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shain

Gelatin in bread

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Hello all,

 

In attempt to make it easier to work high hydration dough, I had a thought about using gelatin and water in order to make jello cubes, and incorporate them into the kneaded dough. The idea is that unlike extra water, the jello will not have much adverse effect on the dough texture, stickiness and ease of handling. However, when baked, the gelatin will dissolve and allow the water to boil into steam and effectively increase the hydration, resulting in more aeration, raise and moistness.

 

I tried it once, reducing apx. 7% water from the dough and folding in 7% gel after kneading. However, I mistakenly made too weak of a gel, and it just melted into the dough. Shaping wasn't easier then usual (sticky as always  :rolleyes: ). The bread did bake as usual, with no ill effects.

 

I think I should try it again, replacing 15% of the water with much stronger jello.

 

I'd like too hear your opinion, am I wasting my time or does it make sense?

 

I thought it might also theoretically work in laminated dough, possibly replacing some of the butter?

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Seems like, if you put a lot in, it would make the bread 'moist' in the way that crepes are moist, with a rubbery, egg-like texture. I have no idea though, I can't think of anyone having done this before. You are, BTW, taking a food that is generally recognized as vegan/vegetarian/kosher and making it no longer fit any of those categories. Mostly of concern to people running commercial bakeries who might want to keep some customers.

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Whether it actually works or not, I like the way you think. I look forward to your continuing experiments with this.

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Thanks you both for replying.

 

Since I bake only for my family, I am not very worried about it being misleading, but I see no reason agar gel won't work the same.

 

Gelatin is commonly used in gluten free breads, and indeed tend to give a slightly eggy texture. This is my reasoning for using gelled cubes of water, and not mixing the "raw" gelatin into the dough.

I believe that since the gelatin is fully hydrated, and mixed in after kneading, it will not have much chance to interfere with gluten formation and have minimal effect on the dough formation and handling.

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I suspect that, as Lisa notes, you will end up with a more rubbery product as you add more gelatin; the water may evaporate out of the gelatin but the gelatin proteins will still be present. However, I've never tried it - never even thought of it. I admire your creativity. I hope you'll test this idea more and post the results.

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I see a couple potential problems: 1) Gelatin melts at around 95*, which is closer to your proofing temperature than your baking temperature. 2) If the extra moisture is successfully bound by the gelatin, I don't know that you'd actually get many of the benefits of a high hydration dough. You might get steam in the oven, but would it do you any good if you didn't have a gluten network extensible enough to capture it?

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My take on this is: I'm all in favour of bakers experimenting. People are always asking, can I do this, is it allowed to do that, when they should be testing it out themselves. But I think that baking has got overcomplicated and people should be experimenting to discover what is really important and what can be discarded.

 

To go beyond making bread from flour, water, salt and natural leavening should require some pretty good arguments because bread made from those few ingredients takes some beating. If you want raisin bread add some raisins, but gelatin?

 

Bakers have been successfully working with high hydration doughs and laminates for decades. So isn't the solution to improve your handling techniques rather than reaching for the jello?

 

Mick

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Thanks for your reply Mick, but I see little difference between technique that is based on ingredients and techinque based on method. People made (and still do) bread before refined flour, commercial yeast, refrigeration, thermostats, and even before without wheat. I'm just interested in trying new things and play with the ingredients I have, and hopefully make it faster for me to bake a loaf of good bread for the week :)

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Personally I think there's a massive difference between using additives and developing your technique. But you're right, it's your choice.

 

Mick


Edited by bethesdabakers (log)

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Got to bake the bread today. Made a whole wheat bread with coriander. 84% hydration. 63% whole wheat flour + 37% bread flour.
1/16 of the water (100g, 13%) were made into stiff jello and added toward the end of kneading. The jello broke into small uneven pieces and distributed quite evenly. Then the dough was cold fermented for apx 30 hours. The pieces of jello were visible scattered on the dough surface.

 

The dough was stiffer then usual at this hydration and not sticky as usual, but rather very tacky - adhering to the surface, yet being quite easy to separate from it (You might say that it is somewhat akin to how jello sticks to surface). It was quite nice to work with.

 

The loaf rose well. It browned slightly less then I'm used to, but that might be due to me using some new WW flour in the mix. 

When sliced, the crumb was nicely moist and a bit less open then usual, but not by much.
Texture was nice, moist and slightly chewy as usual, with good wheat flavor and the coriander flavor came out well.
The gelatin was not felt when eaten. The crumb wasn't sticky at all and was easily sliced thin.
The crust was slightly less thick then I'm used to in this recipe, but that haven't bothered me.

 

Over all, I'll say that it works quite well, but I think extra hydration is required in order to maintain the same results as without gelatin. I'd say one may replace about 10-15% of the water with 13-20% of jello.

 

Next time, I'm going to try an hearth loaf with around 90% hydration.
Happy baking :)

 

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Edited by shain (log)
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But, I thought your main goal was more aeration, bigger holes. You got denser bread with smaller holes, and you're going to have to add more water just to get to the place you were at before you added gelatin. It cost more money, took more time to make (have to add in the gelatin making time) and didn't improve anything. I'd ditch the experiment and work on improving each individual step of making the classic loaf. You could probably get better aeration by carefully taking temperature and times for various steps (like proofing, benching) and making small changes.

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I mostly agree with you, I'm not likely to use gelatin method for my regular baking, but I am interested in understanding it's effects. The loaf was quite as usual, this is not a ciabatta after all :)

However do note that the dough was truly much easier to work with while achieving the normal outcome. So I think it was quite a successful experiment.

I could have used s&f method to easily achieve better results, but that would miss the point, as gelatin will only hinder the effectiveness of this method.

I hope that I'm making sense :)


Edited by shain (log)
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