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Baking agents - discreet companions

Bake into the bread roll: Malt products, glucose, stabilizers, soy flours, emulsifiers, enzymes, L-ascorbic acid, mineral salts, various pre-treated flours and a range of food or food additives that are already effective in small quantities in baking. Klaus Lösche, author of the brochure “Rohstoffe für Backmittel bei Brötchen” for the Backmittelinstitut e.V. does not reveal the substances involved.

Backmittelinstitut e.V. is the information centre for baking agents and base materials for the produce of bread and fine bakery products. Its members are 37 companies from the bakery industry in Germany and Austria.

Thanks to a wide variety of baking agents, bread and roll doughs become more machine-friendly and a great deal of manual work can be dispensed with. They guarantee optimal and consistent results. The baking agent “mm123” from aromatic, a powdery emulsifier, promises: “MM 123 is a machine-friendly dough with good gas retention properties. The result is an even-pored and stable crumb and a good volume. It prolongs freshness because of the monoglycerides.”

The Federal Institute for Grain, Potato and Fat Research in Detmold differentiates between bread and rolls or small pastries when using baking agents. Because baking agents often shorten the time of dough ripening, they flatten the aroma of bread and shorten its shelf life. It’s different with buns: Nothing would stand in the way of using baking agents there, but one should choose those that have a greater effect on the taste and less on the volume of the finished product. Voluminous rolls are “out” at the customer.

Even if the representatives of the baking industry enthuse that the popularity of bread rolls has increased with the increasing use of baking agents and that there are almost endless product variants, figures can be deceptive: The longest snakes form in front of the bakeries on Saturdays in the morning, who (still) understand the art of baking in such a way they can do without baking aids.

Practical information in brief 
The list of ingredients on packaged bread provides indirect information: acidulant or citric acid show sped up dough flow.

Yeast dough takes time: Take half as much yeast and let it go twice as long as stated in the usual recipes.

If you have wholemeal bread in your stomach, it is better to reach for soured mixed rye bread.

Author: Brigitte Neumann

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