Dough Strengtheners

Enriching Ingredients:


Cane or beet sugar (sucrose) are basically the same. They are both compound sugars and must be changed to simple sugars by the yeast enzyme invertase before the yeast can convert them to carbon dioxide gas and alcohol by the yeast enzyme zymase.

Dextrose also known as corn sugar is produced by converting corn starch into sugar. It is interchangeable with cane and beet sugar in bread production. However, its sweetening value is only about 72 as compared to a sweetness value of 100 for cane or beet sugar.

Fructose or levulose, found in fruits, molasses, and honey is a left handed sugar which means it reflects polarized light to the left whereas dextrose reflects polarized light to the right. High fructose has in recent years been produced from corn starch by a special process which was unknown just a few years ago. It has a sweetening value considerably higher than any other type of sugar ( about 172 ).

Lactose sugar is sugar found in milk, and is not fermentable by bakers yeast. At the end of the baking process it remains as lactose sugar in the baked bread. Its sweetening value is very low compared to the other sugars.

Functions of sugar.

Sugar is not considered an essential ingredient in bread baking. This is because flour contains a small amount of natural sugars and some starch is converted to sugar during the fermentation process. It does have many important functions. Some of the added sugar is converted to carbon dioxide and alcohol by the yeast enzymes. It provides necessary sweetness, helps to produce a golden brown color of the crust, improves the texture of the crumb, helps to retain moisture in the crumb and adds to the nutritional value of the bread. High percentage of sugar as used in sweet doughs and Danish pastry doughs retard yeast activity. That is the reason why when increasing the percentage of sugar in doughs, the percentage of yeast must be increased by the same proportion.


Several years ago non fat dry milk was the type of milk generally used in bread baking, but today it has become too expensive to use by most commercial bread bakeries. In its place they use milk substitutes such as milk whey in combination with other ingredients such as soy flour.

Functions of milk.

It has a stabilizing effect on fermentation, preventing wild fermentation. It improves crust color because of the lactose sugar it contains. The lactose sugar is not fermentable by baker's yeast. It also improves texture, crumb color, flavor and taste, and keeping quality of the baked loaf. If non fat dry milk is used in bread it must be heated to a high enough temperature during the drying process to destroy bacteria which weakens the gluten in the dough. Milk dried by the vacuum drying process must be properly heat treated prior to being dried otherwise considerable difficulty can be expected during mixing and fermentation of the dough.


Available from many sources. Most any type of shortening can be used in bread production with satisfactory results.

Functions of shortening.

Shortening acts as a lubricant in the dough, making the dough more pliable, prevents stickiness, and reduces the amount of dusting flour necessary during the make-up process. When shortening is used, the dough expands more easily and smoothly. In the baked product it makes the crust more tender, improves the keeping quality and produces a crumb that is soft and chewy. Because of the cutting effect on the bran in whole wheat flour, it is almost impossible to produce a loaf of whole wheat bread with acceptable volume without using shortening in the formula.

Optional ingredients

To produce a variety of quality breads, optional ingredients are required. They result in uniformity of products and efficiency of operations, assist in increasing the tolerances of doughs due to production variables, and help to satisfy the demand for variety in the flavor and taste of breads. Mold inhibitors prevent bread from becoming molded.

Mineral yeast food was developed to stabilize water by adding mineral salts, which are essential in dough fermentation and conditioning. Mineral salts condition soft water, and acid salts neutralize the alkalinity of alkaline water which is harmful to yeast and gluten. Doughs made with mineral yeast foods are not sticky and are very soft. They go through machines with less trouble and will mold up free of air pockets. Following are some of the improved loaf characteristics resulting from the use of mineral yeast foods: Greater loaf volume and oven-spring, improved texture and crumb color, better crust color, and greater uniformity.

Dough Strengthening Enzymes. Wheat Flour contain between 2 and 3 percent Pentosans which are the residual cell wall material that is left as a result of milling wheat into flour. When an enzyme named Xylanases is added to the dough, it breaks down the Pentosans resulting in strengthening doughs and improving the baked product. Xylanase enzymes also strengthen multi-grain doughs and doughs for rolls and buns. This a very powerful enzyme therefore only 100 to 200 parts per million can be used to achieve the desired results.

Malt cereal syrup is available with low diastatic activity, high diastatic activity, and non diastatic activity depending upon the amount of diastase enzymes they contain. Low diastatic malt is produced for use with flour which has a fair amount of diastatic enzymes. High diastatic malt is used with flours which have a relatively small amount of diastatic enzymes. Non diastatic malt would be used with flours having a relatively high amount of diastatic enzymes. The amount of enzymes contained in malt is controlled by the manufacturer by heating the malt to various temperatures during production. Malt syrups are concentrated products made by evaporating the water extract of malted barley and other cereal grains. In addition to containing diastatic enzymes, diastatic malt also contain enzymes which assist in adjusting proteolytic action of the dough to compensate for flours of different proteolytic content. High diastatic malts will also be high in proteolytic activity and vice versa. As mentioned in previous paragraphs, diastase enzymes convert some of the starch to dextrins and maltose sugar while protease enzymes condition the gluten in dough. In addition to enzyme functions, malted cereal syrup contain a high percentage of fermentable maltose sugar as well as soluble proteins and natural salts which serve as valuable yeast nutrients.

Rye flavoring is a concentrated flavoring ingredient in powdered form. It gives rye bread an acetic taste as well as a spiced flavor. A preliminary sour dough is not required to enhance the flavor and aroma of rye bread.

Poppy seeds are used as a topping for French breads and rolls. They produce a nutty flavor in the baked product. Just before the loaves or rolls are loaded in the oven, they are washed with a cooked cornstarch wash which is thin enough to brush on or spray on. Egg wash can also be used. The seeds are then sprinkled on. The wash keeps the seeds from falling off the loaf or rolls.

Sesame seeds are small oval-shaped seeds of the sesamum family. The seeds are pearly white in color and produce a rich, toasted nut flavor. They are like poppy seeds, sprinkled on washed French breads and rolls.

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