I see the additive PZ44 mentioned at times so I got to wondering about it’s usage. I’ve tried some dough recipes that used the dry milk in them, but I’m not a fan of the crumb texture they give a pizza dough. It seems to me that PZ44 is just some sort of a dried milk product (based on what I find in a comparison of nutritional labels) but PZ44 certainly has a higher per use cost than plain old dry powdered milk, so I’m just wondering how it’s different from using powdered dry milk in a formula. Does it alter the crumb structure in a similar way?
Comparing PZ-44 to dry milk is like comparing the space shuttle to a hand tossed glider; they’re more than a little different. Dry milk solids, to be used correctly in pizza dough, or any yeast leavened dough, should be high heat, bakery grade. If it isn’t, the milk will exhibit a slight softening affect upon the dough, problem is, this affect isn’t consistent, it can be rather variable, so at times you may thing you’ve added too much water, when that wasn’t the case at all. The high heat version doesn’t exhibit the dough softening affect, it just contributes to the crust color development as well as the cost of your dough formula.
PZ-44, on the other hand, is a formulated product made from sweet dairy whey (by product from Mozzarella cheese production) plus L-cysteine (an amino acid) that exhibits a softening affect on the dough similar to that of non-heat treated milk, but, unlike the milk, L-cysteine provides for a very specific and controlled amount of dough softening. This is where PZ-44 comes into its’ own, it is used to control or eliminate dough snap-back during forming, and improve the pressing properties of the dough when a dough press is used to shape the dough skins. It is also very effective when used in an emergency dough system to condition the dough for shaping when you only have an hour or so available between mixing the dough and turning it into pizzas, as opposed to closing the shop and going home. Typically, PZ-44 is used at levels of 1 to 2% of the total flour weight, An excessive level of PZ-44 can/will turn a dough into something that closely resembles wall paper paste, and it will do this in the mixer in a matter of a couple minutes. Which brings up another point, PZ-44 can also be used to reduce the dough mixing time by up to a maximum of 25%. Yes, it will reduce it by a whole lot more than that, but the dough will become objectionably soft and stick if used at levels t provide more than a 25% mix time reduction. As you can see, it is a bit different from milk in any form.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
Thanks for giving more information about PZ-44. I can understand more about it now. I guess it would help to have this product on hand in case I need an emergency dough since I have to plan on making dough just for one day a week at market. Thanks to deaconvolker for asking this question, too.