Ascorbic acid is a powder used by bread bakers to create an environment to for the yeast to work longer and faster. It increases the dough strength, as well as deterring mould and bacterial growth in artisanal breads. It is also used when canning fruits, as the acid helps prevent discolouration.
Use with care, and only as directed in recipes. A rough guide as follows:
- To slow oxidation of fats in charcuterie, and baking - add 0.1 to 0.3% by weight
- To preserve colour and flavour of fruit juice - add 0.1 to 0.3% by weight, most effective used in conjunction with citric acid
- To prevent discolouration of apples in water - 0.5 to 1% by weight
- As a flour improver in bread-making - 0.04 to 0.1% by weight
Be aware that ascorbic acid can react badly with some nitrites and nitrates, and can be damaging to health when used in large quantities.