The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Dough is too wet

karol's picture
karol

Dough is too wet

The last few bread recipes I have tried have been like a batter instead of dough, I have been using about a tablespoon of dough relaxer in them, same recipe, but I end up having to add another cup or so of flour and still batter like, what a mess, I have done this recipe before and it was okay, the bread doesn't taste so great either, more bird food. I need help here, I am doing this in my bread machine, my question is can it be the dough relaxer? I am measuring with a scale. I hope someone can help me here, thanks.

 

Karol

fancypantalons's picture
fancypantalons

Well, if you've done the recipe before, and it worked out, what are you doing different now?  Is it the same ingredients, same type and brand of flour (make sure you're really using bread or AP flour, and not cake or pastry flour), etc?  If the only difference is the dough relaxer, I think we know the culprit... :)

nbicomputers's picture
nbicomputers

dough relaxer ?  which one

some of the ones i have used are mesured in parts per million

karol's picture
karol

I got the dough enhancer from the King Arthur site.

nbicomputers's picture
nbicomputers

dough relaxer and dough enhancer are two very diferent things.

karol's picture
karol

This was the enhancer, did I get the wrong one? I am still so new at this, should I have gotten the other one?

karol's picture
karol

I am sorry, I got  it from  the pleasant hill farm site, also 2  1lb  bags of yeast.

KosherBaker's picture
KosherBaker

Karol. If I may, I'd like to ask you why on earth are you using a dough enhancer?

The second question is. If you are using a bread machine why does it matter how wet the dough is? Doesn't the machine  do the kneading anyway?

Rudy

nbicomputers's picture
nbicomputers

A standard dough enhancer is a mixture of many things depending on the manufacture  puratos is one big company that produces many types of additives (sp)

There main product is called s500 it is an enhancer used for factories or small bakeries that to use whats called a "no time dough process"

This is a way to mix the dough to alow for a short resting of about 15 minutes where the enhancer will relax and make the gluten stronger and soften the dough so it can be made up.  After the 15 minute rest the dough is shapped "quickly" paned proofed and baked.   This is what factories like wonder bread do because of the volume they must produce on a continus (sp) line.  There is no way to know what is in the one you bought because products like s500 only come in 100 pound bage and are only sold comericaly.

The place you bought it from more likely buys the big bags and then repackage it in small bags and sells it at very high prices to home bakers that (don't take this personaly) most of the time do not know how to handle dough sdd in's like s500.

 The commen chemicals in a dough enhancer are

Vital wheat GLUTEN, to increase gluten
Sweet DAIRY Whey,    for taste and yeast food
Diastatic malt,     i think most of here knows what this does
Ascorbic Acid        this breaks down the gluten and softens the dough

The result is a dough that you can shape in as little as 10 minutes after mixing some breads like wonder are called batter whipted because the finished rellaxed dough is so soft it is droped into pans be machines because the dough is so soft it could nopt be shaped any other way.  It will rise fast and bake with large spring and a very soft crumb and crust.

s500 is very strong,  only 4 oz of it is used in a white bread dough that has 25 pounds of bread flour

In french or itialian bread about 75 parts per million is used  If a part is 1 ounce then 75 ounces would be used for every million ounces of flour.  In more realistic terms that works out to about 4,5 pounds of the s500 to 625 pounds of flour.

I think that about covers it but i am sure someone will ask a question or two,

dougal's picture
dougal

Proprietary commercial/industrial "enhancers" will often contain a cocktail of enzymes, and it can be hard to discover even what has been put in there.

Using "magic bullet" additives seems to me like a bad idea for home baking, because you are surrendering the control of what you are making.

Personally, I'm reasonably relaxed about millers blending different strains of wheat from different places to obtain a desireable product.

What I dislike is the idea that a miller could add chemical technology to overcome deficiencies in wheat that he has been able to buy cheaply, so as to sell more profitably. Profiting by selling an artificially enhanced product.

