vitamin c alternitives

Tim the Artisan's picture
Tim the Artisan

hi everyone,

i was curious if there is a healthier more natural alternitive to ascorbic acid? i am led to believe that malt is a reliable substitute. i am a baker of 13 years and recently crossed over from the dark side (commercial) i wish i was exposed to this side of baking sooner!! I have been baking the artisan way for 13 months. i know the effects of using acid and i dont use it at all but the result in the finished product varies tenfolds depending on which baker mixes the dough. at the end of the day everyone wants to produce a consistant product and of course the customer wants that. i know that every baker is different but the amount of difference between doughs is to great. 

i autolyse and bulk fement ect but i would like to get a more consistant loaf without a chemical additive. 


thanks tim :-)  



chembake 2008 October 29

Look Tim, you are running a business and not establishing a new "religion" where  you imply to  believe that Vitamin C is evil and should be removed from breadmaking by all means.

You really need to know more about this ingredient before you avoid it.

Would you care to explain the reasons about your "pathological fear" for vitamin C in dough making?

Regarding  vitamin C : Its either forget about it or,
 Live and work with it .
If your customer wants consistency then maintain it and don't let your prejudice against a certain ingredient ruin your business..

Tim the Artisan's picture
Tim the Artisan 2008 October 29

i am lead to believe that acid changes the flavour and crust composition, and i can cause health problems like cancer apart from that i cant find any more info about it in breadmaking.

do you know where i can find out more about it?


JohnD's picture
JohnD 2008 October 30
Tim,well done for crossing over. The short answer to consistency is experience. If you are new at this style of bread, you need to unlearn some stuff, and simply get experience.It takes time, and time is the essence of true artisan bread. I do not agree that customers want consistency. As i have been baking additive free commercial REAL sourdough for 30 years, i feel i can comment with some experience. Customers do not want consistency...its a bakers trip....customers love the loaves which bakers are often not satisfied is not consistent, and bread can reflect this. Traditionally, an "inconsistent" bake made the customers joke about the bakers night out. I Loathe the idea that bread has to be uniform and consistent..its the kind of thinking which enabled the present revolution in breadmaking. As for additive free bread being a religion, well so what? its a damned site better religion than the monotheism which currently causes most of the trouble in the world....and an answer to existential angst.

Ascorbic acid is NOT vitamin c. do your research people. Vitamin c is a complex of molecules which is enabled as a therapeutic by a complex of bioflavenoids naturally occuring with it in fruit. Ascorbic acid is a chemical isolated from this matrix, and the form which bakers use is an analog of this, not the actual compound. Analogs do not behave in the same way as the naturally occuring molecule they seek to replace.
The point is that all bread out there is contaminated with an array of additives which ongoing research is showing to be deleterious for our health. Instead of just being bullish and saying whats wrong with them if they work, why not just damnwell celebrate the fact that some of us are making a wholesome product. If the likes of Jack Lang dont understand whats wrong with additives , it simply demonstrates that they havent understood the big picture, but are wrapped up in their own prejudices. ...and the public dont agree with you lot of doubters, because they are voting with their feet...sales of additive free bread are soaring, and bread with additives is being shunned.
I have never used ascorbic or any additives, yet have been able to pioneer a revolution in bread-making, with thousands of satisfied customers and inspired artisans. No one has demonstrated that acorbic acid makes "better" is it better? its a coverup for poor technnique and inadequate is simply not necessary,so why do it?
Panevino 2008 October 30
"Customers do not want consistency...its a bakers trip....customers love the loaves which bakers are often not satisfied is not consistent, and bread can reflect this."

Right on.  I'm making it a t-shirt.
Journeyman 2008 October 30
People tell me that one of the things they like about the bread I offer them is that it isn't all the same looking,but it always tastes good and it doesn't leave them with a bloated tummey and having to spend lots of time in the 'little room'.
I bake sourdough and yeasted ( only small percent using old traditional long sponge method )and firmly believe that the best breads are made with 'time','love', good stoneground flour,and experience gained over time and from listerning to other Bakers who have been on the road longer.
Tim , could you take some time with the Bakers who are not making the doughs how you want them ? Help them to improve ?
The 'big ' so called clever food techies out there have brought us boring straight cucumbers,'perfect' tomatoes( all one size) etc,etc ,etc, lets fight back as Bakers and not join the 'perfect' shape food world out there which is so lacking in vitality and excitment,and tastes quite frankly disgusting!
Hope you find a way forward
Panevino 2008 October 30
Hi Tim, one thing to consider is customers' trust - if you have their trust then you could go a long way.   Also, take them along with you on your journey and I think you'll prosper ... and so will they.  Trust is everything between a baker and his/her customers.  Turn you revelation into a positive and "market" your new aproach.  I bet it will work just fine.

The very best

Post Reply

Already a member? Login

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.