The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Saftem Oil... ?!

Slow riser's picture
Slow riser

Saftem Oil... ?!

Any bakers out there come across Saftem oil before? Am told it's used to "improve crumb quality and slow staling" but naturally as a sourdough and all things natural enthusiast I'm not keen on putting this in my recipe. Looks like it's a Canola oil base with emulsifiers added.

 

Anyone out there have any knowledge/experience of working with this. My gut says we should just leave it out all together, simple as that. But concerned that might not sit well if it effects the perceived freshness of the bagels...

 

Thanks all

David R's picture
David R

Sit well with who?

Have you had staling problems and poor crumb in the past without it?

Slow riser's picture
Slow riser

Sit well with customers (that get stale bagels) and the business that may lose out commercially. The challenge is that they are being sold via a wholesale channel in a small supermarket and they require a shelf life of up to a week (would usually be pulled from the shelves after 2-3 days though). That seems to be why the staling prevention is being used. Just wondering if there are any more natural alternatives that anyone has come across that could avoid the use of emulsifiers, but might be wishful thinking...

Truth Serum's picture
Truth Serum

I add ascorbic acid and lecithin to my bread and I notice the loaves dont spoil as fast. But I am only a home cook.

David R's picture
David R

What is UNnatural about the product you mentioned? Oil is oil, unless there's some issue with the extraction process. They may already be using emulsifiers that are natural. Worth investigating, at least.

Lecithin (which truth serum just mentioned) is a natural emulsifier...

Ascorbic acid (vitamin C, in other words) has a different but perhaps useful function.

 

Emulsification equals making things stay mixed that normally won't stay mixed, the classic example being oil and water. You can say emulsifiers are inherently an unnatural concept if you like, but in that case, the counter-argument is "So is making bagels". ☺️ (and certainly soda-water or lye-water are egregiously unnatural by such standards as well.)

Slow riser's picture
Slow riser

The UNnatural aspects I was hoping to avoid were the addition of two emulsifiers that are included in Saftem oil. I should've started by explaining that Saftem oil is basically a Canola Oil base with Emulsifiers 322 (a lecithin) and 472e added. 

My ambition is to try and keep the ingredients listed as simple, unrefined and natural for customers as possible (more on that here).

This particular bagel recipe I'm working on is a sourdough bagel, so with that I've already managed to remove bread improvers and commercial yeast and sugar from the ingredients used in the standard recipe that's used here, which I think is a good start. But the more I can take out without reducing quality in terms of freshness and shelf-life the better.

Touche' to your point on the unnatural concept of "making bagels". I guess I'm coming at it from an angle where we have some work to do as bakers to strive towards correcting some of the changes that were made to bread making decades back that were focused more on the economics of bread rather than nutritional value.

Some of those you could say have laid the foundation for a "gluten-free" movement, when in fact gluten's not all that bad at all, esp in context to the 20+ other ingredients that can often be found listed on the bread we find in most supermarkets these days ;)

But back on the bagel front, today I'm trying a recipe trail where I'm putting Saftem oil head to head against olive oil... I'll be sure to update with how the test comes out!

David R's picture
David R

I suggest being brave, and only testing them after they're six days old. 🙂 (When they're fresh, they'll be fine regardless.)

And - quite important IMO - have someone else serve you the bagels, someone who will keep the secret from you of which is which, and who might just give you both of your servings from the same batch, to keep you on your toes. 🙂