The Aroma Piece
The aroma piece or Aromastück (also known as Aromamalzstück) is a natural dough enhancer of German origin, somewhat similar to a tangzhong.
Typically, rye (other grains can be used) flour is mixed with 3-5% diastatic malt flour and then hot water is added to give a hydration of 200%. The temperature of the water should give a "mash" temperature of 65.5C/150F.
As an example, I used 55g rye flour, 2.75g malt flour and 110g water at about 75C. Allowing for losses, this will give a final weight of 150g, which I used in a total flour weight of 1kg.
I sealed the aroma piece in a vacuum bag and cooked it for 3 hours in a sous-vide bath. After this time the piece was heated to 85C for 30 mins to inactivate the enzymes and then cooled before adding to the dough.
Another option to maintain the 65C temperature is a wide mouth vacuum flask.
Rounding off the taste and giving a distinct taste profile through the formation of maltose
Improvement of the freshness
Pleasant browning of baked goods
Improving the baked goods aroma
Increasing freshness and thus the juiciness of the crumb
Here is the aroma piece after processing. It started off a very pale colour but is now mid brown and tastes malty sweet.