I agree that the basic Lehmann dough with the dough enhancer blend looks to be an improvement over the basic Lehmann dough without the blend. It's possible that some professionals might be aware of using dough enhancers but do not use them because of cost considerations. You would perhaps need to buy a lot of each ingredient in order to get the costs down to where their use might be justified in a commercial setting.
I think some of the improvements you got are readily explainable. For example, lecithin, baker's grade dry nonfat milk and vital wheat gluten are all well known to produce doughs with greater volume and resulting greater oven spring, even though the mechanisms are different in each case. What we may not quite know is the degree to which each contributes to those results. You would have to do individual tests with each of those ingredients, using the amounts, by baker's percents, recommended for those ingredients to get a better idea as to the extent of their contribution. Diastatic malt might also help produce more sugar, along with a malty flavor, and Maillard reactions and the like to add more flavor to the crust. The baker's grade dry nonfat milk should also contribute flavor to the finished crust. The lecithin and gelatin, together with the oil in the dough and maybe with increased natural sugars, most likely help retain more moisture in the dough, leading to a softer and more tender crumb. Other "natural" products that one might consider include whey, powdered ginger, and blends of milk-related products, such as the dairy blends such as offered by Dutch Valley, at http://www.dutchvalleyfoods.com/food/ItemDetail.aspx/ItemID/129fb46d-3f5f-43a0-8aef-39f33e4d8a70.
FYI, you can see how King Arthur promotes the advantages of its brand of baker's grade dry nonfat milk at its website at http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/bakers-special-dry-milk-16-oz. Note, in particular, the photos of the two loaves of bread in cross-section.
At this point, everything you used in your dough enhancer blend is a natural product with known benefits. It is always interesting to try new things to see how they work and whether they offer improvement over what you are now doing, but I don't know how far one can take this exercise. Many dough conditioners are designed for commercial applications that have little to do with pizza dough making and quality per se in a home setting, such as shortening mix times, improving the machining and molding and sheeting of doughs, or reducing staling of finished breads. Other conditioners are used to solve specific problems, such as "buckiness" of certain doughs (hence, the use of products like PZ-44), moisture retention (hence, the use of gels in par-baked crusts), extensibility problems (hence, the use of L-cysteine, glutathione and similar products), and avoidance of bromates (hence, the use of ascorbic acid and azodicarbonamide). As you know, these products are out of reach of home pizza makers because they are sold in bulk quantities at high cost. So, their use, while interesting and educational, has little practical value to most of our members.
The above said, do you have any idea as to where you want to take this project next? For example, might you try your dough enhancer blend with your preferment Lehmann dough such as you now use at market? Or might you increase the amount of blend to see where its outer limit of use is? Or add or subtract ingredients from your current dough enhancer blend?
Thanks for explaining each ingredients in the blend and what they could do. I would like to take this project a little farther and see if maybe a higher amount of the blend does give better results. I saw the blend dough did become softer than last week. I would have thought the higher amount of blend would have made the dough drier than last week, but somehow the combination of ingredients did seem to work better to make the dough softer and also make the blend pizza better. What amount of the blend would you recommend for my next experiment?
I donít want to purchase anything that is too expensive, but might try some of the leftover bakerís grade dairy whey, non-fat dried milk powder and ginger in one of my experiments with the Lehmann dough in a few weeks. I see in the link you referenced from Dutch Valley, in the dairy blend they have about the same ingredients I do have here at home. I also have buttermilk powder here at home. I wonder if the buttermilk powder would have to be bakerís grade. I might also try out the bakerís grade of baker's special dry milk (that I have here at home) alone in a higher amount than I tried before in a future experiment. I donít think right now trying anything on my preferment Lehmann dough will give me any better results, but I could be wrong. Right now I would like to just experiment on the basic Lehmann dough. I donít know how other members will benefit from these experiments, but it is still interesting to me to see what happens.
I wanted to ask you another question, if you can answer. I had emailed Caravan Ingredients http://www.caravaningredients.com/products.aspx
and received an email response yesterday and also a return call on my answering machine about the email I had sent asking about maybe getting samples of enzymes.
This is what the email said:
Good Morning Norma,
I received a call from our home office regarding your quest for Enzyme samples. My questions is what are you trying to improve on your Pizza Dough? I have several suggestions but would like to better understand what you would like to accomplish - - I can be reached at 540-604-8898 - - Thank you.
I saw in the link you have referenced before that Caravan Ingredients was one of the suppliers of the new enzymes for testing and the quote from that article from Caravan:
ďOur Pristine line of bases and functional ingredients use enzyme technology and are intended to create cleaner- label products,Ē said Troy Boutte, PhD, senior scientist, Caravan Ingredients, Lenexa, KS. Pristine Ferment 250 and Pristine Dough Side 250 are designed to be used together on the sponge and dough side of a bread formulation, respectively. They consist of an enzyme-based dough conditioner and strengthener.Ē
I know probably only a pizza operator would be able to get samples, but I would find it interesting to give one of more of these ingredients a try. Although I would be able to speak the lingo, I donít know anything about any of these new ďcleanerĒ ingredients. Do you know if I would talk to the person that emailed me and called me what I would tell them about what kind of problems I am having with pizza dough to be able to get a sample or samples to try? If I can get any sample or samples, it would be just to find out what happens with them in pizza dough. Maybe you think this would be taking this exercise too far, since the ingredients wouldnít be the natural ones I am using so far. If that is what you think, I wonít contact Caravan.
I just had my blood taken for my annual check-up today. If the numbers arenít good from the blood tests, I might not be doing all these tests or experiments. I do eat too much pizza and experiment too much with pizzas sometimes. I guess that is what happens when someone likes pizza so much and also likes to experiment.
Thanks for helping me in this project!