Two artisan loaves but I think the one on the right wins for a better looking crust and less flacid overall shape:
What was the difference? The one on the right used 5g of dough enhancer (essentially a powedered form of ascorbic acid, also known as vitamin c) along with 150g strong white flour, 150g strong malthouse flour, 6g salt, 6g yeast and 225g water. It does seem quite a vivid difference although my test wasn’t entirely scientific – I slightly overdosed the un-enhanced loaf with salt, which I then had to try and scoop back, and also dropped some dough enhancer on the mix, which I also had to lift off. Gosh, science takes a lot of concentration!
The enhanced loaf has come to a more consistent texture. Neither had much in the way of handling. After mixing the ingredients together, I didn’t knead and fold until the dough was silky but left them quite wet. After about an hour, both doughs seemed well enough to form into loaf shapes. I wonder if the missing ingredient from the “natural” one was a bit more time? I have certainly cooked better loaves to the same recipe although it is good to know there might be a shortcut when time is tight.
I also wonder if I could create a similar effect without adding a powdered additive? Perhaps lemon juice or vinegar in the water could also increase the acidity of the environment, which might be the key factor? I sense more experiments brewing but meanwhile, I’ve got a couple of quite acceptable loaves to keep me going for the next few days.