What is Dough Conditioner? Benefits, How-To Use, Types, & More


  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. p. 222. ISBN 0812969677. . Retrieved 2011 May 14.


How do you make homemade bread softener?

  1. mix ¼ cup bread flour with 1 cup of cold water.
  2. stir well.
  3. heat up the flour mixture with medium heat.
  4. stir constantly until it becomes sticky.
  5. remove from heat and put a plastic wrap on top.
  6. wait till it totally cool down.
  7. use half for a 1.5 loaf bread (about 10-12 regular size roll)

What is pentosan sugar?

Pentosans are polymers composed of pentoses. In contrast to cellulose, which is derived from the hexose (glucose), pentosans are derived from five-carbon sugars such as xylose. Pentosan-rich biomass is the precursor to furfural.


Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate is a biodegradable, FDA approved food additive that is used in baking as an emulsifier meant to soften and strengthen the dough. Derived from lactic acid, stearic acid and hydroxide, SSL forms stronger bonds between flour proteins and also reduces the staling of bread when kept in storage.

Active Ingredients

Dozens of combinations of dough conditioners can be formed by mixing the different ingredients commonly found in dough conditioners. The general categories of ingredients can be used alone or in combination with other ingredients as the situation requires. These ingredients are as follows:

Vital Wheat Gluten

The insoluble protein part of wheat grain is separated and dried and is then used in making bread. Wheat gluten improves the elasticity of the dough, improves volume, and enhances crumb texture of the bread.

Yeast Nutrients

Yeast nutrients are inorganic salts that provide the much-needed phosphorus and nitrogen for yeast growth. Yeast is perhaps the most important ingredient for the bread. Yeast is what gives the dough its volume and flavor. The yeast eats away at the sugar content and produces carbon dioxide gas and alcohol. The alcohol is responsible for the flavor of the bread and the carbon dioxide for its airiness. Yeast nutrients provide the perfect food and environment for the yeast to do its work.

pH Regulators

As the name suggests, pH regulators are calcium salts used to balance the acidity or alkalinity of the soft water used.

Oxidizing Agents

Oxidizing agents basically are natural ascorbic acids and other chemicals that work on the gluten in the bread to improve its strength and elasticity. Potassium bromate, dehydroascorbic acid, calcium peroxide and iodate are common oxidizing agents used in baking.

Reducing Agents

Reducing agents, such as L-Cysteine and non-leavening yeast, are chemicals that work on the gluten to increase extensibility and shorten the mix-time, which is important for large batches of commercially-made breads.

Emulsifiers Emulsifiers are classified into two types. Dough strengtheners make stronger bonds between the gluten and dough softeners help in reducing staling and crumb softening. Lecithin, monoglycerides, diglycerides, and DATEM are common emulsifiers that are used by bakers.


Added in powdered, liquid or tablet form, enzymes help to speed up the reactions in the dough or to induce the reactions that do not take place naturally.


Enzymes are used to replace dough conditioners and they hide in the label ingredients as a “clean label” ingredient. But what does your body do with these? Anytime we take enzymes and vitamins out of their original source, they become synthetic. That is why it is so important to be sure what we are eating has original nutrition not from synthetic or dead sources. Our food should be coming directly from the farm or as in our case, from mill to baker to consumer without stopping at the lab first!

What is Dough Conditioner Made Of?

Dough conditioner ingredients vary depending on th

Dough conditioner ingredients vary depending on the brand and blend. The components are determined by the results the brand is looking to provide. Many natural dough conditioners are everyday ingredients that you can add to your dough in order to see an improvement.

Chemical Dough Conditioning Solutions to Avoid

There are a few chemical-based dough conditioning solutions that are still commonly used in commercial breads and other baking even Though the consumption of them should be avoided as well as the use of them for baking. It is valuable to know what these undesirable solutions are.

These are the most common conditioners that are be

These are the most common conditioners that are being replaced by enzyme-based dough conditioning solutions and that you should never use:

Bromide (a.k.a. potassium bromate):  This conditio

Bromide (a.k.a. potassium bromate): This conditioner is meant to make your dough more elastic and was a replacement for potassium iodate. This chemical solution is dangerous to consume because it can cause thyroid complications due to its tendency to block the thyroid’s ability to produce iodine. If your thyroid gets thrown off, your hormones can go out of whack, which can lead to certain types of cancer and digestive issues, among other health risks. Although the use of bromide is controversial in baking, it remains approved by the FDA in the United States.

Azodicarbonamide:  This chemical solution is also

Azodicarbonamide: This chemical solution is also used to make bread more elastic and to bleach it and make it a more attractive white color. It was made popular for its commercial benefits. However, this chemical solution is the same solution used to make rubber in certain types of shoes and sandals. It is known to cause allergic reactions and asthma attacks and sometimes even causes the development of asthma in those who did not already have it. Most countries besides the United States have banned its use, including the United Kingdom and Australia.

DATEM (diacetyl tartaric acid ester of mono):  Thi

DATEM (diacetyl tartaric acid ester of mono): This chemical solution is used to increase the volume in your loaf and make your dough stronger by creating a strong gluten network. Many bakers also use it to partially replace gluten, which can be extremely attractive for the ever-growing gluten-free consumer market. Watch out for this chemical in gluten-free breads and other bakes because, although the FDA has approved it, it can cause heart problems if you consume too much.

How Much Dough Conditioner to Use

Most dough conditioners will recommend calculating

Most dough conditioners will recommend calculating 0.5%-4% of your recipe’s flour weight and adding that amount to the flour before the other ingredients. Very little dough conditioner is required to impact a dough recipe. It is important to follow the recommended ratio listed on the packing of the commercial dough conditioner you purchase since each blend will have their differences.

Whole wheat and high fiber bread may call for a higher ratio to properly develop their glutens. Because they are present in such minute amounts, dough enhancers do not impact the caloric content of the bread.

The History of Using Enzymes in the Baking Industry

The first recorded use of enzymes in dough conditioning products for baking was in the 1950s after World War II. Due to advances in biology and biochemical engineering, different applications for enzymes began to be explored. It had long been known that enzymes in yeast were used in the process of alcohol fermentation, but the layers that went into that process and how that process could apply to other products, such as food, had not been completely fleshed out.

By 1960 the vast majority of enzymes were being used to create household products such as detergents, textiles and even some cosmetics. Starch processing had only just begun, and the baking industry had barely scratched the surface with how far it could push into creating good bread with enzymes. At the time, all scientists and bakers really knew was that the same yeast enzymes used in alcohol fermentation could be used to break down starch into sugar and help hasten the bread rising process, creating loaves of larger volume. Bigger loaves meant more attractive food products that lasted longer.

Fast forward to the present day, and you will see that food enzymes have taken over most of the enzyme market. Biochemists have further explored the science of food enzymes as the demand for all-natural edible products has increased. Much of this demand is due to the tie-in of chemicals in food with diseases. Many chemical solutions that were used for dough conditioning in the past have been banned in certain countries due to the adverse effects they have on human health. Chemical preservatives that made baked goods last longer and look nice are being shunned as unhealthy and replaced by natural dough conditioning solutions made from enzymes and other naturally sourced ingredients.

Vital Wheat Gluten

Vital Wheat Gluten, also called Gluten or VW Gluten is found in almost all baked goods. This concentrated form of gluten is highly depended on by bakers to speed up the natural process of bread so it will rise faster, have a better texture, and be more “consistent”. 7% of bread can be made up of this concentrated gluten.


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