And I'm no happier when its the baker adding the chemicals. In fact I think I'd probably have more confidence that a large milling company would have a greater scientific awareness of what they were doing...

 

Incidentally, I think Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) strengthens, not weakens, the dough. (And my understanding is that the likeliest way it achieves that result is by dealing with processes that would otherwise weaken the dough -- so its more an anti-weakener than a real strengthener!)

One of the intriguing games being played by the industrial additives is to make the dough weak early in the process (for easy mixing and machine shaping) but to lose that effect as time passes, so actually strengthening the dough during rise and bake - so that a 'light' loaf results.

 

 

One of the most common dough 'relaxers' sold is "deactivated" yeast. Dead yeast cells leak out stuff that makes gluten stretch further under less force. That is exactly what you want for pizza dough (and I think maybe things like croissants) but not for loaves of bread.

And "active dry" yeast is 30% deactivated/dead yeast cells - so it makes a dough that will stretch further without tearing, but at the expense of rising strength, and a more 'yeasty' taste.

nbicomputers's picture
nbicomputers

well we would have to agree to disagree on the Ascorbic Acid we would ascorbic acid(5% solution it normal table white vinager) in puff pastry to help relax the glutin to make the rolling easer and the dough puff more in the oven so the glutin would not fight the rise if the puff dough.

dougal's picture
dougal

Quote:
well we would have to agree to disagree on the Ascorbic Acid we would ascorbic acid(5% solution it normal table white vinager) ...

Ascorbic Acid = "Vitamin C"

Acetic Acid (about 5%) = "vinegar"

 

I'm rubbish at pastry. It sounds an interesting tip to add vinegar to relax puff pastry.

Roughly how much?

apprentice's picture
apprentice

Different acids are added to puff pastry to mellow the gluten and make rolling the dough easier. Lemon juice, vinegar, cream of tartar. My formula uses the latter, one-quarter oz. to 6 lb. flour. Norm will have some guidance on the amount of lemon juice or vinegar.

dougal's picture
dougal

Many thanks for that info!

nbicomputers's picture
nbicomputers

talk about OPPS!!!

sorry i only got about 3 hours sleep last night.

about 1 oz per pound of flour or 1/4 oz cream of tarter.  You can also use lemon juice at 1 oz per pound of flour for tha same results

karol's picture
karol

Thanks guys for all the info, I am new like I said and thought this stuff would make the bread stay fresher longer, I also have the vital wheat gluten, diastatic malt, regular malt, actually I did use all in the last loaf, the reason I cared was I use the dough cycle and bake in my oven, I like the softer crust. I suppose I got suckered into thinking I need all this stuff, I did get the enhancer in a 1 lb. can for $5.00. it does also say 1 tbs. in 4 cups of flour, I called the company I bought it from yesterday and asked them about the problem I am having, the lady said use only 1 tsp. if that, oops, it also says bread machines add 1 tsp. per loaf,  I really need supervision in my kitchen.

fancypantalons's picture
fancypantalons

" oops, it also says bread machines add 1 tsp. per loaf,  I really need supervision in my kitchen."

Nah.  If you had supervision, you wouldn't mess up occasionally.  And if you didn't mess up, how would you learn? ;)

nbicomputers's picture
nbicomputers

in factory production chemicals such as BHA and BHT are to maintain shelf life . also mold inbibitors are used thats why wonder bread stays fresh for a long time.

in the home try things like replacing some or all of the sugar with corn syurp which will absorb water from the air and help keep the product fresh.  Honey can be used  which works the same way but will impart some flavor to the product this can be a wanted flavor improver while corn syurp has little or no taste. and can be used ounce for ounce to replace sugar.  if you use 4 oz of suger you can replace with 4 oz of corn syurp or use halve sugar and halve syrup.

that should keep your bread freash for an extra 2 days or so.

CharlotteSue's picture
CharlotteSue

I've been experimenting with sweet dough formulas end result to look like real danish pastry but without all the layers.  Think I need a formula which incorporates Ascorbic Acid in the dough but need to know the percentage and where I can get it.