Dough conditioner

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A dough conditioner is any ingredient or chemical added to bread dough to strengthen its texture or otherwise improve it in some way.

Examples of dough conditioners include ascorbic acid, monoglycerides and diglycerides, ammonium chloride, enzymes, DATEM, and calcium salts such as calcium iodate.

Less processed dough conditioners include sprouted- or malted-grain flours, soy, milk, wheat germ, potatoes, gluten, yeast, and extra kneading. Malted, diastatic flours are not typically added by manufacturers to whole wheat flours. Robertson et al. point out that some of the better information is found in baking books published prior to the early 20th century, back during the times when bakers may not yet have acquired a kneading machine.[1]

Lecithin added at a rate of 0.25-to-0.6% of the flour weight acts as a dough conditioner.[2] Based on total weight, egg yolk contains about 9% lecithin.[3] Monoglycerides and diglycerides replace eggs in baked goods.[4] Lecithin, monoglycerides, diglycerides, and DATEM are considered emulsifiers. They disperse fat more evenly throughout the dough, helping it to trap more of the CO2 produced by yeast.[5] Emulsifiers tend to produce a fine grain, larger baked volume, and improved slicing.[6]


  1. ^ Laurel Robertson; Carol Flinders & Bronwen Godfrey (2003). The Laurel's kitchen bread book: a guide to whole-grain breadmaking (Random House trade paperback ed.). New York: Random House. ISBN 0-8129-6967-7. Retrieved May 14, 2011.  See also article: Laurel's Kitchen.
  2. ^ O'Brien, Richard (2008). Fats and Oils Formulating and Processing for Applications, Third Edition: Formulating and Processing for Applications, Second Edition. Boca Raton: CRC. p. 319. ISBN 1-4200-6166-6. Retrieved 2013-03-20. Protein complexing: The ability to complex with the protein in flour (gluten) provides the basis for a good dough conditioner. Lecithin can function as a natural bread-dough conditioner at addition levels generally between 0.25 and 0.6% based on the weight of the flour. 
  3. ^ Chris Clarke (2004). The science of ice cream. Cambridge, Eng: Royal Society of Chemistry. p. 49. ISBN 0-85404-629-1. Retrieved 2013-03-20. Egg yolk has the approximate composition (by weight) of 50% water, 16% protein, 9% lecithin, 23% other fat, 0.3% carbohydrate and 1.7% minerals. 
  4. ^ "Hostess Bankruptcy And Science Prove Twinkies Are Not Immortal.. (n.d.)". The Free Library. 2014. Retrieved Sep 28, 2014. The cake also has emulsifying chemicals called monoglycerides and diglycerides, which replace most of the eggs that would normally be used in a baked good. 
  5. ^ Brown, Amy L. (2008). Understanding food: principles and preparation. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth. p. 352. ISBN 0-495-10745-X. Retrieved 2013-03-20. 
  6. ^ Sun, Da-Wen (2011). Handbook of Frozen Food Processing and Packaging, Second Edition (Contemporary Food Engineering). Boca Raton: CRC Press. p. 518. ISBN 1-4398-3604-3. Retrieved 2013-03-20. 

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