Dough Conditioner: What It Is and How It Can Be Used
If you want to open a bakery, one of the biggest challenges is maintaining consistency between your products. It can be difficult to achieve consistency between two loaves of bread due to all the ingredients, such as fats, sugars, flour and other variables. Dough conditioners are here to help! Let’s find out what dough conditioner is and how it can help you save time and effort in your daily routine.
What is Dough Conditioner?
Any baking ingredient that increases the consistency and production of dough is called a dough conditioner. Dough conditioners are used to speed up the bread-making process. Different reactions can occur depending on what ingredients are used in a dough conditioner.
A dough conditioner can include any additional ingredients to the flour, yeast, water, or other than water. Dough conditioners can be made commercially from concentrates or dry mixtures from a proprietary mix of natural chemicals, agents and ingredients. Dough conditioners are often found in bread flour, quick doughs and straight dough systems.
Dough Enhancer and Dough Conditioner
Dough conditioners, dough enhancers, and dough improvers are all different terms that refer to the same thing. These terms all refer to ingredients that aid in producing consistent results and speed up the dough process.
You’ll often see dough conditioners listed under “flour treatment agent” or “improving agent” as well. These names refer to how dough conditioners positively impact the dough’s strength and development or workability.
Dough Enhancer Benefits
For the many benefits they offer, many bakers add dough conditioners. Dough conditioners serve the following functions:
- Speeds up the proofing and rising process to save time and effort during the bread-making process
- The dough is easier to handle and more flexible to handling
- Enhances the environment and nutrients of the dough to encourage yeast growth
- Increases gas production by yeast and gas retention through the use of gluten
- Provides more consistent results
- Compensations for flour quality variations and other variables
- Increases the gluten structure for a better crumb texture.
- Increases the symmetry in the bread
- Creates artisan bread with little effort
- Increases bread volume without additional proofing
- Enhances crust development and color
- Increases bread yields from dough batches
- Bread keeps fresher for longer
- Delays the baking
What’s Dough Conditioner Made From?
The brand and the blend of dough conditioner ingredients will vary. The brand’s goals will determine the components. Natural dough conditioners can be added to your dough to make it more palatable.
What Does Dough Conditioner Do?
Dough conditioner powders can contain different agents to achieve the desired chemical reactions. These are the most commonly used food-grade ingredients found in dough enhancers.
- What it does: Reducers break down the protein network of dough and restructure gluten. This reduces the time needed to mix and proof.
- Common Types: L-cysteine, sodium bisulfite, inactive yeast, fumaric acid
- What it Does: The enzymes break down some molecules in the dough and feed the yeast to speed up the fermentation process.
- Common Types: Amylase, protease, lipoxygenase, xylanases
- The oxidants are used to strengthen the dough by disulfide bonding. This encourages gas retention.
- Common Types: Ascorbic acid, potassium bromate, azodicarbonamide, potassium iodate
- What it does: Emulsifiers help to consolidate gluten and increase its tolerance. They can create a more balanced environment within the dough, which results in a uniform dough and desirable crumb consistency.
- Common types: Monoglycerides, stearoyl lactylate and monoglycerides (DATEM),
What Dough Conditioner Do You Use?
Most dough conditioners recommend adding 0.5% to 4% to your recipe’s flour content before adding the flour. A very small amount of dough conditioner will impact a dough recipe. You should follow the instructions on the packaging of commercial dough conditioners you buy, as each blend is different.
To properly develop the gluten in whole wheat bread and high-fiber bread, it may be necessary to use a higher proportion. Dough enhancers are not considered to affect the bread’s caloric value because they are so small in quantity.
Common Types Of Dough Conditioners
You can use various common ingredients to improve bread instead of using prepared dough conditioner powders. There are many common dough conditioners. These are just a few of the options available to you and how they can improve the quality of your dough.
- Sweeteners and Sugars: Gives your dough a stronger rise and lighter overall
- Honey This acts as a natural preservative and flavor
- Eggs Serve as a natural leavening ingredient and improve overall texture
- Lectin Makes bread lighter and keeps it fresher for longer
- Promotes yeast growth to speed up the rising process. It also discourages mold and bacteria growth after the bread is baked
- Non-Diastatic Malt: Improves the bread structure to produce a more tender and soft final product
Dough Conditioner Origin
Bread-making was difficult before commercial dough conditioners were developed. It required long resting and shaping time before final proof. In liquid and paste forms, dough conditioners first appeared in the baking world in the 1950s. In the 1980s, powered forms were invented. They are essential for the baking industry and can make loaves of bread like bagels, English muffins, sweet rolls, and other products.