I make a roughly 50/50 whole wheat/white sourdough loaf a couple times a week. I used to do 100% whole wheat, but the bread was denser than I liked and after about a year, I switched to 50/50 and I'm much happier with the product. I recently bought some Scratch brand "Premium Dough Conditioner" because what's life without a little heresy? I've used it on the past 3 loaves. My goal is to see how it affects the resulting bread and then start easing off on the white flour and see if I can get closer to complete whole wheat and still get a texture I'm happy with.
I don't really measure anything (except the dough conditioner which I'm doing a tablespoon to roughly 3-4 cups of flour). I just kind of do things by feel and appearance. I'm wondering if it's me or if it's the dough conditioner, but the feel of the dough is noticeably different. I'm just curious if anyone else uses dough conditioner and can confirm that it changes the feel of the dough?
I do about a 1 hour autolyse and when I fold in the starter, the dough just feels way looser and easier to stretch and fold. I was worried I'd over hydrated the dough the first time, but it's been like that every time.
I have to say I'm really happy with the way it's changed the 50/50. My next loaf I'm gonna do about 75/25 and we'll see how happy I am with it.
I have not used a dough conditioner but I have been interested in trying some (I've also been known to be a heretic!).
What are the ingredients in the dough conditioner? There are several different products out there but I'm interested in those ingredients that can reduce staling of the finished bread. Others that I have seen are additives that affect dough behavior.
This one contains calcium sulfate, L-cysteine hydrochloride and ascorbic acid (the conditioner side) as well as some tricalcium phosphate, dextrose and some sort of enzymes which aren't explicitly listed.
Those ingredients are typical in dough conditioners. I'm curious about enhancers that affect the crumb of the finished product like King Arthur's Bread and Cake Enhancer.
2 years ago, there was a community a community bake focused on the WSU Bread Lab’s Approachable Loaf. There was a great deal of TFL participation and more than a few good learnings. As I recall I got a pretty decent crumb out of a 100% whole wheat, sourdough only dough. You might want to review the bake notes.
Best of luck,
Thanks, Phil. I'll look that over. I've spent a few years tweaking. Watched a lot of videos with different techniques and ingredients. But there's always more to learn.
Not to be confused with performance enhancers or other banned substances. A better life through chemistry was the promise. I don’t like adding things to bread that I can’t pronounce but I am not anti heretical either. L-cysteine is derived from human hair and used to relax the dough. Ascorbic acid has the opposite effect and the other stuff in there must just feed the beast. So as long as you are aware of what’s in it and it makes your bread better what’s the harm?
Retired chemist here.
I understand the sentiment in your comment about not adding unpronounceable things to bread, but just because something is unpronounceable doesn't automatically make it bad. We can't survive without dexoyribonucleic acid (DNA), phenylalanine or isoleucine (essential amino acids), or phytomenadione (vitamin K1).
😀 l'll end on a sweeter note with some O-α-D-glucopyranosyl-(1→2)-β-D-fructofuranoside. 😀
Not an actual chemist, but I've got some graduate organic chem under my belt. I completely agree. I don't care what it's called. I just care if it's going to be good for me or not. To that end, I'm pretty comfortable with the ingredients in this conditioner.
I am guessing the last line of alphabet soup is somehow related to sugar. My previous comment was made half in jest and not to start a war of words with someone who is better equipped. I wasn’t trying to disparage the use of dough conditioners and I realize that the much of the flour we buy already has most of that stuff already in it. If it makes your bread better then go for it but if it is just a shortcut to a reasonable facsimile then yes, heresy it is.
Bread baking to me is both a science and a craft. How you balance that is half the fun.
User Benito has made a lot of 100% WW loaves. In 2022 most have been enriched (Hokkaido milk bread), but in 2021 many were not-enriched. Some had vital wheat gluten added, and some did not.
Here is his index of bakes: https://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/68798/benito%E2%80%99s-index-bakes
He gives a very detailed account of his exact procedures, so his bakes should be replicable.
The two things that I remember most from reading his 100% WW bakes are:
-- a long pre-soak of just flour, and usually salt too,
-- developing most of the gluten via a KitchenAid mixer at the beginning of bulk ferment -- that is... no "no-knead."
I'll check that out. I usually do a 1 hour autolyze with salt. I fell like my bread has pretty good structure. I use King Arthur which has high protein and I get a good window pane, even with 100% WW.
I don't own Kitchen Aid, but I suspect my mother is going to buy us one this Christmas. My daughter wants one (she does more traditional style sweets baking, which I don't do. Bread is pretty much all I bake.) and my mother has mentioned it a few times. My daughter has been saving up for it, but my mother will probably beat her to the punch and then it will be OUR mixer. lol.