Diastatic Malt - What Percentage

Anyboby know how much diastatic malt is the right amount - what percentage, etc. I'm not interested so much in it's taste as I am in it's work ethic. Maybe there's a thread already that someboby knows about.

Thanks, Tony

41 comments

[quote="Panevino"]
I'm also wondering if organic flour is more susceptible to greater quality fluctuations than non organic flour. Maybe the organic grower has less options available to her to deal with the effects of weather, etc. Just a thought.

PS: I appreciate the imput, all of it.
[/quote]

Tony, I reckon the quality of organic grain would vary more widely for a couple of reasons; firstly, the amount of grain organically grown is miniscule - small inventories - compared to non organic. Also this factor would mean blending grist may be more susceptible to variable results as the harvests during poor growing seasons influence inventory quantity and quality. Conversely, although non organic grain inventories have depleted in recent years they are still huge by comparison. Second reason, I believe, is that the organic grain growing industry hasn't had the money poured into research compared to non organic, it's really in its infancy. Sure some great progress has been made but there's plenty more to do. I'm not a fan of multinational corporations but I have to acknowledge the move into organic by some large millers brings technical expertise and money into the organic grain industry, and they are now producing organic flour which has very good quality and excellent baking ability. (This doesn't mean some independents aren't doing a great job but investment capital is limited)

I think I'm figuring that out each step of the way. I'v made a log where I keep track of batch numbers etc. I also started testing the flour in the pallet before I actually need it. That way I'll have some idea before I get to that specific flour. I'll also phone the miller with each new batch and have her fax me the flour analysis, again to help me. I am delving into the science element of baking because a little bit of flour, water, yeast and bacteria is a potent and complicated matter. I'm a little over my head but am enjoying the partial drownings and the near death experiences.

I've been baking for many years and these last few times of tricky flour have been a total surprise. This last rant of mine is somewhat without justification because I've been able to get the flour to perform, still without the malt addition (still waiting for it; I asked every baker where I live and nobody uses it). Like I said I changed the hydration level and added some gluten, both suggested to me by the mill. I also extended to final proof. But that other flour should never have been sold. The entire island and parts of the country returned it. So I'm partly right and partly wrong. Seems about right.

I'm also wondering if organic flour is more susceptible to greater quality fluctuations than non organic flour. Maybe the organic grower has less options available to her to deal with the effects of weather, etc. Just a thought.

PS: I appreciate the imput, all of it.

Tony

[quote="chembake"]So its a learning experience and an excersise of your breadbaking skill how to "make dough" with an existing flour...
And its considered a measure of breadmaking aptitude how to troubleshoot your basic ingredients whenever it causes problems with your dough.[/quote]

G'day chem,

I agree with you; one of the sad things is that many 'bakers' don't have the skill, understanding, or knowledge to work with existing flour from one season to another season without resorting to blaming millers for a 'sh1t batch of flour'....I'd like a bob for every time I've heard that said.

Panevino, if you'd take that approach you'll be changing millers regularly and never learn the craft and skill of bread making! The miller to some extent also has to work with the 'existing' grain from the farm. Sure, he blends varieties and varying grain quantities and qualities to produce grist that will yield a flour of reasonable baking quality, but don't you think the baker ought to be able to adjust his methods etc. to make good bread from bread flour in any season? One of the simplest things you can do is ask the miller for a flour report. In my experience they are only too happy to provide one.

[quote]Is malt just a panacea or an actual solution[/quote]
Nope...diastatic malt is not a panacea to a lousy flour....It may help if the flour had a high falling number but an excessive diastatic activty will also result in inferior bread
Just like medicine you should use the right dose in order to cure an ailment

8-)

You can't blame the bakers nor the millers.
Flour quality is so variable that often if your breadmaking system is not robust you will end up occasionally with a lousy loaf
If you tell that to the milling chemist he or she will tell you that the particular flour your complaining about have passed their quality control evaluation so the problem comes from the user

:P

Besides most flours are evaluated based on industrial baking systems( with bakers yeast) and never in the traditional methods( using levain) as its too time consuming
Statistically speaking the majority of the users have no problem with a particular flour but only a selected few.( including you unfortunately)..but majority rules

;)

.

So its a learning experience and an excersise of your breadbaking skill how to "make dough" with an existing flour...
And its considered a measure of breadmaking aptitude how to troubleshoot your basic ingredients whenever it causes problems with your dough.

