The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Compensating for different flour Protein Percentages

asegal0000's picture

Compensating for different flour Protein Percentages

Is there a formula for switching flours with different protein percentage?


For example, I was using KA flour, and needed to get a quick supply, so I went to Sams Club,

and their bread flour is only 10% (only rose to 1/2 of what it should have); what is the best way to

compensate for this (more yeast, how much? More Vital Wheat Gluten, how much?)


Thanks in advance!

copyu's picture

I don't think there's an easy answer, but there are some easy questions!

Are you new to baking bread?

Are you using a bread machine?

Are you mixing other flour(s) with the Sam's Club bread flour?—etc...

If you hang around here for a while, you'll get the idea that people want to know exactly what you're baking and some will even demand the recipe or formula before offering advice.

Your figure of 10%, I assume, means the 'protein' content, which sounds low for a 'bread flour'. It won't necessarily affect the rise, however. You can add anywhere from 1-2 tablespoons of vital wheat gluten to a 1-2 lb batch of bread, but that's usually not necessary until you start mixing 50% ryes, or other 'low-to-no-gluten' flours. Just remember that the difference between 10% [base] and 13% is a 30% difference, not a 3% difference. Feel free to add vital wheat gluten to bring the 'protein' up, if you need it.

Best of luck!

PS: A little yeast will go a long way if you give it a lot of time.



asegal0000's picture

For this bred, I was just making a standard white bread in the machine


1 1/2 cup water

4 1/4 cup bread flour

2 tbl butter

3 tbl sugar

2 tbl dry milk powder

1 1/2 teasp salt

2 tsp active yeast

[1 tsp vital wheat gluten when using Smart & final bread flour, not for KAF)



Thomas Mc's picture
Thomas Mc

It took me a few minutes to figure out (it's been a LONG time since high school), but here it is:

The variables are DESIRED protein level, LOW protein level (protein in AP flour), and HIGH protein level (protein in Vital Wheat Gluten).


So, if you want a 12% protein level, but your AP flour only has 10, and you have Vital Wheat Gluten with 75% (your numbers and milage may vary), you need to use 3% VWG:


asegal0000's picture

My VWG is 6g proteing/12g serving = 50%

so using your formula

(12-10)/(50-10)= .05 = 5%


Is this by weight of flour?

If my 4 1/4 C flour weighs 19.125 ounces

5% would be .956 ounces of vital wheat gluten to add?


Thomas Mc's picture
Thomas Mc

(sorry, your post hadn't shown up when I posted mine.)

Yes, but you would want to REPLACE flour with the VWG, not add to it. The .956 oz would be part of the 19.125


Thomas Mc's picture
Thomas Mc

(edited by user)

asegal0000's picture

OK, thanks for the info, I will try


mrfrost's picture

I found a great online tool to easily figure out how to change flour protein levels by adding vital wheat gluten. I think it was developed by one of the guys at the forum.

Use the "Mixed Mass Percentage Calculator" to figure out your exact protein% target. Of course you need to know the protein levels of your flour and VWG, or there are national brands to select from.

I calculated that I need to add .3 oz of my Arrowhead VWG(65% protein) to 15.7 oz of my White Lily bread flour(11.7%) to make a pound of 12.7% protein flour.

It's really pretty simple to use, but if you need help, just ask(post). I'm sure I or someone else can assist.

Good luck.


copyu's picture

I'm NOT the original poster, but I'm grateful for all the mathematical info, the VWG calculations and the links that people have provided—thanks for that—but I'm also confused...

I understood that the O-P's (asegal0000)'s query was about the "low rise" of her bread-machine dough. How is this going to be affected by increasing the gliadin/glutenin content of the flour?

The formula uses 2 teaspoons of yeast [a prodigious amount, IMHO...] with added sugar and milk powder. Flours are not all the same, obviously, but 10% (estimated) 'protein' isn't actually "bad" for a 100% white bread, is it?. I would be much more inclined to blame:

  • the yeast
  • the short fermentation time provided by a bread machine 
  • the hydration (and, therefore, the weather!)
  • CUP measurements, especially with an unfamiliar flour

Your thoughts?