The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Dough Relaxer or Dough Improver??

Calisiacia's picture

Dough Relaxer or Dough Improver??

What is the difference between Dough relaxer and dough improver?


I want to put it into my hand made white bread to give it a soft fluffy texture, but not sure which one to use, or would any of them work? 


any advice appreciated thanks!! :) 

nbicomputers's picture

a dough relaxer is user to make the dough strach more with out snaping back or shrinking in the oven.   Relaxers are acid cased such as taple viniger or lemon juice will work as wellas cream or tarter.

a dough improver will give more volume in the final product make a softer crum with better keeping quility and retaed stailing.  most comerical bread producers ( wonder)

use them to increase volume with out increasing wieght   (a 14 oz loaf will have the same size and volume as a 1 lb loaf)  these are gums and other chemicals to prevent staling poly sorbents.

if you realy want to play with these remember these are added in parts per milion in comerical size mixes

look here

and here

Xanthan Gum


Wheat flour can be made from whole wheat, or the germ and bran can be separated from the endosperm, which is then ground into flour. Without the fibrous bran, and the oily germ, the resulting flour has fewer nutrients, but will keep longer, and make a lighter textured, higher rising bread.

If the flour is allowed to age for about a month, its natural yellowish color will fade to white due to the effects of oxygen. This aging period can allow insects to spoil the flour, and is often eliminated by adding bleaching agents such as benzoyl peroxide.

Malted barley flour is often added to bread because it gives the yeast more nutrients (primarily sugars), and gives the bread a different taste. Malting a grain is the process of letting the grain soak in water until it starts to sprout. The young sprouting barley plant converts some of the starch in the barley endosperm into sugars. The barley is then cooked or ground into flour, which stops the sprout from eating the sugars, leaving them available to the yeast. Sometimes sugar, or high fructose corn syrup are added as yeast nutrients, or to make the crust of the bread brown more easily.

Flour made from soybeans is sometimes found in breads to give them added protein, and to change the texture of the bread. Soy flour absorbs water to make a gel, making the bread denser.

Some of the nutrients lost when the wheat germ and bran are discarded are returned to the flour by adding small amounts of vitamins and minerals. Commonly, the vitamins niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, and folic acid are added, along with the minerals iron and calcium.

Vegetable oils are added to breads to shorten the strands of gluten, to make the bread more cake-like. Adding fats or oils also keeps the bread from getting stale, allowing it to be kept longer than a day before being eaten.

How bread gets stale

Stale bread tastes and feels dry, even though the moisture content is actually the same as in fresh bread.

What happens in bread to make it stale is the recrystallization of the starch. Fats and oils added to bread form a complex with the starch in its gelled form, and this slows down the recrystallization, keeping the starch in the flexible gel form.

Fats and oils, however, interfere with the gluten, making the gluten strands shorter, preventing the loaf from getting volume. Emulsifiers are commonly used instead of fats to control staling. Emulsifiers have a fatty acid at one end that can combine with the starch, and a water-loving end that helps to keep it dispersed in the dough. Emulsifiers aid in distributing fats and oils throughout the dough, so less fat or oil is needed.

Some emulsifiers commonly used in baked goods are:

Another way to control staling is to add humectant (water attracting) agents to the dough. To recrystallize, starch needs water.

By attracting water away from the starch, humectants keep it from recrystallizing, and at the same time add more moisture to the product. A moist bread tastes and feels better, and it weighs more without adding expensive ingredients. Thus a one pound loaf of bread that has a higher water content is less expensive than a drier one pound loaf.

Salt and sugar are good humectants. Sugars that are less sweet, such as dextrose (glucose) can be used for their humectant properties if sweetness is not desired.

Dough conditioners

To give the baker more control over the baking process, some additives are used to change the dough in certain ways. Some of these dough conditioners are:

  • sodium stearoyl lactylate
  • calcium dioxide
  • calcium iodate
  • potassium iodate
  • ammonium sulfate
    Yeast nutrient.
  • potassium persulfate
    Strong oxidizer. Used as a strengthening agent.
  • ammonium persulfate
    Strong oxidizer. Used as a strengthening agent.
  • calcium sulfate
  • ascorbic acid
  • amylase
  • azodicarbonamide,