October 7, 2013 - 8:44pm
Dough Enhancer vs. Dough Conditioner
I am starting to make a fresh pretzel product and am looking for something that will make the bread last longer throughout the day (prevent it from going stale!), I keep seeing dough conditioners and enhancers ... what's the difference and does anyone have any recommendations for keeping this product fresher longer?
Long fermentation helps bread products last longer. I make bread with just flour, water, sourdough starter, and salt, that lasts for several days. With a little bit of oil, sugar, or other natural enrichments, it can stay as soft and fresh after a week as it was on day one. I never use dough enhancer or dough conditioners, so I cannot say what they are good for.
I have heard that actually and am considering it with my pretzel. I have heard that people do a long fermentation after they make the dough (let it rise in a refrigerator overnight) but I have also heard of people doing this after the pretzels are shaped (let it rise in a refrigerator overnight) Does it not matter which way you go with this?
Sugar is hygroscopic and can help prevent staling - but putting enough sugar in a pretzel dough to make any difference sure would make the pretzel taste funny.
Lecithin is an anti-staling agent, takes about 1 T per cup (roughly 120g) of flour used.
Powdered dry ginger extends shelf-life, mostly by deterring mold growth - 1/4 tsp per loaf - will not affect the flavor.
Ascorbic acid also extends shelf life, again mostly by deterring mold - 1/8th tsp per loaf
I've seen suggestions for using pectin or gelatin as dough enhancers, but I think they both work (if they work at all) by softening the crumb - which wouldn't really be great for pretzels. I'm skeptical of using either in bread.
Do you have any hard fat in the formulation? 2% is a good number to start with.
I like Mini's suggestion to try tangzhong.
Lecithin is an emulsifier and not an anti-staling agent. If you must, try DATEM or one of the commercial anti-staling additives. Remember that they need to be fully incorporated into the dough - which can be easier with the products that come as pre-wetted slurries or pastes.
Yes, Lecithin is also an emulsifier, but it has an anti-staling effect as well. I have no idea why - I can't remember the details off the top of my head. My baking science books are packed or I'd look it up. It helps to keep the bread from drying out.