8-)

[quote="Graham"][[url]http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/v/u%20...%20n+malt.jpg[/url][/quote]
cannot see..missing object

btw.. I prefer growing up malt with exposure to light. In darkness the enzymes will be wasted for quick and thin growing.

I thought my troubles were over when I switched flour mill companies. But alas ... more crappy flour. The first orrder was amazing. I was in heaven. Active. But this last order is sluggish and gummy. Colour is good though. Tacky to work with. I've made some adjustments, added some gluten and pulled back on some of the water ... . Will diastatic malt eliminate this problem or just make it more tolerable. Is malt just a panacea or an actual solution? If millers know the optimum falling number range, etc, then why do they not stick to it? When I spoke with the quality contol person she knew exactly what I was talking about. She looked up all the data and said yes, it's a problem. It was like she was expecting the call. I don't understand ... why pass the buck to the baker? I read a book a while ago that stated the only person more dishonest than a baker was the milller!! That is why in the olden days, the book continued, the miller lived on the edge of town. Myth ... perhaps.

(I feel better, thanks)

Tony

Michael, I negelected to mention that if your dough is healthy it will naturally increase in volume in the oven. If your dough pieces aren't shaped, cut, and proved to optimum, the increase in volume in the oven can also have a 'deforming' effect. Of course better moulding techniques will also help produce increased volume in the oven too, and don't overrate machine moulding. Good hand moulding technique produces excellent shape and crumb structure, and in many instances superior to machine moulding.

Hi Danubian,

increase in bread dough…
Yes that was the intension. Some natural way of doping. Malt for shape, taste, flavour, speed. Ok, it was just the home baker’s craving. [img]http://img126.imageshack.us/img126/8923/smileknikky7.gif[/img]

[quote="Danubian"]
… Are all three of those samples equal in weight? ...
[/quote]

Yes, in fact, the yield was 330 g in each of them. But there are other things… the three small batches were hand kneaded, hand shaped and hand scored. And to all of these proceedings I’m quite new. And so the outcome of my doing has not the precision of a machine. Only the third baguette had got a kick, definetly.

A few weeks ago I repeated the experiment with some more baguettes, one half with 2.5 % malt, one half without, to see if the “effect” of homemade malt was just wishful thinking. One thing I can say for sure: the dough is more difficult to handle with malt. It breaks under tension very soon. Perhaps there is a little more spring in the oven, but not worth to mention it. And forget the flavour enhancement! There is nothing you can add to a sourdough!

For a professional on an island there seems to be good reason to watch the falling numbers. For me as a home baker in the middle of Europe I think there is no need to do this. The mills offer blended flours in industrial even qualities. The giant malting houses offer industrial qualities of diastatic malts you could really trust. But you won’t need it. The miller will.

Umh, I think my sprouts belong to the salad, not in the bread, if not meant for decoration. More volume, larger holes in the baguette? One hour more bulk time, one folding more, a bit of retardation. Et voilá!

Very Happy

Michael


Panevino,

IMHO it all depends on the amylase activity of the malt you are using - which I assume is variable since you are using a home produced malt - as Chem has mentioned, but it also depends on the falling number (FN) or amylase activity of the flour you are using. Grain grown on different continents vary in characteristics as climate, soil, grain variety, and milling techniques all have their influence on flour quality.

See [url=http://www.wheat-research.com.au/media/factsheets/Falling_Number.pdf][b]here[/b][/url] for an explanation of the [b]Falling Number[/b] test.

The pictures you've posted of the three samples with varying levels of malt added indicate what I would expect from increasing malt additions to bread doughs - increase in bread volume. However, the centre sample - 1% malt addition - doesn't show true to form as it appears to be smaller in volume than the sample with nil malt added. Are all three of those samples equal in weight?

Without getting too bogged down in the details, and a number of qualifying statements, the addition of diastatic malt to bread doughs increases the gas producing abilities of the dough. However, there are limits, and there are detrimental effects of excess amylase activity also. But I'd suggest the shape deformation you mention would be due to increased gas production during initial baking.

[quote]
The goal was a good even quality with lots of malt sugar and enzymes too in all of them. So I tried to avoid direct radiation of the sun with premature greening. Real darkness seems to be harmful too because it would lead to exceeding growth (and consumption of maltose)
[/quote]

Hi Skua.

