According to culinary icon James Beard, “Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.” The quality of bread is determined by flavor, color, volume, appropriate moisture and texture of both the crust and the crumb. All good bread starts with the essentials: flour, water, salt and leavening. And, of course, bakers can introduce additional ingredients to yield a more-complex flavor.
For the commercial baker, achieving the desired characteristics on a consistent basis—as cost-effectively as possible—can prove challenging. As such, bakers use dough conditioners and/or premixes to overcome some of the technical and financial hurdles involved in bread making while enabling desired product quality.