ascorbic acid


I purchased some ascorbic acid yesterday at the local Mennonite store...I have never used this...although the dough enhancer I use does list it as one of the ingredients. Do you use this in all yeast doughs? I have seen certain recipes calling for this at l/8 to l/4 teaspoon in the recipe. Would there ever be a reason not to use it? Wonky

badge posted by: Wonky on May 09, 2012 at 8:43 am in Baking, yeast
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reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on May 09, 2012 at 11:56 am
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

Well in general I'd use it in any loaf that had been problematic. A little dab'll do ya though so I'd go with the lesser amount unless there's some overwhelming reason to do otherwise. I know when they add it to flour as a maturing agent, it's being used somewhere in the parts per MILLION range. Just a pinch should be plenty (that'd be like 1/16th tsp)

It might be most useful in something like a pizza dough because (if memory serves) it acts on the dough to help extensibility - it'll help it to stretch without breaking or snapping back.

reply by: betsy-kaf on May 09, 2012 at 4:12 pm

I don't think it is necessary to use it in every bread. Here is a link to an ascorbic acid discussion on the "Fresh Loaf" web site.

reply by: pammyowl on May 09, 2012 at 4:15 pm

I rarely use it. French Baguettes and sourdough are the only breads I add it to, but each to their own!

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on May 10, 2012 at 4:56 am
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

Pammyowl, what does it do to help your baguettes? Maybe I should try some next time I try the baguettes ...

reply by: pammyowl on May 10, 2012 at 5:00 am

I think it gives an authentic French flavor.

reply by: easyquilts on May 19, 2012 at 5:50 am

Zen... Forgive me for breaking in, here, but.... I have a recipe that calls for this.... I don't have any, so I used a Vitamin C tablet...crushed. .. Someone else n.ine did the same, so I tried it. I don't know if it worked..

Where o you buy absorbic acid? Is tithe same as the citrus crystals you find in the canning products? I'm confused... Help!

Sandy frm Cincinnati

reply by: pammyowl on May 19, 2012 at 5:53 am

I'm not Zen, but I'm awake, so will answer, okay? Yes, the canning product is the same thing!

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on May 19, 2012 at 6:07 am
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

You mean like Fruit Fresh? It's practically the same - it's a mixture of ascorbic acid and citric acid. They're only like one atom off, molecular-structure-wise.

I use it all the time in Indian recipes instead of something called "Eno salt", which is a mixture of baking soda and citric acid. But I also have some straight citric acid I picked up in the Indian Grocery now as well. You can also find citric acid in the bulk foods sections of places like Whole Food.

reply by: pammyowl on May 19, 2012 at 8:22 am

Zen, you amaze me. You seem to have the chemical breakdowns down pat. How did you get to be so clever? Do you have a background in nutritional science? I just blithely go on my merry way, making good food. I am very impressed with your knowledge, just wanted you to know that. Have a beautiful weekend!

reply by: GinaG on May 19, 2012 at 10:32 am

A vitamin C tablet will do, as does Kool Aid of all things! A BC member tried that not so long ago when a bread recipe called for ascorbic acid and other than the color of the bread, she got the result she expected.

I personally don't bake with it, but I do use a lot of ascorbic acid for medicinal purposes and the cheapest way to go--unless --you're buying in bulk, is Trader Joe's. You'll find the crystals in the vitamin/beauty section.

reply by: --jej on May 19, 2012 at 12:14 pm

I had somewhere in the past gotten some Vitamin C tablets that were like horse tablets (and I mean the kind my grandfather used to keep on a window sill in the barn when I was a kid... They were huge!!). I crush one or two every so often and keep them in a small jar, then add some to every loaf of bread I bake. It was a tip from someone on the oldBC. Don't know if it helps, but it sure doesn't hurt. ;))) jej

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on May 19, 2012 at 2:30 pm
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

Nope, no nutritional science here, just science. I had a chemistry scholarship to college which my mother made me reject (I was 17 my first year of college and wasn't legally allowed to accept the scholarship without parental support), then I was a biology major for 3 years and took all the chem classes up to P-chem (physical chemistry, the university used to print bumper stickers that said "Honk if you passsed p-chem), I worked in the school of medicine and tutored the med students in biology, anatomy, and histology, I nearly went for a psychology undergrad degree, and I ended up switching to computer science, which in those days was run out of the engineering department - when I graduated I was 3 courses short of having an engineering degree in addition to the rest of it. I actually graduated with a Computer Science degree, and if my university had done the "minoring" thing formally, I'd have had minors in biology, psychology, and engineering - maybe also chemistry.

So you see, it all comes from a misspent youth!

Oh, and I meant you can find ASCORBIC acid in the bulk section at places like Whole Foods. I always get those two mixed up if I'm not careful. It is citric acid I got a little baggy of at the Indian grocery though. They may not have the same effect on bread; but when used as a souring agent they're pretty much the same.

reply by: Mike Nolan on May 19, 2012 at 7:23 pm
Mike Nolan

I buy citric acid in five pound bags from (We use it in the dishwasher, among other things.)

They have ascorbic acid as well, but it is about twice as expensive.

reply by: GinaG on May 19, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Now why didn't I think of that: Citric acid in lieu of lemon juice for cleaning. I will try doing that. Lemon juice and baking soda have cleaned up things I fully expected to be impossible. But citric acid granules in some water? That would work!