[url]http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/v/u%20...%20n+malt.jpg[/url]

Those sprouts look just fine in terms of not being overly exposed to light. I have seen bakers work with green sprouts and the result is not overly appealing unless the goal is to produce bread with a built-in salad. I was not aware of the harmful nature of pure darkness. Interesting!

Graham

[quote="Skua"]
So I put the seeds on a tray and exposed them not too close to a northern window.
[/quote]

Which translates to a "southern" window in our southern hemisphere.

Skua, I notice that some of your sprouts (from the sprouted rye) are green, suggesting that they have been exposed to light (producing chlorophyll). Have you tried sprouting without exposure to light?

Graham

Dear Graham,

after soaking the rye seeds in the dark for 36 hours at room temperature (21? C; 67? F) a few of them showed first signs of germination. Rye seems to be faster than barley. So I put the seeds on a tray and exposed them not too close to a northern window.

The goal was a good even quality with lots of malt sugar and enzymes too in all of them. So I tried to avoid direct radiation of the sun with premature greening. Real darkness seems to be harmful too because it would lead to exceeding growth (and consumption of maltose)

My harvest

Wink

was on day 4, and most of the shoots had reached the length of the grain. Some of them showed a faint beginning green. So I called it simply green malt, exposed it to the direct sun and wind for kilning. It was an early warm day in spring. There was not much time to gain more green for them.

This was my green malt:

http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/v/u ... n+malt.jpg

The green tips in the tea pot are mysterious. It’s like a resurrection of the shoots. Because they were already cured…

Michael


Hi Carla,

I live on Saltspring Island, Canada.

Tony

[quote="Panevino"]
I haven't received my commercial malt yet since i'm on an island and the delivery window is a sliver, so I haven't had a chance yet.
[/quote]

On which island do you live Tony?

Very Happy

Interesting pictures. I don't understand how the malt affects the shape. I guess according to chembake, it is difficult to determine the strength of homemade diastatic malt. I haven't received my commercial malt yet since i'm on an island and the delivery window is a sliver, so I haven't had a chance yet. I remember several years ago I used to have some non diastatic barley malt on hand and would add to to my bread. It was a great flavour; my wife and I though it tasted like corn flakes, but deeper. I'll have to try that again.

Take care,

Tony

How did the malt destroy your dough?

Tony

The dough with the malt seemed a bit less smooth, more tearable. The result of baking was enhanced volume, but incorrectness in shaping and slashing was punished immediately.
Left loaf had 0%, middle 1%, right 3%. Hydration in dough was adjusted.

Influence on shape:

http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/v/u ... nd+3+_.jpg

Influence on crumb:

http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/v/u ... /crumb.jpg

Without malt:

http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/v/u ... t+malt.jpg

With too much malt:

http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/v/u ... t.jpg.html

All underproofed due to lack of experience, sorry!

Michael


(double)


Hello world.

Cool

I'm a homebaker and I've just sprouted rye, harvested the grains as acrospires, kilned them in the sun and cured them with slowly rising temperatures up to 100? C ( 212? F) in the oven.

The malt has a blow up but somehow destroying effect in the dough in my first attempt with it. I tried it with 0, 1 and 3%.
But now I'm looking for the fragrances hidden in it. After kilning there was a scent of fine japanese tea. After curing there is a weak sweet friendly flavor. Now I put the grains for a further go in the oven. To judge the results I couldn't resist to make some tea...

http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/v/u ... r.jpg.html

I'm still looking for reliable informations, how to use diastatic malt, and how to produce various non-enzymatic, more fragrant kind of malts.

Cheers

Michael


Thanks folks, I just ordered some malt and it will be here on Friday. Exciting times ahead!

Tony

Bill is right...if the malt has a rating of providing 50-56 SKB units of alpha amylase (per kilogram of flour )the dosage of 0.5 % is considered the maximum... That is the recommended amount of institutionally manufactured diastatic malt.
It is not absolutely true for homemade or improvised diastatic malt products.
BTW what Bill has provided is for the powdered variety.. liquid diastatic malt is weaker and could be used at higher amounts..

One of the American flour sites says to use no more than 0.5% of total flour weight, or detrimental effects can occur.
I personally use 1 heaped teaspoon of dried diastatic malt powder per 1Kg total loaf weight.

