Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Bulk batch of dough conditioners

I make a lot of whole wheat bread, and love using natural dough conditioners in the bread, for the perfect texture and softness it produces.

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!

Dough conditioners

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!)

Dough conditioners

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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1. Softer top bread crust
2. Meal planning w/computer spreadsheets (Carmen)
3. Made-ahead baking mixes (Lynn)
4. Germs in the kitchen
5. Cheaper beef stew tip (Rachel)
6. Ants in the kitchen (Kolfinna)
7. Food processor lid tip (Lenetta)
8. Easier grinding sea salt (Gwen)
9. Kitchen wall art (Linda)
10.

Comments

Where do you get the soy lechithin granules and the citric acid? I have failed to find those, although I have looked numerous times. We live in the Seattle area.

Usually a bulk food store or health food store...

We're north of Seattle and someone told me about a health food / bulk food store in Mountlake Terrace called Manna Mills. I've been there twice since we moved and was able to get lecithin there. I haven't looked for citric acid since it lasts SO long I haven't bought any for years! (Next time I go, I'll look just to see if they carry it.)

If you can find citric acid online, it's inexpensive (unless the place charges a lot for shipping) and a little goes a long way!

The kitchen tip in today's recipe is to brush milk on top of your bread for softer crust.

http://thelocalcook.com/2010/04/27/everyday-oatmeal-bread/

I'm going to have to try your bread conditioner!

My post is a recipe for healthier meatloaf, and my tip is to combine ground beef with ground turkey for a tasty and healthier meatloaf. :)

http://www.feelslikehomeblog.com/2010/04/healthier-meatloaf/

Oh I've just started baking bread in the past few months so I'll have to look more into using dough conditioners; I've not heard of that until now!

Here's my tip for this week:

Easy Meal Planning with Computer Spreadsheets:
http://lifeblessons.blogspot.com/2010/01/helpful-homemaking-tip-meal-planning.html

Mine is on a similar thing. I have been making baking mixes ahead. Having all the dry ingredients ready to go saves quite a bit of time. I love doing stuff like that ahead.

http://www.lynnskitchenadventures.com/2010/04/homemade-baking-mixes.html

Instead of lecithin, I just throw in 1 egg for a 4 loaf batch and it works well. I'm told there is lecithin in eggs, but I have never researched it to verify the fact.

Yes, eggs do contain lecithin! (I think it's in the yolks.) Breads with eggs tend to get dry the day after though... like challah! :)

I had never heard of a dough conditioner until last night when I was looking at a few recipes. I didn't even know where to begin so I'm so glad to read this today!!

Here's my tip!
http://www.idreamofclean.net/2010/04/26/kitchen-sponges-number-1-source-of-germs-2/

Here's my tip for cheap beef stew:

http://trialanderrorhomeec.blogspot.com/2010/04/ktt-beef-stew-hack.html

Hope you don't mind that I put in your KTT banner!
Rachel

http://kolfinnaskorner.blogspot.com/search/label/kitchen%20tip%20tuesday

I have a Food Processor Tip (Lenetta)
http://nettacow.blogspot.com/2010/04/first-attempt-at-soaking-oats.html

And I made whey and soaked oats! I'm so excited! :>)

Here is my tip-o-the day!
http://www.gwens-nest.com/family-favorite-recipes/healthy-salt-can-i-get-a-sprinkle-

(Tammy...sorry I forgot to log in the first time I posted this)

http://www.gwens-nest.com/family-favorite-recipes/healthy-salt-can-i-get-a-sprinkle-

http://www.gwens-nest.com
Swing by my slightly cuckoo nest for family favorite recipes, herbal remedies, funny kid stories and more fun stuff!

My kitchen tip is for making an inexpensive picture for the kitc

http://lindaslunacy.blogspot.com/2010/04/inexpensive-wall-art.html

Linda
http://www.lindaslunacy.blogspot.com

here is my kitchen tip on whole grains http://shopannies.blogspot.com/2010/04/information-on-whole-grain.html

here is a little tip on saving gas while cooking: http://genxmoms.wordpress.com/2010/04/26/924/

Thank you,
Once Crunchy Mama!

I'm so glad you posted about this (though I'm obviously late in reading it!). I live in a high-humidity area (coastal Florida) and I had never heard about citric acid until a year or two ago (I think through your site, actually!) and in my head citric acid=anything from a citrus fruit, so I just started squirting about a tablespoon or so of lime juice in with the liquid and my bread has always come out beautifully soft and pretty. And I use your recipe, too! :) When the air gets a little drier in the winter I have to remember to use less lime juice, or it won't turn out right, but otherwise just a little lime juice has been the perfect 'conditioner' for my bread. Just a thought. :)

How do you store your dough conditioner? Does it stay well in the refrigerator?

Yes, I keep my bag of (mixed) dough conditioners in the fridge and it keeps great. I make up about what I would use in 6 months' time. I am guessing it could be frozen as well, though I haven't tried it myself. :)

Ok she says in here recipe a sprinkle of ground ginger and a pinch of citric acid. So my question is which one is bigger a pinch or a sprinkle.

Honestly, this is not my "scientific" measurements... but my ground ginger is in a shaker spice bottle so I just shake/sprinkle some in, and my citric acid is in a little jar and so I pinch a bit in my fingers and add it! So it's just me describing what I do... :)

Sorry, I'm new at this... can I leave out or replace lecithin if I don't have any?

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