Dough Enhancers For Bread Baking

Dough enhancers are a fun, natural and easy way to change the texture and flavor of your homemade bread.  Sugar, honey, oil, and eggs all serve the purpose of enhancing the main ingredients in the dough.  It’s helpful to know what can be used as an enhancer and how it works before experimenting. 

A few of my favorite:

Ginger – works to kick start the yeast, as well as serving as a mild preservative.  Produces fluffier, lighter bread.  In addition, ginger has many great qualities, such as helping with digestive problems.

Lemon Juice or Ascorbic Acid powder - Works as a preservative, extending the life of the loaf, as well as reducing oxidation which benefits the yeast.

Gluten – a protein found in wheat, helps to create lighter bread.  It’s what makes the elasticity in the dough. Most high quality bread flours will contain higher gluten levels, but it still doesn’t hurt to add a little more.

Egg yolk or Lecithin – works to retain moisture in the bread, as well as produces softer bread.  I would suggest reading up on Lecithin, as I’ve read differing information on the health benefits/dangers of Lecithin. 

Dry milk – works to retain moisture, as well as serving as a dough relaxer.

Once a favorite recipe is found, simply combine the ingredients into a container for later use.  Usually a couple of teaspoons do the trick, depending on what's been combined. 


Additional links:

Dough enhancers and how to use them

Bread dough enhancer recipe

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Keith Hammersmith (Backyard banana trees)

February 1st, 2012 at 10:08pm

Hey Leah, I don't think the subject of bread gets enough attention on this site!! Thanks for the blog. My baking education often is lacking in the function of ingrediants. I probably would adhere to recipies more often if I knew the reason why I needed to add more or less of any one ingrediant.

Lately we have been baking no knead bread at the Hammersmith houshold. Two loaves ago I added part of my wild-apple-yeast with my bakers yeast and the loaf was a wonderful success! I havn't experimented with adding gluten, but I wonder if I was to add it, if homemade noodles and pizza crust would benefit?!

Chamomile Fields (Chamomile Fields)

February 2nd, 2012 at 10:57am

Great post!

Sherry Bailey (SherryBinTally)

February 2nd, 2012 at 2:39pm

Thanks Lee! This is a great reference. Glad we have the search feature now so when I'm wondering about enhancers, I can quickly find it.

Catherine Lyon (Catherine Lyon)

February 2nd, 2012 at 9:38pm

Using chopped garlic as well as granulated garlic is wonderful in breadsticks, so are caraway seeds, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and even flax seeds.

I also like to use jalepeno juice as a liquid in my bread to give it a kick without the heat or the pepper in the bread.

My FAVORITE breakfast toast is Irish soda bread with caraway seeds and orange juice in the bread. Love to eat it toasted with fresh (real) butter!!

Leah LeahBees (LeahBees)

February 7th, 2012 at 9:22pm

The orange juice for Irish soda bread sounds tasty. When we visited Ireland we had fantastic homemade Irish soda bread at a bed and breakfast. Our host was kind enough to give me the family recipe. I'll have to see if orange juice is in the recipe and if not experiment. I've never made it and had forgotten that it was tucked away. Add a little Amish butter and homemade jam and I think we will be set!

Erin greatestexp (greatestexp)

March 2nd, 2012 at 11:35am

I hope folks will share their recipes using enhancers!