The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How about a section on enzymes?

MostlySD's picture

How about a section on enzymes?


I am not new to TFL having been a registered member for a while some time ago. However, I had stopped baking bread & only came back to it when someone in my household developed liver problem, most probably due to his current medication. His body is having difficulty eliminating cholesterol & triglycerides. He has been allowed 3 months to see whether a change of diet can alleviate the problem. If not, he might have to change medication, a rather dire prospect.

As a result, I have taken up bread baking again. I was always partial to sourdough. It turns out that is a good choice for him. Also, since it is said that oats is good for lowering cholesterol, I have been trying to bake a decent loaf of bread using oat flour, at first with whole wheat flour without much success - too dense.

Having read that the use of sourdough in bread baking lowers the glycemic index of even white flour, I am now trying oats and white flour. However, since it appears that oat bran is a better choice than oat flour for lowering cholesterol level in the blood, I have moved to using oat bran. Still, my bread have been on the dense side ... until now!

In "Bioprocessing to improve oat bread quality", researcher Laura Flander found that the addition of enzymes Laccase & Xylanase improves the texture of oat sourdough bread.

After some research on the web, I found out that both enzymes are present in *wheat bran*. Today, I baked a bread using Unbleached Bread Flour & 10% organic oat bran. The wheat bran was introduced in the dough through the starter. The resulting bread is very good indeed!

Which brings me to the subject matter. Wouldn't it be a good idea to add a section on enzymes in the forum ... for information about both *good* and *bad* enzymes in bread baking?

Thanks for giving the idea some consideration!

Janetcook's picture

I know a member here, Debra Wink, has written extensively on the more complex aspects of what happens in bread and sour dough.  You might do a search and see what she has said about the role enzymes play in the production of breads. 

If you are including more whole grains in your breads and haven't discovered Peter Reinhart's book Whole Grain Breads, you might benefit from checking a copy of the book out at your local library and then trying his epoxy method to make you whole grain breads into the types of loaves you are seeking.  His method took my whole grain bread baking to an entirely new level and his method is very easy to utilize.  He does discuss enzymes but not in the detail that I think you are looking for in your quest.

Good Luck,


MostlySD's picture

...  for the reminder regarding Debra Wink's input on this site. I remember reading about some of her posts at one time but then I was not that much into the inner workings of sourdough as I am now. I will certainly return to them. Just now I did go over a discussion she had with Dan DiMuzio about liquid vs firm sourdough.

Very interesting, more so for me as I have Dan's book, which I am starting to read more closely these days. I will keep in mind your suggestion about getting hold of Reinhart's book. Thanks again!