The New Bakers Dozen
Bread additives necessary?

The The Bakers Dozen: Bread additives necessary?
By Jeff on Saturday, January 27, 2001 - 10:24 pm: Edit

I have what I think is a very good recipe for Italian bread. I've made it often and it's always very tasty. The people who have had it always rave about it and sometimes even squabble about who is going to get to take home the leftovers. It really is the best bread I've ever tasted. What I'm wondering is this: Is there a food additive or method that will preserve the fresh, crusty quality of the bread once it's cool? It's fabulous right out of the oven but as it cools it loses it's crust and some of the wonderful flavor although it's still very good when cool. Is there any way to extend the out-of-the-oven quality or do all breads lose those qualities? (It's baked with a mixture of eggwhite and water brushed on top.)


By Panini (Panini) on Sunday, January 28, 2001 - 10:51 am: Edit

Are you using any conditioner, pz44 etc.?

By Jeff on Sunday, January 28, 2001 - 12:34 pm: Edit


No. I am only using natural ingredients: flour,butter,sugar,water,salt,dry yeast. Will conditioner or pz44 do what I mentioned?

By Baker63 on Sunday, January 28, 2001 - 02:12 pm: Edit

You may want to use your recipe, but change your method. You can take part of you flour and water and make a sponge out of it. This is fermented for 8 to 12 hours (or more) then the rest of the ingredients are added to make your final dough.

Subsitiuting a portion of your water with some milk, will help.

Also, adding a littler rye flour to the mix will aid in moisture retention and extend the shelf life.

Also, how are you baking the bread? When I make homemade Itailan bread, I bake at 450 F on a baking stone. I get to to three days out of a loaf.


By Panini (Panini) on Sunday, January 28, 2001 - 02:39 pm: Edit

pz44 is what we use for pizza and focaccia, I use cdc2500 for what your talking about. It conditions and helps with shelf life. Steam is the only thing we use for crusting although there are some after bake brush on products available. I'm not sure of the names but I know Caravan carries one.

By Jeff on Sunday, January 28, 2001 - 09:45 pm: Edit

Thanks everyone for your help. I forgot to add milk to my list of ingredients. Actually there's more milk than water. I've been using skim milk so I suppose a richer milk would probably add to the suppleness of the bread, wouldn't it?

I understand that dough enhancers and conditioners are mainly intended for whole wheat,pumpernickel and rye breads. Conditioners are said to make white breads dry. Panini, do you find this true of your pizza and foccacia doughs?

Matt, what are the proportions for making the dough sponge and does it include the yeast? I'd like to try that. By the way, I've been baking my bread at 400 degrees on a baking sheet. I do have a baking stone too; do you think that would help with the shelf-life of my bread?



By Kathleen on Friday, February 02, 2001 - 09:07 pm: Edit

Rudeness must be in fashion here, NO?

By Peachcreek (Peachcreek) on Friday, February 02, 2001 - 09:52 pm: Edit

No, rudeness isn't in fashion. In fact its' out of style! Oh yeh, bread. I find that my foccacia loses its' crust after a day. It seems to me that day old bread is never the same as fresh baked. I utilize my day old product as a secondary use. My customers would call me on it if I tried to sell it as fresh. I guess I baked myself into a corner!

By Panini (Panini) on Saturday, February 03, 2001 - 07:01 am: Edit

Please explain, if I was rude, please tell me where, and maybe I can better myself.

By Kathleen on Saturday, February 03, 2001 - 02:36 pm: Edit

Well Panini,

Jeff asked a couple of questions (last Sunday) addressed to you and Matt and it seems he was ignored. Isn't that a bit rude? I was interested in your answers too but there has been no response for days. If that's not rude what is?

I'm sure you have other things to do but both you and Matt answered quicly before so what happened?


By Panini (Panini) on Saturday, February 03, 2001 - 05:56 pm: Edit

Yes you are right. Sometimes I just pop on and bring up the last day. I don't take advantage of the e-mail thing. I'm usually sifting through 30-40 a day between orders and hits on my site.
I am selfish and only come here for relaxation. I only have imput on things that I know about, mostly business. I just spaced out those questions and that is rude. Also, most people here have my email if they really need to know
About the question: The doughs don't dry out on us because we spread our focaccia oiled and by hand. We use liberal amounts of good olive oil.
Just the way we do it.
Bye for now,

By vbean on Monday, February 05, 2001 - 05:27 am: Edit

Why are you trying to extend the shelf life of bread with the addition of crap? Fresh bread is made every day- that is one of the joys of life.
Day old product results in bread salad, croutons, crostini, bread crumbs, etc...

By Panini (Panini) on Monday, February 05, 2001 - 06:01 am: Edit

I don't think anyone in this thread has mentioned day old bread. We are discussing how the bread sits that day. Crust, texture etc.I think?
I sell so many croutons sometimes I find myself baking bread for them. Thats ok though, I get $2.29 a pound fresh bread and $2.99 a half pound for croutons. As for additives, I've come to the conclusion that this world has a lot of things and people that are full of crap. You just have to deal with it in your own way.

By Matt (Matt) on Monday, February 05, 2001 - 10:20 pm: Edit

Matt, what are the proportions for making the dough sponge and does it include the yeast? I'd like to try that. By the way, I've been baking my bread at 400 degrees on a baking sheet. I do have a baking stone too; do you think that would help with the shelf-life of my bread?

Jeff- Here is the recipe:


Bread Flour 1#
Water 1 pt
Yeast 1/2 tsp fresh


Bread Flour 1# 11 oz
Wheat Floour 5 oz
Whole Rye 2.5 oz
Water 1 cup
Whole Milk 1 cup
Salt 1 oz
Honey 2 oz
Yeast 1/2 tsp

Let the poolish at least triple and it is best if used at the drop. Then add to rest of ingredients and make a smooth stong dough. Full ferment, and knock it baco once and let it come up again. Scale and rest for 1/2 hr. Make up and proof, a little less than full. Bake at 450 with steam for baguetts and 425 with steam for larger loaves.

I hope that helps.


By Matt (Matt) on Monday, February 05, 2001 - 10:34 pm: Edit

Kathleen- I post when I have time. Not at your convenience. You're the one being rude here. We are professionals and ask for information. It is given when fellow pros have free time to respond at their discretion and convenience. Responses are always appreciated and never expected.


By Jeff on Tuesday, February 06, 2001 - 01:51 am: Edit

Well, I see quite a bit has transpired since I last posted. I appreciate your concern Kathleen but I see some others did not. At any rate I do appreciate the answers from all concerned.

Vbean I think you may have the wrong impression. I am concerned with maintaining the quality of my bread only for the day it's baked. I wouldn't dream of selling day-old bread. I have a problem with the texture and crustiness once my freshly made bread cools. The bread is crusty, light and wonderful when it's hot. Once it's cool it looses the crust and the texture becomes heavy.

I am anxious to try the options contributed here. Thanks again everyone. I'll let you know the results of my "new" bread.


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