using vitamin c in making french bread??

Joined Jan 14, 2007
this last few days i have been looking some of my bread recipe and found several recipe that calls for vitamin c in their ingredients. most of them are french bread recipe. i'm abit confuse about what kind of vitamin c i should use? is it just normal vitaminc and ground them into powder? what are the use of vitamin c for the bread? will it effect if i don't use them? thanks for the help 
Joined Feb 13, 2008
You can powder Vitamin C tablets or empty the capsules if you can't find it in bulk.  You can also use dry citric acid powder -- same thing, same results.

It doesn't make much difference working in small batches.  More than anything else, it makes things more consistent.  Consistency is very helpful when you're doing lots of loaves by the clock.  But when you're only proofing one bowl of dough or two loaves, and moving on to the next step only when they're actually doubled (or whatever), it's not such a big deal. 

Joined Oct 27, 2010
Similar, but not the same, vit. C is ascorbic acid, not citric acid.  Not sure where the OP is at, I pick up ascorbic acid *(powder) at trader joes for 10 bucks for a very large bottle.   Probably find it cheaper in bulk online.
Joined Feb 13, 2008
Hi Werdna,

For baking purposes -- as a "dough conditioner" -- powdered citric acid and bulk vitamin C are so close to being the same it's a distinction without a difference.  As a conditioner, citric acid is commonly used by commercial bakers, is all over the web as an ingredient, (I think) in those of my baking books (still packed away unfortunately) which deal with the subject, and in my experience for exactly the same purpose and in exactly the same way as C.   

I'd certainly be interested in any information to the contrary -- but only as it relates to baking, not nutrition.  Nutrition is another matter entirely. So is cleaning. C will keep you healthy, but it won't do as good a job at cleaning the lime scale from your coffee makers.

Getting back to baking, neither citric acid nor C are worth the effort for home baker quantities when using visual timing cues.  They "supercharge" the yeast, making rises quicker and more consistent; but they don't do much for flavor.  In fact, a quick rise is usually something of a bland rise; but, getting very nuanced, citric acid's natural tang makes up for some of that. 

Of course, everyone interested in a dough conditioner should try either or both out for her own knowledge.  The usual sequence seems to be that someone tries it, thinks it makes a positive difference, keeps using it for awhile, stops using it for whatever reason, and concludes it didn't make a difference afterall.

FYI, HiMe is located far away from the United States, her shopping opportunities are not ours.

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Joined Apr 3, 2010
BDL as you stated only worry about this when volume is main concern(like 25 loaves and up). You can buy commercial dough conditioner(commercial) in which citric acid is an ingredient. Supposedly it keeps the dough tender. I used it in Knish dough years ago Malic acid also works.
Joined Jan 27, 2010
I haven't known that vit C is a conditioner for the dough. /img/vbsmilies/smilies//smile.gif

Thanks for the one who posted this thread, shouldn't have known it if this topic has not been discussed. 
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