Author Topic: Ascorbic Acid  (Read 3238 times)

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Offline AR

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Ascorbic Acid
« on: July 23, 2008, 04:01:17 PM »
I got stone ground Whole Meal Flour with 12% protein content and 11.5% moisture content.  Do I need to add any conditioners like Ascorbic Acid or additives to this to make pizza dough?   


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Ascorbic Acid
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2008, 04:50:20 PM »
AR,

I know that member Villa Roma uses some ascorbic acid in his whole wheat dough formulations and sometimes recommends it for such formulations but I don't know if it is absolutely necessary. Ascorbic acid is sometimes used in flours as an alternative to potassium bromate used in flour to strengthen the gluten structure. It is also often used in frozen doughs (usually with many other additives). Some instant dry yeast products also often include ascorbic acid. The use there is to provide an acidic environment for the yeast and produce a better rise. I would say that adding a pinch or two of ascorbic acid to your whole wheat flour won't hurt anything and may actually help.

Peter

Offline scott r

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Re: Ascorbic Acid
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2008, 10:13:23 PM »
While it certainly doesn't do what bromate does, a tiny amount of ascorbic acid does tend to help the yeast out and can lead to a lighter texture in dough.  Certainly any whole grain flour can benefit, but the effect is very slight.  You may find that it is already in the yeast that you are using, and the quantity required is so small that you might already be seeing the benefits without realizing it.

Offline AR

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Re: Ascorbic Acid
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2008, 10:33:40 PM »
Thank for Peter and Scott for this valuable information about ascorbic acid.  I will look for an yeast which already has it, to save the hassle of adding it seperately.  Peter you have mentioned that other additives are added, what else do I need to add to the whole wheat flour to make it a better pizza dough.

Offline charbo

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Re: Ascorbic Acid
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2008, 11:19:47 PM »
AR,

12% protein is quite low compared to the whole wheat flours I've seen (not counting pastry flour).  If it's really 12%, I'd add some vital wheat gluten.  Of course some acidity would be advisable, such as sourdough, preferment, buttermilk, etc.

cb

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Ascorbic Acid
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2008, 09:06:10 AM »
Thank for Peter and Scott for this valuable information about ascorbic acid.  I will look for an yeast which already has it, to save the hassle of adding it separately.  Peter you have mentioned that other additives are added, what else do I need to add to the whole wheat flour to make it a better pizza dough.

AR,

In the U.S., virtually all of the instant dry yeast (IDY) products have ascorbic acid added. If you want to add more to the flour, you can grind up a plain Vitamin C tablet and use a pinch or two. The other additives I mentioned are not available for the most part at the retail level, and they are used mainly for frozen dough products. However, one of them is vital wheat gluten--which member charbo has already mentioned in the context of a fresh dough. If you are using active dry yeast (ADY), that form of yeast is only rarely supplemented by ascorbic acid. So, you will have to add the ascorbic acid separately if you want to use it.

Peter

Offline AR

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Re: Ascorbic Acid
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2008, 08:11:20 AM »
Thank you very much for the information, it is really helpful.

Offline PapaJon

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Re: Ascorbic Acid
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2011, 04:41:35 PM »
It's alive!   >:D

Sorry for digging up an old posts, but couldn't see the use in creating a new one to further discuss pretty much the same topic.

I have recently come into the possession of a couple different high gluten flours from General Mills:
  • Supreme 58353 (13.6% Protein, 14.0% Moist, 0.54% Ash, Non-bromated, Bleached, Ascorbic Acid, Enriched, Malted)
  • All Trumps 50143 (14.2% Protein, 14.0% Moist, 0.54% Ash, Non-bromated, Enriched, Malted)
  • King Kaiser 54472 (14.2% Protein, 14.0% Moist, 0.54% Ash, Non-bromated, Bleached, Ascorbic Acid, Enriched, Malted)

The key differences are:
  • Protein
Quote from: Pizza Making Glossary
PROTEIN: The dominant proteins found in wheat flour are glutenin and gliadin which, when combined, form gluten. See GLUTEN.
GLUTEN: An elastic, rubbery substance that results when certain proteins in flour, namely glutenin and gliadin, are combined with a liquid (usually water) and mixed together. Prior to this combination the gluten does not exist. When the gluten in dough is properly kneaded, a strong and highly developed gluten network forms that has a honeycomb-like structure which traps gases (i.e., carbon dioxide) produced during fermentation. As the gases are produced in quantity, the gluten structure expands, causing the dough to rise.
  • Bleaching
Quote from: Random Googleing, source uncertain
Flour that is bleached naturally as it ages is labeled "unbleached," while chemically treated flour is labeled "bleached." Bleached flour has less protein than unbleached. Bleached is best for pie crusts, cookies, quick breads, pancakes and waffles. Use unbleached flour for yeast breads, Danish pastry, puff pastry, strudel, Yorkshire pudding, éclairs, cream puffs and popovers.
  • Ascorbic Acid
Quote from: Pizza Making Glossary
ASCORBIC ACID: An organic acid more commonly known as Vitamin C and commonly used as an additive for flour and also for instant dry yeast (IDY), and sometimes with active dry yeast (ADY). When added to flour, it acts as an oxidizing agent (by virtue of acting with atmospheric oxygen), which makes it easier to form the gluten network (by preventing the gluten bonds from breaking down) during kneading of the dough. When used with yeast, it acts as a nutrient and provides an acidic environment for the yeast so that it acts faster and longer.

