The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Dough Enhancer vs. Dough Conditioner

katiecooks815's picture

Dough Enhancer vs. Dough Conditioner


I am starting to make a fresh pretzel product and am looking for something that will make the bread last longer throughout the day (prevent it from going stale!), I keep seeing dough conditioners and enhancers ... what's the difference and does anyone have any recommendations for keeping this product fresher longer?

DavidEF's picture

Long fermentation helps bread products last longer. I make bread with just flour, water, sourdough starter, and salt, that lasts for several days. With a little bit of oil, sugar, or other natural enrichments, it can stay as soft and fresh after a week as it was on day one. I never use dough enhancer or dough conditioners, so I cannot say what they are good for.

katiecooks815's picture

I have heard that actually and am considering it with my pretzel. I have heard that people do a long fermentation after they make the dough (let it rise in a refrigerator overnight) but I have also heard of people doing this after the pretzels are shaped (let it rise in a refrigerator overnight) Does it not matter which way you go with this?


Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

Sugar is hygroscopic and can help prevent staling - but putting enough sugar in a pretzel dough to make any difference sure would make the pretzel taste funny.

Lecithin is an anti-staling agent, takes about 1 T per cup (roughly 120g) of flour used.

Powdered dry ginger extends shelf-life, mostly by deterring mold growth - 1/4 tsp per loaf - will not affect the flavor.

Ascorbic acid also extends shelf life, again mostly by deterring mold - 1/8th tsp per loaf

I've seen suggestions for using pectin or gelatin as dough enhancers, but I think they both work (if they work at all) by softening the crumb - which wouldn't really be great for pretzels.  I'm skeptical of using either in bread.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven


pchotrani's picture

Also curious

Doc.Dough's picture

Do you have any hard fat in the formulation? 2% is a good number to start with.

I like Mini's suggestion to try tangzhong.

Lecithin is an emulsifier and not an anti-staling agent.  If you must, try DATEM or one of the commercial anti-staling additives. Remember that they need to be fully incorporated into the dough - which can be easier with the products that come as pre-wetted slurries or pastes.


Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

Yes, Lecithin is also an emulsifier, but it has an anti-staling effect as well.  I have no idea why - I can't remember the details off the top of my head.  My baking science books are packed or I'd look it up.  It helps to keep the bread from drying out.