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Momo
31 may 2022
In Gluten free vegan sourdough
For a long time I had been using the same powder psyllium husks brand. Mainly because it's a know organic brand that's widely available in the market and I can also bulk buy 10 Kg or more from them for my bakery which allows me to get much better prices. I had tried other brands before when I was starting to use psyllium in my recipes, but at some point I decided to just stick to this brand since I already knew what to expect from it in terms of quantity to use for each recipe. And for a long time I did not give much attention to this, until the brand had some logistic issues and ran out stock. This situation forced me to go look for other brands, so I looked for other powder alternatives since I had adjusted all my recipes to use powder instead of the coarse husks like the one in the picture above. I bought a 200 grams package just to test, and when I opened it I notice that the powder was very similar to the one I had been using before, therefore I did not test and used the same quantities specified in my recipes. It was a big mistake, once I added the wet ingredients to the stand mixer and turned it on, the dough started to get really hard after a few seconds of mixing, I added a bit more of water, and a bit more, and a bit more.... It was still very hard, then I had no option than just adding quite a lot of water until it softened enough to put the dough in the fermentation baskets. It was a big surprise and a good opening eye lesson for me since I trusted that the product would work just the same as the one that I had been using. I had a bit of the previous brand in a package so I decided to compare. Both powders had exactly the same fine grind but slightly different color, so I did the Lab. exercise and put a teaspoon of each in different bowls with a cup of flour and a cup of water. It was not a big surprise to check that the new brand that I used hardened the dough at least twice more than the previous brand. But how can this be ?. Two options I guess; since both products were imported from India, they can be made from different plants or one of them has been altered with additives to make it weigh more (which would not surprise me). Considering this new discovery, I realized that my suggestion in the guide has a problem since I recommend to use twice as much psyllium if you use coarse grind husks instead of powder. Now I know this is not accurate since there could be hundreds of different grinds and God knows how many brands using additives or selling a products that comes with additives without knowing. I will use this information to update the guide in the next edition. In the meantime, my new suggestion is to test any new brand that you buy before you use it in your recipes. Always keep some of the psyllium you are currently using before moving to a new brand, and perform the lab test to check how weak or strong the new psyllium is, and then update the quantity to use in your recipe. Remember that depending of the other ingredients you are using in your recipe, if you just use psyllium as a binding agent, you might need to use from 2% up to 5%.
Important note about psyllium husk 😬 content media
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