The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Does molasses contain any enzymes

dwfender's picture

Does molasses contain any enzymes

Similar to D. Malt? or should i continue to spit in my dough :) 


So maybe some more experienced bakers can help me out with this. I have a pumpernickel recipe that is heavy in molasses and sugar. If i wanted to coax more depth from the grain than I should do a long soak with amylase with the flour and water. Once the yeast is introduced its going to go to town on the molasses and sucrose right? so adding D. malt or amylase to the dough after its mixed wouldn't give the enzyme enough time to extract sugars from the starches? 

The recipe is 60/40 bread flour to rye. To me thats a decent amount of rye flour. I know rye flavor doesn't give up flavor easily, which is why I am considering doing some type of soak with amylase. 


gary.turner's picture

Molasses is made by a long cooking at too high a temperature for enzymes to survive, so I don't see it aiding in the breakdown of starch. As for the yeast going to town on the molasses, again I doubt it. Molasses is deeply caramelized sugars, which yeasts are not able to digest. In brewing, caramelized malt is added to the mash to provide sweetness to the beer since it is not fermentable.

When I've seen molasses used in ryes, it's for two reasons: 1) to darken the bread, especially pumpernickels or black breads; 2) to provide a sweetening to balance the bitterness natural to rye breads. There's a third, personal reason for using molasses; I like molasses, especially blackstrap. ;-)



Yerffej's picture

Any recipe that is heavy in molasses and sugar will produce a product that speaks sweetness first, with flavor coming in at a distant and muted second.  If you want to coax flavor from rye, I would suggest the use of rye sour and long cool fermentation periods using  little to no sweetener of any kind.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Too much amylase activity may result in a gummy crumb with rye.   Try using a already baked rye bread (denatured enzymes) into your starter to soak and feed the starter during elaboration (increasing the size) for more flavour.  How much to use?  I wouldn't go over 33% of the total flour weight if the baked bread (altus) is dry or if moist 33% of dough weight.   Many times just a slice or two from a previous loaf is enough.  I keep some slices frozen just for that purpose, to use as altus in future rye loaves.  Toasted walnuts in the dough will also enhance the flavour of a young rye starter.

I don't believe there are too many enzymes that survive the heating process of making sugar, molasses is the end product after the sugar crystals are removed and still contain some sugars plus many minerals and trace elements that help reactions with yeast and other enzymes.  So you will see a boost in fermentation.  Molasses itself can ferment.  Keeping it in the refrigerator after opening during warm weather can help prevent a very sticky mess in the pantry.