Make Your Own Dough Enhancer

Crystal Godfrey, a food blogger with shows how to make it yourself for better homemade bread.

WHAT is a dough enhancer? A dough enhancer is a natural product used to make a better bread product. It will make your bread beautiful, light, fluffy, and delicious. Commercially, most breads use this product and you will see the biggest difference if you use a dough enhancer in your whole wheat bread because the whole wheat flour is heavy and course unlike all-purpose flour.

When you buy a dough enhancer from a store it has basically four key ingredients. Gluten, acid, starch, and sugar (of course they are called other things but that is what they are). Those four ingredients serve key roles in developing a better bread texture by developing and strengthening the bubbles that make your bread.

1. Gluten: is the natural protein found in wheat. You     can think of it as the elastic in the balloon.
2. Acid: strengthens the balloon so that it doesn’t     pop too early (if it pops too early your bread falls,     very bad.)
3. Starch: adds an extra layer to your balloon so it     won’t break or pop-think of it like the additive they     add to helium balloons to last longer. And when     you’re dealing with whole wheat the flour,     remember, is course and can pop or weaken the     gluten.
4. Sugar: this is what the yeast eats. When it eats     the sugar it creates the air that fills the balloon or     bubbles.

Now you don’t have to buy a commercial dough enhancer to get the same results. You can make your own natural dough enhancer out of things you probably have around your house. All you need is gluten, WHITE vinegar for your acid, and potato flakes or instant mashed potatoes (NOT GEMS) for the starch, and sugar which your bread recipe will already call for.

Tips for using your own everyday items as dough enhancers in WHEAT BREAD:

Gluten: use 1/2 T. – 1 T. per cup of flour (this means before you measure a cup of flour place the 1/2 T.-1 T. gluten in the bottom of your cup and then measure flour as usual)
WHITE Vinegar: use the same amount of vinegar that you are using for yeast (i.e. 1 t. yeast – 1 t. vinegar)
Potato Flakes: use 1/8 to 1/4 C. per loaf of bread you are making, experiment to see what works best in your recipe. (do not substitute in potato pearls, they don’t dissolve as easily and are artificially flavored which you will be able to taste in your bread)

EZ Wheat Bread recipe

1 1/4 cup warm water
1 Tblsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup honey or 1/3 cup sugar
2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour (or whatever combination white/wheat you like..I use 100% hard white wheat. To learn more about the different types of wheat, download my wheat handout)
1/4 cup wheat gluten
1 tsp salt
2 Tblsp nonfat non instant dry milk
1 Tblsp butter/margarine/oil
1 Tblsp vinegar
1/4 cup potato flakes (NOT potato pearls)

Mix ingredients in order listed in mixing bowl of mixer with dough hook attachment (like kitchen-aid) for 12-15 minutes. Let rise until double, 1- 1 1/2 hours. Punch down, and shape into loaf or rolls. Let rise again until double and bake 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes until golden brown and sounds hollow when lightly tapped.

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