The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Help with high protein bread

c.alexis's picture
c.alexis

Help with high protein bread

Hi everyone, 

I've been tinkering around with selling high-protein sliced breads around my town. The bread has been very well received in terms of its nutritional content and taste but we keep running into issues with freshness and mold. 

I suppose that due to the high protein content, the bread gets moldy much quicker than most breads. Typically once we slice the breads, they need to be bagged and frozen or refrigerated right away, otherwise after one day at room temp, we start seeing spots in the packaging. 

After cooling overnight, we slice the breads. We then package them in perforated plastic bags and then cover them in another plastic food grade bag which we close with tape in order to preserve freshness. If the bread is left in the fridge unopened, I will start to see a lot of humidity build up in the bag and by the end of the week, mold shows up. I've also tried freezing them, but that humidity I mentioned crystallizes and covers the entire loaf.

The ingredients we use for our bread are as follows:
Wheat gluten, whole wheat flour, pea protein, brown rice protein, chickpea flour, quinoa flour, teff flour, water, hemp seeds, sunflower oil, salt, yeast, and ascorbic acid.

I am no bread expert. I began initially baking these breads due to my move to a more vegetarian lifestyle. The aspect of growing a business out of it came afterwards and has now consumed my life out of my regular 9-5 job. Any criticism/suggestions would be extremely appreciated. 

Thank you!

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Is this bread particularly moist? Fungus love moisture. Can the bread be baked more to dry it a bit more?

Is the bread being handled with bare hands after being baked? I find my loaves develop mold a lot faster after holding it with my bare hand to slice the loaf. I always try to cover my hands (plastic bag, usually) when handling a loaf.

I have found that straight yeast doughs develop mold much faster than a naturally leavened bread. Can a natural levain be used (sourdough)? If not, can a preferment be used? I believe that would also help.

Have you tried increasing the ascorbic acid?

Can you describe the process you use to make the bread. It might help pinpoint any other areas to change.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

detail, the mold.  It could be that you're dealing with a "rope" condition.  Is the mold on the outside or are the inside of the loafs soggy and sticky, stringy like and smell of overripe melon?

c.alexis's picture
c.alexis

This is the ingredient breakdown:

  • Whole Wheat Flour - 150g
  • Vital Wheat Gluten - 250g
  • Blend of vegan proteins - 37g
  • Ground flax - 7g
  • Salt - 7g
  • Hemp Seeds - 9g
  • Sunflower oil - 6ml
  • Water - 410ml (I find that if I add any less water to the mix, the dough gets extremely dry.)
  • Instant bread yeast - 1/4tsp
  • Ascorbic Acid - 1/4tsp

Process for making a quantity of 12:

  • Mix all the dry ingredients in a plastic tub
  • Pour water and oil into the mixing bowl along with the ascorbic acid and give a quick mix
  • Pour the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl and mix on low speed for 3 minutes
  • Remove dough from bowl and place on stainless steel table (sanitized).
  • Divide into 12 equal pieces using scale and give each portion a 5-10 second knead to form to fit in bread pans
  • Flour the surface of the doughs and place in the bread pans (Pullman pans)
  • Cover and let rest for 10 minutes
  • After the 10 minutes, we will usually punch down the dough inside their pans to stretch them to the tips of the pans.
  • Let rest for 30 minutes, covered.
  • Place in oven (Convection Bake @ 375°F for 60 minutes)
  • Remove from oven, take them out of their pans, let cool 6-12 hours on a rack before slicing
  • Run the loaves through the bread slicer, package in perforated bag and then in food grade plastic bag, and seal. Through this whole process, I am handling these by directly with my bare hands.
  • Refrigerate or freeze until they are brought over to the gym where they will then be placed in a display fridge (much like a soda pop fridge with a sliding door).

I don't have any images now as an example of the mold but will re-post when I do as I have some set aside to show you. Typically what I will see is white spots forming on the crust of the breads. I do not see the stringiness inside the bread or a sweet smell unless the bread has been out for a very long time.

Well I think that about covers the entire process. If I missed anything, I'll re-add it later but this is the entire process from start to finish. I should also mention that the temperature in our little makeshift baker is not regulated.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Is the mold showing a predilection for the seeds? Are there more mold spots on the hemp seeds? It seems that hemp plants are susceptible to molds when being grown. Does that influence mold growing on the seeds after they are harvested and in a favorable environment? Perhaps run a small test batch without the hemp seeds and see if there is a difference?

https://dev.purduehemp.org/hemp-production/

Edit: How are ingredients stored? Is there a need to refrigerate ingredients?

Try moistening a small handful of hemp seeds and vegetable protein in separate containers  and let sit,covered, at room temp to see if one or the other is particularly mold producing.

Is the bread slicer in need of sanitation?

Add gloves for human handling and see if that makes a difference.

Otherwise, I don't see anything in particular about your ingredients or handling that shouts "Danger-mold imminent!"

Adding some form of preferment or lactobacillus (a natural levain) in addition to the yeast may be the next progression of development. It may help suppress mold development. It is a major change in production practice.

Keep us posted and Happy Thanksgiving!

 

c.alexis's picture
c.alexis

Sorry for the late response.

Regarding the hemp seeds, it may well be one of the culprits to the mold. I've got two more flavors (cinnamon and Greek herb). The hemp loaves seem to go bad first, followed by the Greek herb, and lastly and most infrequently by the cinnamon.

The ingredients are bought in large flour bags and are stored in plastic rolling containers and kept covered when not in use.

We recently changed the blades of the bread slicer as we got it second hand and even with the new blades, it seems to have not made a difference (I do sanitize it as well).

I made a test batch and heavily handled some loaves with my bare hands while another batch was made with gloves so we'll see how they last in the next few weeks in the refrigerator.

 

Regarding packaging the breads... I was curious to know if you had any suggestions with my process. No matter how much air I squeeze out, after slicing and packaging the breads, I always have humidity building up inside the bag which I'm sure is no help to the quality of the bread. Any suggestions to drawing out the humidity before bagging it all up?

 

Thank you so much for all your suggestions. I'll definitely keep you up to date. Happy Thanksgiving to you as well!

tgrayson's picture
tgrayson

Never store bread in the refrigerator. Either freeze it or leave it out. Also, it seems pointless to use perforated bags just to wrap them in non-perforated bags.