Friday, February 14, 2014

I can do it myself

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Laugh, probably.

I had a discussion with my sister a week or so ago about bread. She said she uses a commercial dough enhancer.

I'm just one of those "I can do it myself" people, and if you imagined a three year old saying that you hit the idea on the nose. I listen to people who claim to be amazing gardeners, but they use purchased seeds, chemical fertilizers, weed killer, bug killer, etc. I do NOT consider that "do it yourself" gardening.

Same thing with bread. Vital wheat gluten, dough enhancers, special flavors and odd strains of yeast...if I can't do it myself, I want to find a way. Of course I have to draw the line somewhere (I can't grow my own wheat--yet) but I try to do whatever I can. I do not want to be dependent on a commercial product that may not always be available.

So on the topic of dough enhancers. Commercial dough enhancers are made up of four elements: Gluten, acid, starch and sugar. Gluten makes the bread stand up and do tricks. Acid strengthens the gluten strands. Starch also strengthens the gluten, and the yeast eats the sugar.

Gluten is a commercial product, so I'm ignoring that. Basically if you use vinegar and a bit of potato flakes or rice flour, you have your dough enhancer. I'm baking tomorrow, so I'm going to try it.

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