Thursday, January 10, 2008

Using Dough Enhancers

One of my commenters suggested using dough enhancers and I asked about that on my Wellness Wednesday post yesterday, hoping to hear from one of you who uses them for whole wheat bread. Deborah recommended soaking the flour in yogurt or Kefir over night as this helps the wheat protein to be more digestible. This is the recommended course of action in the Nourishing Traditions book. It does make a lot of sense and I want to try it too, I just have been battling a migraine for three weeks and haven't been up to a lot of experimenting - just sticking to the tried and true.

Today, curiosity got the best of me and I had to google. I found this Bread Machine site that had a lot of good information and gave me some ideas. I have been interested in using Lecithin as I have read that it also is what helps keep cholesterol from sticking in your arteries - that is why eggs are not the evil food that some make them out to be. They are high in cholesterol but they have Lecithin too. It's like God naturally designed the perfect package to take care of things. Recently I "met" Teresa (we connected through mutual home school blogger Amy) and she recommended Bread Becker's. They have a lot of information on their site, including free recipes and others which you can purchase. Teresa has been using their bread recipes with success after hearing them teach at a homeschool conference. (I wish we had speakers like that at our conference!) Our local natural food co-op carries Lecithin granules in the refrigerated section, but it does not say what their source is. I want to avoid soy as it is bad for Thyroid and for other health reasons with soy.

Back on topic! Lecithin is supposed to keep the bread fresher, longer, working as a mild perservative. It also works with the gluten and can be used 1 Tablespoon per cup of flour.

Ascorbic Acid works as a preservative, deters mold growth and makes a good environment for the yeast. It comes in a pure crystal form or you can use Fruit Fresh or a crushed Vitamin C tablet. It's about 1/8 teaspoon per loaf of bread.

I was surprised to see that Ginger can also be used and it is good for a number of other reasons. 1/4 teaspoon per loaf will not change the flavor of your bread and will act as a yeast booster, helping it keep working. Bread will stay fresher longer and it deters mold and bacterial growth.

1 Large Egg replaces about 1/4 cup of liquid in a recipe. Eggs have Lecithin in the yolks.

Buttermilk helps yeast grow quickly and vigorously while softening the texture. I have had success using this for my whole grain biscuits and I use it in my banana bread recipe, in which I also substitute 1/2 whole wheat flour without any recognizable difference. Buttermilk helps the bread stay fresher longer and deters mold and bacterial growth. If you do not want the slight tartness buttermilk brings, you can add 1/2-1 teaspoon of baking soda.

The website also had recipes for making dough enhancers, however they all used wheat gluten. Wheat gluten by itself is highly processed and if you are going to use wheat gluten you might as well just use some white flour!

Any input? I'm thinking of trying a combo of Lecithin and Ascorbic Acid as well as possibly adding some ginger. It might be trial and error, but it's important to me to get a good bread that my family will eat. It doesn't matter how health it is if it won't pass their lips! LOL Currently J will not eat the wheat bread. So, I give her some of my light rye wasa brod. Now, everyone will eat that but A. I feel like my Grandma used to say, "can't win for losing"!

Now can someone tell me about Instant Yeast??!!


Danielle said...

I frequently use the soak method for grains found in Nourishing Traditions. I love that book! I haven't had good luch with the bread tasting anything like store-bought, though. However, I find that soaking the flour overnight makes for great pancakes, waffles and oatmeal. As long as you like the "slight sour" taste of yogurt or buttermilk its GREAT!
Sorry, I don't know much about yeast. So, I'll look forward to another post from you! :)

pat said...

Hi! I also have a Vitamix and I use it to make bread almost everyday. I have found a very easy trick to make 100% whole wheat bread just like storebought-very fluffy and tall loaf!! You'll have to adjust the amounts to your recipe:
My recipe calls for 2 cups of whole wheat (before grinding). To that I add 1 TBL wheat gluten and 2 TBL potato starch. (I hear potato flakes may be substituted for the starch but I haven't tried that yet.) Then to the liquids add 1 TBL white vinegar (actually 1 TBL vinegar per 1 TBL yeast you use). That's it!! The gluten makes the dough more elastic and the vinegar and potato starch condition the bread so the wheat bran won't pop the bubbles the yeast produces!! This works!! God Bless! Pat