The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Gluten Flour vs Vital Wheat Gluten

GarryL's picture

Gluten Flour vs Vital Wheat Gluten

Well, here's my first post and I apologize if the question is too repetitive for all the more experienced.  I've just got into baking breads using a bread machine so it's a whole new world of terms, products and ingredients.  A low-carb buttermilk bread recipe calls for 1/2 cup, or 125ml of Vital Wheat Gluten (Gluten de Froment Elastique).  Yesterday I found a specialty shop where I bought, among other ingredients, Gluten Flour, 80% (Farine de Gluten, 80%).  I showed the salesperson what I needed and I was handed the Gluten Flour.  After researching online, I don't think I got what I really needed.  So, my question is:  Will Gluten Flour do the trick, or should I get exactly what the recipe calls for?

Your help would be much appreciate.


xaipete's picture

Apparently they are the same thing.

There are several types of gluten flour, most derived from wheat. Gluten is a protein found abundantly in the endosperm of wheat that adds stickiness and sponginess to dough. When people cook with other whole grains, they may not have adequate gluten, and might need to use a bit of pure gluten in order to make breads and other baked goods lighter. There are a few ways to add extra gluten to dough, most of them employing some type of gluten flour to accomplish this.

Pure gluten flour or vital wheat gluten is flour that is treated so that wheat bran and starch are removed. This means it’s much lower in carbohydrates, and much higher in protein. A quarter cup (30g) of pure gluten flour can contain 23 grams of protein, though it’s seldom the case that you’ll use very much in a recipe. Gluten flour in small amounts is added to other whole grain flours, with some recipes calling for about a cup of it at most for a loaf of bread. It has become popular in low-carb foods because the removal of starch means only about 6 grams of carbohydrates remain in a quarter of a cup.

Another type of gluten flour is regular white or wheat flour with additional gluten added. This may be called bread machine or high gluten flour. The amounts of the wheat protein differ from brand to brand, but usually this type of flour contains about 12% protein. You can contrast this to the pure form, which is about 75% pure protein.

Many love using bread machine flour because it tends to result in much lighter and fluffier bread. Yet it’s not best if you’re trying to keep carbohydrates low. Though carbohydrate content is lower than in standard white flour, high gluten flour still holds about 54 grams of carbs per cup, as opposed to 24 grams of carbs per cup of pure gluten.


GarryL's picture

Thank you very much Pamela for taking the time to help this novice out.  As soon as I log out, I'm off to try another new adventure in bread making.

Happy Baking,


Monstergirl's picture

Thanks Pamela!  I was at that question cross-roads myself!  I have vital wheat gluten, but had also picked up Spring Wheat Hi-Gluten flour and wasn't sure how to use the Hi-Gluten flour.  

So is Hi-Gluten Spring Wheat flour equal to bread flour?  Or I should add it to the loaf like the vital wheat gluten?

Wish I knew more, I picked up the hi-gluten flour in Henry's bulk bin so there weren't any protein or gluten percentages listed.  Thanks for the info!


xaipete's picture

If you have any doubt that the products are the same, just look at the nutritional breakdown. They should read the same. I think VWG is something like 22 g protein per serving.


GarryL's picture

After a perfect record of my first 6 good assorted loaves, lucky 7 was not so lucky.  I was so excited to start the Low-Carb Buttermilk bread and had all the ingredients layed out ready to go!  Everything went in the bread mixer ok and then started to read the instructions listed below for crust selection, size selection, etc.  My heart dropped and temperature rose when I read "...put in the mixing paddle".  I forgot it!!!  OMG.  Had no choice but to reach in with the paddle and get it in place.  Needless to say things got a little messed up.  I let the process continue anyways hoping for the best, but it was not to be.

The loaf didn't rise much and was pretty rubbery.  Oh well, back to the drawing board.  I started writing in each recipe before the first ingredient *paddle* to avoid a repeat.  Kinda anxious now to try again.


Suzanne Feld's picture
Suzanne Feld

Garry, I did that exact thing with a loaf of Orange Spice bread and while it came out fine, i had to use vice grips to get the paddle out when I cleaned the basket--it was stuck in there pretty well.  That seems to have reminded me to put it in first  :-)


sdionnemoore's picture

Garry, I had to laugh when I read what you'd done, though I assure you I laughed with you and not at you. Let me count how many times I've done the very same thing. . .

steverino's picture

Does anyone have an opinion (based on experience) of quality differences between one brand of vital wheat gluten and another?  How much variation is there likely to be?  My preference is for organic.  Thanks very much.  Steve

Antilope's picture

but here's a breakdown of the protein content of a few brands:

VITAL WHEAT GLUTEN FLOUR, Breadmaking Supplement - 65 to 77% protein
Best Use: Added to raise gluten. Adds extra gluten to low-gluten whole grain flours, such as rye, oat, teff, spelt, or buckwheat.
-Arrowhead Mills Vital Wheat Gluten Flour, 65.0% 
-Bob's Red Mill Vital Wheat Gluten Flour, 75.0%
-Gillco Vital Wheat Gluten Flour, 75.0%
-Hodgson Mill Vital Wheat Gluten Flour, 66.6%
-King Arthur Vital Wheat Gluten Flour, 77.8%