The baking industry is always competitive. However, you can have the technological advantage to optimize processes and reduce costs.
This is especially important in production where schedules are inflexible and large volume quotas must be met, while maintaining high-quality standards in your bread.
Bread improvers such as Bruggeman Improver Gold and Bruggeman Improver Red save you production time and cost and allow the dough to finish perfectly to match the flavor and texture of traditional bread. More information below.
What is bread improver?
A bread improver is a precise mix of several ingredients that directly affect and optimize the performance of gluten development during mixing, proofing and baking. It is used to maintain consistency not only in your final product but also across many batches, regardless of the raw flour quality or the starter yeast you used.
Bread improvers commonly have the following ingredients:
- The oxidizing agent, such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
- Reducing agent, such as L-cysteine (an amino acid)
- Enzymes, such as amylase and lipase
- Emulsifiers, such as lecithin (found in egg yolk and soybeans)
We will explain what each ingredient does as we explain the benefits of bread improvers.
Benefit #1 – Better volume and gas retention
Your product will not only look attractive on the shelf, but consumers will also gain additional sensory satisfaction of a soft and airy texture. Gas escapes dough when gluten is underdeveloped and still too weak to create pockets of air. The oxidizing agent speeds up the development of gluten, strengthening it before too much gas is lost during the proofing process.
This is especially important for croissants (frozen, ready-to-bake) and Danish dough.
Benefit #2 – Faster leavening
A benefit of the presence of both the enzyme and oxidizing agent is faster leavening. This is due to a faster fermentation process with a higher rate of reactions by increasing the enzyme concentration. The dough can also rise at lower temperatures, reducing the cost of electricity for the proofing process.
Benefit #3 – Better workability
Consistency with leavening is due to the emulsifier. Emulsifiers help the bread improver and other raw ingredients to distribute equally throughout. This is important in the kneading process, especially industrial kneading with machines. Controlled gluten development allows the dough to be flexible yet dry. This reduces wastage and improves workability (saves energy for both workers and equipment).
Benefit #4 – Better color development
The higher concentration of hydrolyzed free sugars from the work of enzymes allows for better color development. The excess sugar not used by fermentation can react with proteins in the bread to form the flavor, texture and color during the browning reaction.
This is especially important in French bread.
Benefit #5 – Stronger structure, longer shelf life
To prolong the shelf life of bread and avoid stale products in storage, the internal structure of starch must be strengthened by controlled gluten development. Oxidizing agents cannot work alone, which is why a reducing agent is introduced to control the gluten formation reaction.
Reducing agents reversibly break down gluten, to avoid the bread from firming too much, expelling water out of the internal structure. This also avoids over proofing, which results in too much gas retention (with large gas bubbles) which weakens the bread structure, and ultimately collapses it during baking.
Pizza dough, especially frozen pizza, benefits from the stronger internal structure.
Improve your bread recipe
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