A couple more questions on diastatic malt:

1) do I use it in the chef if I'm using the same flour as in the final dough?

2) do I then use it in the intermediary levain and then

3) in the final dough

I'm thinking yes on all three counts, but am not sure.

Also, in the case of mixed doughs, do I add the malt for the flours other than the white - say fot the spelt, rye, whole wheat etc.

And finally, do I need the malt when the flour is enzymatically balanced? Could it hurt the outcome in this case or could I stilll add it for colour, texture, spring, etc.

So far all I have is low diastatic malt.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Tony

[quote="Panevino"]...[b]Any[/b] advice would be appreciated... [/quote]

Dear Tony,

Not a professional advice, no clue for calculation and the easiest work flow... Only an logical estimate.

Your sourdough is able to eat nearly everything . Bad flour, good wheat, rice, corn, buckwheat, oats, even industrial sugar... the culture has its own enzymes to devour it all. And you always get a material able to sour and to give air... So guessing more: it must be sufficient to give in the malt to the final dough.

But there will be a professional answer soon, I'm sure!

Michael


[quote="Panevino"]A couple more questions on diastatic malt:

1) do I use it in the chef if I'm using the same flour as in the final dough?

2) do I then use it in the intermediary levain and then

3) in the final dough

I'm thinking yes on all three counts, but am not sure.

Also, in the case of mixed doughs, do I add the malt for the flours other than the white - say fot the spelt, rye, whole wheat etc.

And finally, do I need the malt when the flour is enzymatically balanced? Could it hurt the outcome in this case or could I stilll add it for colour, texture, spring, etc.

So far all I have is low diastatic malt.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Tony[/quote]

G'day Tony,

Australian flours typically have an alpha (?) amylase enzyme deficiency, that's why that part of the baking industry that utilises the 'rapid dough' bread making system add, among other things, ?-amylase enzymes via 'bread improvers' to their bread doughs.
However, for long fermentation such as sourdough it's less of an issue as long fermentation times offset this by giving the reduced amylase level time to produce more maltose. Bear in mind that as a sourdough matures and the pH lowers, (acid intensity increases) and titratable acidity TA (acid volume) increases, those amylase enzymes are deactivated. This means that the desired pH and TA may not be reached if there is a sufficient deficiency of ?-amylase in the given flour being used. Hence, Australian flours will perform better in sourdoughs - lower pH and higher TA is reached - if the deficiency is mitigated by amylase enzyme addition at the sourdough and the bread dough stage. Diastatic malt flour is rich in ?-amylase and is suited for this very purpose.

Michael is quite correct in what he says, and there are many lactobacillus species and sub-species that can thrive in many adverse conditions and metabolise an array of sugars but almost all of them metabolise maltose, so for consistent results I advocate the use of diastatic malt in all stages, sourdough and final dough. Ask your miller for a flour report with a maltose figure or falling number.

Good luck

[quote="Bill44"]One of the American flour sites says to use no more than 0.5% of total flour weight, or detrimental effects can occur.
I personally use 1 heaped teaspoon of dried diastatic malt powder per 1Kg total loaf weight.[/quote]

I use up to 3 tablespoons of "spraymalt" for 1kg of flour (50% freshly milled wheat and 50% "white" supermarket flour) for buns and light breads. Tastes absolutely delicious. I also add 1-3 tablespoons of olive oil (rather than pork fat) and the bread will keep fresh for up to 5 days. Try it out!

:P

I've been using .5 percent at all stages and quite like the taste. There is a depth to the bread that is appealing. I also notice that the crumb is more supple and softer. Don't know if it's because of the malt or what. The crust is also softer. Another observation is the bread bread stays fresher even longer. Hopefully I'm not being deluded. Overall, yummy.

Hey Michael,

Guess I missed your post ealier. You're right; eventually the fermentation did kick in with the lousy flour. It took two days for just the levain to activate. The reason I know this is because I always keep the bucket of starter from previous bakes - just in case. When I looked into the covered pail, it was bubbly. I had a hunch but did not know how to explain it. Also, I prefer my sourdoughs sweet with just a hint (or two) of sour flavour. So I like things to move along quickly, but not too quick. It stills takes thirty plus hours to build and then make but the final stretch is quick.

