The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread Improver

Bonsai2's picture
Bonsai2

Bread Improver

Hello

Some of my recipes in the manual that came with the breadmaker suggest that bread improver should be used especially with wholemeal recipes.  On the bread improver package label a guide is given suggesting that for white bread recipes, one gm of bread improver should be added for every 100gms of strong white flour and two gms for every 100gms of wholemeal flour.  Does bread improver really help?

Ford's picture
Ford

Time provides all of the improver that I need.  Time for autolyse, time for bench proofing, time for final rise, time for rest and cooling after baking,  All of these improve the flavor of the loaf.  

Special ingredients are used to give flavors to the bread.  These include the use of butter instead of unflavored shortening, using honey, molasses, or brown sugar instead of refined, white, granulated sugar.  The addition of egg gives flavor as well as structure and keeps the loaf from drying too quickly.  Salt certainly enhances the flavor of the bread.  Special flours will alter flavor, appearance, and texture of the bread.  Sourdough leavening certainly gives more flavor to the bread.

Ford

 

 

Bonsai2's picture
Bonsai2

Hi Ford

 

Thanks for the advice.

Bonsai2

 

Colin_Sutton's picture
Colin_Sutton

HI Bonsai2,

The simple answer to your question is that flour improver does help produce well-risen, light loaves in a bread machine, particularly with wholemeal (wholegrain) flours, which are prone to produce dense loaves at the best of times.

While most of my baking is hand-mixed, slow fermented sourdoughs, I do use my bread machine when I am out of time and a yeasted bread is all I have time for.

From a previous post I think that you are just starting bread baking in a machine.  This is a great way to get started and you will learn stuff about baking.  Flour improver will be regarded with a degree of scorn my many purist bread bakers, but I think it's a great produce to help produce some really acceptable loaves from a machine.

Ford makes some really good points in a previous reply to other options open to bakers, although I think that a number of them are only really suitable for hand baking.

If the start of your baking journey is with a bread machine, then great.  You have fewer options, such as bake time and loaf size, but can still make some loaves that will give you a degree of confidence (and you and your family will be happy to eat). If you enjoy this and it becomes a habit, you may find yourself using the machine just for mixing and bulk fermentation and then want to shape and proof by hand. Next you might want to do the whole artisan thing.

Please do enjoy using a bread machine, you'll learn loads along the way.

Best wishes, and happy baking! Colin.

Bonsai2's picture
Bonsai2

Thanks again Colin for the advice.  I have made only 3 loaves having just started and will persevere.

 

Kind regards

Bonsai2

 

BetsyMePoocho's picture
BetsyMePoocho

Colin,

What a magnificently nice reply to Bonsai2…. And to the point.  Ah,,, yes Us 'purists',,,,,, but your point that there are sometimes good uses for dough enhancers I think is valid.

Heck,,, I stumbled around over the years trying to replicate the wonderful Banh Mi baguette I loved when I was on R&R in Siagon, but never could get even close.

Then, through a video, I found that dough enhancers were widely used in Vietnam for a host of reason.  One of which is the humidity.

So, I do use it in my,,,,, well not perfect,,,,,, but acceptable, Banh Mi bag's…. 

Bonsai2 if you are reading keep going and enjoy the journey……!

 

Bonsai2's picture
Bonsai2


BetsyMePoocho

Cheers and many thanks for the encouragement.

 

Colin_Sutton's picture
Colin_Sutton

Thank you, BetsyMePoocho. What a lovely message.  I'm now off to find out what a Banh Mi baguette is.... :-)))

Matt H's picture
Matt H

I think what the original poster is asking about is a product like this one: Whole Grain Bread Improver at King Arthur. It is gluten and a little acid in the form of ascorbic acid.

In my experience, yes, these will help whole grain breads rise a little higher.

Best way to find out is to just experiment and see how it works for you in your home bakery. :)

Bonsai2's picture
Bonsai2

Hi Matt H

Thanks for the advice, the improver I purchased was KlassiCool bread improver for white or whole grain bread.

Bonsai2

BetsyMePoocho's picture
BetsyMePoocho

Bonsai2,

Hey,,, do you have a digital scale???  If not get one (Amazon) and scale all your ingredients in grams.  Log each bake in a small notebook.

You can get ingredient weights either by using dry measure, (cups, spoons, etc. uck..) or best obtained by 'on-line' conversions.  This is not only accurate, but gives you much better control and repeatability in your recipes.

The notebook will provide you a good evolution reference during your recipe development….. And it will be fun to look back at in the years to come and ask "was that really me????"

Kanpai…..

 

Bonsai2's picture
Bonsai2

Hi BetsyMePoocho

I purchased a set of digital scales last week, weighing gm, ml - water and ml - milk.

No need for cups or spoons plus the water measurement is more accurate than using a measuring jug.

Thanks for the suggestion.

 

Bonsai2

BetsyMePoocho's picture
BetsyMePoocho

Bonsai2,

Now ya bees cook'n,,,, no, I mean Bacon, strike that,,, BAKE'n…. Yea that's it….

Kanpai….

Matt H's picture
Matt H

Oh man, I wouldn't let that in my bakery any more than I would get a haircut at Klassy Cuts...