In a message dated 97-12-14 13:50:45 EST, you write:
<< I found an interesting recipe for stollen on the net and it calls for
Lora Brody's dough relaxer. What is this exactly? Do yo make it or do
you buy it?
Help greatly appreciated.
Lora Brody's Dough Relaxer is designed to weaken the gluten strands in your
dough thereby facilitating easier rolling and shaping. In theory it's a good
idea. In reality, it doesn't work very well. Oh, it relaxes the dough
alright, in fact it's like a heavy dose of Valium. Problem is, it totally
changes the texture, flavor and character of a dough to something much less
desirable than it was originally.
I have been baking bread and pastry for over 10 years now. Have prepared
dough using bread machines, stand mixers and by hand. In that period of time
the failures have been minimal, until Lora Brody's Dough Relaxer that is. My
first attempt was in a coffee cake dough that I had been making successfully
for years. The result was atrocious. Yes, the dough was relaxed. In fact,
it was more like knocked out, but it didn't raise properly, the final product
was dry, and the flavor was lacking. My second attempt was equally
To make matters worse, I gave the stuff to my wife to use in a pie crust. An
old family recipe that had been used quite successfully for over 60 years.
The resulting crust rolled out like a dream. Unfortunately, it couldn't be
moved. It was like trying to lift a sheet of jello. After finally getting
this blob into the pie pan, it baked up dry and crumbly. The crows in our
back yard ate well that day, but needless to say, I fell in great disfavor
with my wife. The good news is, our marriage is still intact despite the
efforts of Ms. Brody's Dough Relaxer.
As you might guess, I have a very low opinion of this product. To anyone
thinking of using it, I say, "Use At Your Own Risk." If your recipe calls for
it, leave it out, the final product will be improved.