Ellen's HomeMade Dough Relaxer


a recipe for dough relaxer you can make at home


3 T powdered ascorbic acid
2 T double-acting baking powder
2 T cream of tartar
1 C non-instant powdered buttermilk OR
high-heat treated non-fat dry milk
1/2 C diastatic malt powder


Place all ingredients in a DRY blender, cover and blend until completely mixed. Package airtight in a ziplock or jar that you can measure from. Use 1-2 tablespoons per loaf, or a bit more if the recipe is made with bread flour.

Dough relaxer is popular for pizza crust, foccacia, etc. It acts by slightly disabling the gluten protein in the wheat. It is not recommended for yeast doughs made completely with whole wheat or other whole grain flours, or breads baked in a bread machine. If you are using a bread machine, you will get the best results by programming for MANUAL or DOUGH cycle, removing the dough after the final rise, shaping and baking it out of the machine. Dough with the Relaxer tends to overrise and then sink when baked in the machine's tall pan. The result is a sunken loaf.

Yeasted doughs will rise at a slower rate when made with Relaxer. They will have a big "oven spring" (the amount of rise the bread has just as it begins to bake). Take the oven spring into consideration and don't be tempted to allow the dough to over rise before baking.

The homemade dough relaxer is made from four all natural ingredients.

High heat process non-fat dry milk (this is NOT the same as the powdered milk sold in the grocery store) tenderizes the dough, gives it a rich, soft crumb, makes it easy to roll and adds a calcium boost.

non-instant powdered buttermilk has similar effects, along with providing an extra boost in the area of acidity to help the rise.

Diastatic malt (made by slowly roasting barley over low heat) is a natural amylase - an enzyme that helps convert some of the starch in the flour into sugar, which is the food yeast likes the best. These enzymes become inactive as soon as the bread goes in the oven.

cream of tartar - provides acidity to make the dough slightly acidic to activate the yeast. Non-instant buttermilk also helps with this, if you use it.

The very small amount of baking powder helps the bread to rise by reacting with the acids. Commercial relaxers also have powdered L-cysteine to tenderize even further.


Submitted by sofia100 on Fri, 2012-01-13 20:03.

ZenSojourner: any suggestions for replacing the dairy product?

Submitted by KitchenBarbaria... on Sat, 2012-01-14 09:59.

Nope. Just leave it out. And adjust the quantity WAY down. Probably it would be better to look for a different dough enhancer given the quantity of the buttermilk powder called for in this version.

Submitted by --jej on Thu, 2012-01-19 22:06.

Is the SACO brand powdered buttermilk okay to use here?

Also, you write "Diastatic malt (made by slowly roasting barley over low heat) is a natural amylase - an enzyme..." Are you suggesting here that you make your own diastatic malt by roasting barley yourself?


Submitted by KitchenBarbaria... on Thu, 2012-01-19 22:24.

Nope, I copied all that from the website listed at the top. She's just talking about how diastatic malt is made.

At the time that I posted the recipe people were asking for dough RELAXER (vs enhancer) recipes and this was one I had bookmarked. If you read her description, which I copied from her website, she also talks about heat treated powdered milk in the blurb, but calls for buttermilk powder in the recipe itself.

I actually hadn't noticed that until the other day. I'm not sure whether the buttermilk part is in error, or the part where she talks about heat treated powdered milk. Guess I'd better go back to the source, LOL!

Submitted by KitchenBarbaria... on Sun, 2012-02-05 15:24.

OK, I got the answer, and it is, either will do, but you get more of the acid-action from the powdered buttermilk.

So yes, the Saco is fine.