Dough Additives

By Tom Lehmann

Question: We are attempting to make a savory pizza crust by adding fresh, ground garlic, ground onion, and a few other savory herbs.  Our dough is very soft and it does not rise very well.  Can you tell me what the problem is?

Answer:  The problem that you are experiencing is due to the addition of the garlic and the onion.  Both of these materials contain compounds, which act very much like L-cyteine, a reducing agent found in many dough relaxing ingredients.  These compounds produce very soft and extensible dough to such an extent that it lacks the strength to support its own structure and dough collapses, or cannot rise.

There are a couple of thinsg that you can do to correct the problem.  The best is to reduce the combined amount of fresh onion and garlic to not more than 1% of the flour weight for thick crust dough and not more than 1.25% for thin crust dough.  This will still give soft dough, but it will be manageable, and exhibit acceptable performance characteristics, while still providing the desired flavor to the dough/crust.

The other approach is to put both the garlic and the onion onto the surface f the dough after the formal forming, typically just before adding the sauce.  this approach totally eliminates the problem, and you can use as much garlic and onion as you want, but the flavor seems to get mingled into that of the sauce, and you lose the flavor impact in the dough / crust.

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