Enzymes are starting to fascinate me - oh oh.

Thanks to all,

Tony

[quote="Panevino"]I've been using .5 percent at all stages and quite like the taste. There is a depth to the bread that is appealing. I also notice that the crumb is more supple and softer. Don't know if it's because of the malt or what. The crust is also softer. Another observation is the bread bread stays fresher even longer. Hopefully I'm not being deluded. Overall, yummy.[/quote]

G'day Tony,

Your observations are in line with expected results of bread characteristics where a sufficient level of amylase is present.
Softer moister crumb, and improved keeping qualities are enhanced when bread doughs have sufficient maltose levels.

[quote="Panevino"]I prefer my sourdoughs sweet with just a hint (or two) of sour flavour.[/quote]

In this case I'd probably use a shorter sourdough fermenting time prior to adding to the bread dough as yeast activity predominates during the earlier stages - approx first 4-6 hours depending on the temp, the starter (chef/mother) to flour ratio and of course the hydration rate (yeasts favour high water content and aeration) - of sourdough fermentation. This is why most of the gas produced in sourdoughs is usually in the earlier stages. Lactobacillus utilise maltose and other sugars, as well as pyruvic acid produced by earlier yeast activity which is also metabolised into lactate. This usually accelerates and replaces earlier dominant yeast activity in the latter stages of sourdough fermentation. It should become apparent that sourdoughs can be managed in different ways to favour and utilise yeast or lactobacillus predomination and the fermentation by-products they produce to enhance the style and flavour of the type of bread to be produced.

If you're willing, post a few photos of your triumps, it'd be good to see what's happening..

Hello Danubian, I will post some photos as soon as we get a new digital. Our current one is broken. I'll also post my recipe with times etc. I think I got the flavour alright with the white, my biggest concern at the moment.

I've never posted photos and am not sure how to do it.

Cheers, Tony

[quote="Panevino"]Hello Danubian, I will post some photos as soon as we get a new digital. Our current one is broken. I'll also post my recipe with times etc. I think I got the flavour alright with the white, my biggest concern at the moment.

I've never posted photos and am not sure how to do it.

Cheers, Tony[/quote]

If you are using FireFox, right click on the image and copy the 'image location' and place it in between these tags ~ [img] [/img]

Of course, you need to have an online photo album page where your images can be seen and accessed. Set up your own album in the [b]Peronal Albums[/b] on the main gallery page at [url=http://sourdough.com.au/gallery/v/?g2_navId=xae4f34b8][b]

http://www.sourdough.com.au

[/b][/url] Just register and you'll figure it out by playing around with the options.

Hey Boris, the malt addition has met with a favourable response. The softer crumb is nice. One thing I noticed is that my crust is also softer. I prefer a slightly harder crust and even though I bake the bread a little longer, it eventually softens. Is it because of the residual moisture? The bread is actually lighter as more moisture seems to be driven out so I'm little confused.

Anyway, here is the fomulation that I mentioned earlier. I figured it out in baker's percentages but have been tweeking this one for a year and don't know how to go backwards!!

Active Chef 300g - with this I make 6,000 grams of levain @ 75 degrees for 12-14 hours. With this I make other intermediate starters. For example:

From above - 1400g
water - 1286g
organic white flour - 1934g
malt -13g

Ferment for 4 hours @ 75 degrees

Then add

all of the above 4620g
water 3600g +/-
white flour 4365g
rye 200g
salt 180g
malt 23g

I mix by hand, stretch and fold method - no mixer!!

Ferment 2-3 hours - includes the hand kneading time
Scale
rest 30-60 mins - depending on how far behind the eight ball I am
shape
ferment 1-2 hours - closer to one hour as the whole thing is really active
bake over one hour at 200c

any thought/opinions anyone?

Cheers,

Tony

Seems like the effect of excess malt......
You don't need to add malt twice but only once...

So less than .5% of the total flour weight? Maybe .25% and see what happens? The malt I have is "low diastatic."

Thanks

Tony

Last week, I made the softest bread using [url=http://www.goodnessdirect.co.uk/cgi-local/frameset/detail/431679.html]Doves Farm's organic malthouse flour[/url]. I wonder if the softness was helped by the malt or the ascorbic acid.