The protein difference I believe is understood, and which I do not have any immediate questions.

The bleaching I believe is basically a cosmetic issue, and may reduce the amount of proteins in the flour, but then the final protein count is generally listed by the supplier anyways and in the above example the bleached KK vs unbleached AT are the same protein count.  So unless I'm grossly missing something here, I have no questions.  (As an aside, I wonder when California is going to ban bleached flour like it has bormated flour, silly link)

The Ascorbic Acid is what I am least sure about.  I know it may promote yeast health by creating a more acidic environment, but if one uses SAF Instant Yeast (like I do at the moment) which also contains Ascorbic Acid, I'm guessing no additional benefit is had.  Meaning I'm already seeing any benefit that Ascorbic Acid is doing, and the fact that it's in the flour as will means nothing.  I am curious though whether there are any other factors like taste, browning, etc that anyone knows about that might weigh into a decisions on which flour to go with.  
Jon

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Ascorbic Acid
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2011, 07:56:08 PM »
Jon,

When ascorbic acid is added to flour often it is because ascorbic acid is treated as a substitute for potassium bromate. Many of the big pizza chains that operate nationally, like Papa John's (see Reply 4 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.msg58199.html#msg58199), Domino's (see http://www.dominos.com/shared/base/pdf/dominos_nutrition_v2.30.00.pdf, page 6), and Pizza Hut (http://www.pizzahut.com/Files/PDF/PIZZA%20HUT%20INGREDIENT%20STATEMENTS%20September%202008.pdf), use ascorbic acid in their pizza doughs. None uses bromated flours. I think it is generally agreed that ascorbic acid is not a particularly good substitute for potassium bromate.

Of the three flours you mentioned, the component that is most likely to affect flavor and color is the protein, with the flours with the highest protein content producing more crust color and taste than the flours with lower protein content. The amount of malt (diastatic barley malt) added to the flour will also affect final crust color and taste due to the increased production of sugars, including simple sugars that participate with amino acids in the Maillard reactions, and possibly through some caramelization. To the extent that protein is denatured during baking, there will be added flavor also.

If you have specific questions about your flours, you might send an email to Tim Huff (Tim the Baker) via the GM website at http://www.gmiflour.com/gmflour/asktim.aspx. He is a really helpful guy.

Peter

EDIT (4/20/13): For the Wayback Machine link to the above Pizza Hut pdf document, see http://web.archive.org/web/20100602083641/http://www.pizzahut.com/Files/PDF/PIZZA%20HUT%20INGREDIENT%20STATEMENTS%20September%202008.pdf

EDIT (4/20/14): For a Wayback Machine substitute link for the Domino's 2010 pdf document, see http://web.archive.org/web/20110329144712/http://www.dominos.com/shared/base/pdf/dominos_nutrition_v2.30.00.pdf

Offline PapaJon

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Re: Ascorbic Acid
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2011, 08:06:58 PM »
Thanks Peter.  Might I ask if you had the pick of the lot, which would you expect to be the best?  From your comments above I would guess the King Kaiser.  Of course coming from you I expect you would note each flour could be a winner depending on the baking method and style.

I may email Tim as well.  If I do I'll mention the forum as well as yourself since I think I read from one of your other posts that you have contacted him enough he knows who you are.
Jon


Offline scott r

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Re: Ascorbic Acid
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2011, 08:43:59 PM »
You are not going to notice any difference in browning or flavor with ascorbic acid in the amounts you would use in a normal dough.   It should be noted that if you are using small amounts of yeast, you might benefit from adding additional ascorbic acid to your dough if you like what it does.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Ascorbic Acid
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2011, 09:13:29 PM »
Jon,

Might I ask if you had the pick of the lot, which would you expect to be the best?  From your comments above I would guess the King Kaiser.  Of course coming from you I expect you would note each flour could be a winner depending on the baking method and style.

That is a hard question to answer without knowing what kind of pizza you are trying to make but as between the three flours, I think I would pick the All Trumps for pizza dough, especially where high gluten is desired. You will note from http://www.gmiflour.com/gmflour/flour.aspx?type=WBread that the Supreme and King Kaiser flours are described as being mainly for bread doughs. However, as Tom Lehmann notes at the PMQ Think Tank at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4313&p=23410&hilit=#p23410, the King Kaiser is one of his choices for a high gluten flour. That post was the only one that I found through an archive search at the PMQTT that mentions the King Kaiser flour, so it is not the most popular high gluten flour. I found no post indicating use of the Supreme flour. I got 167 posts for the All Trumps flour.


Quote
I may email Tim as well.  If I do I'll mention the forum as well as yourself since I think I read from one of your other posts that you have contacted him enough he knows who you are.

Tim Huff knows who I am but he does not know that I am a member of the forum. Whenever I correspond or talk with a professional in the pizza business, I do not hold myself out as an amateur, since that will lead to being treated as an amateur. I hold myself out as a professional. I don't think that I have ever had a pizza professional question my credentials.

Peter


 

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