Do any commercial bakers know what "mineral yeast food" is?
A number of commercial bread recipes call for "mineral yeast food." It appears to help with a better bread rise. A google search doesn't turn up much information on what this is, where one would get it, or what difference it might make to bread. Here's an example of a commercial recipe calling for "mineral yeast food":
Are there any commercial bakers out there who know what it is, where to get it, and what substitutes might be effective? I'd certainly prefer to use natural things if possible, but I'm not beholden to them.
"Mineral yeast food was developed to stabilize water by adding mineral salts, which are essential in dough fermentation and conditioning. Mineral salts condition soft water, and acid salts neutralize the alkalinity of alkaline water which is harmful to yeast and gluten. Doughs made with mineral yeast foods are not sticky and are very soft. They go through machines with less trouble and will mold up free of air pockets. Following are some of the improved loaf characteristics resulting from the use of mineral yeast foods: Greater loaf volume and oven spring, improved texture and crumb color, better crust color, and greater uniformity."
It sounds like it would harder water by removing the minerals that are taken out when water is processed by municipalities. You might try baking with commercial mineral waters. I know the NYC is famous for their city water, and may believe that this is the reason that bagels and pizza baked in NYC are so good.
King Arthur sells Diastatic Malt Powder
Item # 3413
Ascorbic Acid (vit C.) is a commonly used yeast food, but most bread flours already have it added. King Arthur sells it if you want to add more. Item # 2290
Having lived in NYC for 6 years and just outside NYC for the rest of my life, I pretty firmly believe that the whole NYC water thing is a myth. At least, presently it is. Maybe years ago, NYC water contributed something extra to pizza and bagels, but, right now, NYC water is pretty much the same hard chlorinated water you get in the tri state area and that's anything BUT ideal for bread (chlorine is bad for yeast). The reason why NY bagels and pizza are so good isn't the water, it's the knowledge and equipment behind the processes. Once you leave the tri state area, people don't understand bagels and pizza (and Indian food and, to an extent, Chinese food). They don't use the right flour, the right cheese, the right ovens. They mess with the sauce and adds herbs that don't belong and omit herbs that do. Outside of the tri state area, you say the term 'water bagel,' and you get blank stares.
That's why the tri state aread rules the culinary roast for pizza and bagels (and Indian and Chinese food). Because they understand them.
Yeast Food is used in larger production facilities when they have a sponge and dough set up. Most small time bakers will not understand this. I am not 100% sure about exactly what it dose but it has something to do with the ph levels of the water. Below is a data sheet from Saf Yeast. I hope it is informative