I know for sure that my bread changed quite a bit after the malt addition: Soft and succulent crumb and nice crust colour, consistently so. There is still room for improvement but progress has been made. Maybe I should try adding the asorbic acid as well. It may sound wrong but I'm really getting into adding stuff. As long as it's "natural," I'll give it a whirl.

Tony

[quote="Panevino"]Hey Boris, the malt addition has met with a favourable response. The softer crumb is nice. One thing I noticed is that my crust is also softer. I prefer a slightly harder crust and even though I bake the bread a little longer, it eventually softens. Is it because of the residual moisture? The bread is actually lighter as more moisture seems to be driven out so I'm little confused.[/quote]

G'day Tony, yes, 'moisture migration' from the crumb to the crust is the process that eventually softens the crust. If you prefer a drier more brittle crust you should [b]reduce[/b] the malt flour content. Reduce it a bit at a time until you achieve the desired balance between the type of crumb moistness and crust dryness with which you are satisfied. (it's a compromise)

The moisture actually arises from the degradation of starch into maltose. Starch in its 'pasty' form can absorb up to 10 times its own weight in water. If that starch chain is degraded into maltose, which is a 'soluble' sugar, the water is liberated as maltose dissolves. That's where the residual moisture comes from. It follows that a threshold exists where too much starch degradation will result in excess water liberation - precipitation - in which a stable crumb is unable to form.

[quote]Anyway, here is the fomulation that I mentioned earlier. I figured it out in baker's percentages but have been tweeking this one for a year and don't know how to go backwards!!

Active Chef 300g - with this I make 6,000 grams of levain @ 75 degrees for 12-14 hours. With this I make other intermediate starters. For example:

From above - 1400g
water - 1286g
organic white flour - 1934g
malt -13g

Ferment for 4 hours @ 75 degrees

Then add

all of the above 4620g
water 3600g +/-
white flour 4365g
rye 200g
salt 180g
malt 23g

I mix by hand, stretch and fold method - no mixer!!

Ferment 2-3 hours - includes the hand kneading time
Scale
rest 30-60 mins - depending on how far behind the eight ball I am
shape
ferment 1-2 hours - closer to one hour as the whole thing is really active
bake over one hour at 200c

any thought/opinions anyone?
[/quote]

Unless you post a picture it's difficult to assess the results.
BTW the amount of malt in the sourdough @ .013 is a little high; I'd stick to .5% in the sourdough, and reduce or remove the malt in the bread dough for your experiments. Then add small amounts in successive doughs until you achieve the compromise between residual moisture and crust dryness you’re looking for. Also, since your sourdough is only 4 hours old - which means little acid formation - the amylse enzymes added via the malt flour in the sourdough do not deactivate due to the lowering pH and increasing TA as 4 hours is not sufficient for a critical level of acid formation - so perhaps you should eliminate the malt addition in the bread dough. The buffering from additional flour and water added at the dough stage will allow suffcient enzymes to remain viable untill the latter stages of fermantation. It's only when the acids reach a crittical pH levels and TA that amylases are deactivated.

Good Luck

Ascorbic acid will produce a type of cotton wool crumb as well as change many of the parameters of dough maturity, as well as bread characteristics.

[quote]Ascorbic acid will produce a type of cotton wool crumb as well as change many of the parameters of dough maturity, as well as bread characteristics.[/quote]

Not absolutely...
I have added minimal amounts of ascorbic acid in classical sourdoughs and it improved the loaf appearance and stability without affecting its crumb characteristics.

[quote="chembake"][quote]Ascorbic acid will produce a type of cotton wool crumb as well as change many of the parameters of dough maturity, as well as bread characteristics.[/quote]

Not absolutely...
I have added minimal amounts of ascorbic acid in classical sourdoughs and it improved the loaf appearance and stability without affecting its crumb characteristics.[/quote]

Chem,

I'd like to see the results. I'm not sure it's worth the extra expense etc. considering exception bread can be made without ascorbic acid addition, and if, as you maintain, the 'minimal amounts' you tested did not affect crumb characteristics, it must indeed have been so minimal that I'd question the necessity or even the optionality of using ascorbic acid to effect [b]" improved the loaf appearance and stability"[/b] in sourdough bread. The benefits would be so negligable IMHO, therefore unnecessary even counterproductive because the product is by definition 'adulturated'. After all sourdoughs introduce an array of organic acids which also improve dough stability; so what's the point?!