We're frequently asked, "Do you use all four of the dough conditioning ingredients at the same time?" and the answer is yes, we do!
Of course, any of the ingredients can be used alone, and if you only have 2 of the 4, you can just use what you have -- but they do different things (see Joshua's article for all the science behind each ingredient!). And like most things related to bread-making, you may just have to experiment a little and see what works best where you live!
I've found that measuring 4 extra ingredients for a loaf of homemade bread takes a bit of time. Okay, so maybe it's only a few extra minutes. But having to measure 12 ingredients instead of just 8 for a loaf of bread does take longer!
So, I made a big bag of my dough conditioner mix. Then, I just measured from that mix when making bread. So handy!
My current (Seattle-modified) dough conditioner mixture per loaf of bread (3 cups whole wheat flour):
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
2 teaspoons lecithin granules
sprinkle of ground ginger
pinch of citric acid
To make in bulk (for 16 loaves), I put these amounts in a large Ziplock bag:
4 cups vital wheat gluten
10 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons lecithin granules
4 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons citric acid
To use, measure one slightly-heaping 1/4 cup per loaf of bread (3 cups whole wheat flour).
I leave the measuring cup in the bag for even fewer dishes to wash! (I watch for extra measuring cups/spoons at garage sales or thrift stores, so I can leave frequently-used ones in cannisters, which saves on washing dishes!)
By the way, the dough conditioner mixture we used in Ohio (which produced absolutely perfect whole wheat bread there, but failed to do so in Washington!) was slightly different:
3 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
1/2 teaspoon lecithin granules
sprinkle of ginger
pinch of citric acid
So if you've never tried adding any of these ingredients to your bread, you may need to experiment a little to see just how much gluten and lecithin you need.
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