potentially use dough conditioner and vital wheat gluten. Questions:

  1. When should I add these ingredients? The current recipe has me whisking the wet ingredients together, then adding the dry ingredients in several batches. Perhaps I should add the dough conditioner and vital wheat gluten along with the first batch of dry ingredients to give them a chance to really integrate with the dought???
  2. The dough conditioner I got provides a ratio of flour to conditioner to use. I can work with that. As for the vital wheat gluten, I have no idea what ratio would be ideal. Suggestions?
  3. What exactly are the benefits of using dough conditioner and vital wheat gluten? The references I have seem to either contradict or overlap the benefits.
  4. Enricher - not exactly sure what this does. Does this extend the shelf life of the bread and prevent the recrystalization of the starch (thus preventing it from getting a hard crust)? If so, I think I might want to experiment with this, too.

I've read some posts here on TFL where people debated the use of dough conditioner. I'm not trying to start another debate. I'm experimenting right now and just want to see how certain ingredients affect bread.

pmccool's picture

What is the formula for the buns you wish to improve?  What characteristics are unsatisfactory to you?  What is your target?  What does the dough conditioner contain?  What does the enricher contain?  What do their respective manufacturers say about the effects of their usage?

Without knowing the answers to those questions, it's hard to respond.  If, for instance, you want the buns to be softer and more tender, then VWG is probably not a good addition.  It will make the texture firmer and chewier. 

Sorry not to be more enlightening; it's just that there isn't enough information available to make a useful response.