I've seen two recipes tonight with the KA high gluten flour, which of course I don't have. So can you add more VWG to bread flour to be the equivelent?
Yes, you can think of it in those terms, but I'm not sure what proportion of VWG you'd want to add. Depends on your bread flour. What flour do you use now?
unbleached bread flour from our local co-op. I'm not sure if the VWG is KA's or not, but I also buy that there.
King Arthur's Bread Flour is already pretty strong because it is milled from spring wheat -- I think their quoted protein percentage is about 12.7%. High-gluten flour is also milled from spring wheat, but usually from the strongest you can get. The protein is rated there at around 13.5-14%
Now, vital wheat gluten is not all gluten, and I think the percentage of gluten-forming proteins in it can vary a bit. Since your bread flour is already pretty strong, I would limit the VWG addition to around 1-2% of flour weight in the formula. If you were using a winter wheat flour, I'd add maybe another point to that, but you will have to take a chance and see what works. If the dough is still not strong enough, you can add 0.5-1% more than before the next time.
Hope that helps.
I appreciate all of the help lately, I've been getting on here!
I was just about to ask if there was a precise formula to bring KAF bread flour to the same protein level (14.2%) as their hi-gluten Sir Lancelot. Both are milled from hard red spring wheat.
While I enjoy making bagels for friends who are here for the summer (and they love eating them), seven bucks for three pounds of flour is getting pricey considering I need two pounds of flour for 13 bagels.
Will try the two percent ratio and hope it works.
The other nice thing about the VWG is that most folks can now get Bob's Red Mill brand at a normal grocery store, or certainly at a Whole Foods (Whole Paycheck). No bothering with shipping.
You know, I dunno how you folks who buy organic flour can tolerate the price that KA charges at the grocery. Six and a half bucks or more for 5 pounds -- just about twice what you pay for conventional KA.
but I know even Walmart carried VWG now too....or maybe they always have, but I noticed it after I got mine at the co-op....much cheaper!
Honestly, a great deal of recipes that call for high-gluten can be made just fine without the VWG. It just depends on how faithfully you want to re-create the recipe's crumb texture. A lot of folks actually bring the protein content down by adding some all purpose flour, which creates a much softer and lighter crumb.
If you are reasonably experienced with handling different degrees of gluten in a variety of doughs, you can try it without the VWG. I'm sure you'll get it developed, shaped, and into the oven without a disaster. You're not going to get the exact same crust, crumb, or mouth feel, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
There are a few rare exceptions where the VWG is definitely necessary for the structure of certain freeform loaves. You can probably tell by the recipe whether or not the VWG is being used for proofing structure, or just end product feel.
I may just go ahead and try it both ways....now I have to find those recipes again!
I think one of them was on the KA site, and of course they use their own products, and the other was on here