The Fresh Loaf

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Bagels with Gold Medal Better for Bread Flour + Vital Wheat Gluten?

mikeinnyc's picture

Bagels with Gold Medal Better for Bread Flour + Vital Wheat Gluten?

I'm trying to make Peter Reinhart's bagel recipe but all i have at home is some vital wheat gluten and Gold Medal bread flour. Has anyone tried adding vital wheat gluten to the flour with good results, and is there a ratio of VWG to flour that I should use? Or is this just a bad idea? Much obliged!

LindyD's picture

If you look at his recipe, he calls for either unbleached high-gluten or bread flour.

I've tried adding VWG to bread flour, but to my taste, I just made bread doughnuts, not bagels.  

I can't recall the exact amount ov VWG added, perhaps 1 - 1.5 TBS.  You have to be careful with VWG because too much can turn your dough to rubber.

mrfrost's picture

Here is a calculator to help you blend your flours, including vwg, to achieve the precise protein percentage desired. Use the mixed mass table on the right, after the link.

I think one of the guys at developed the calculator. Those guys are geniuses. I use it all the time.



suchatravesty's picture

I feel stupid, mrfrost, but how exactly do I use that calculator? Excuse me while I go hide in a corner...

mrfrost's picture

You want to use the "Mixed Mass Calculator" on the right:
Gold Medal Better for bread = General Mills Harvest King:

I have some G. M. Harvest King flour, and some Hodgson Mill VWG. I need a pound of high gluten flour for bagels. The 2 most typical hi gluten flours are 14.2% protein so we want to make 16 oz of this 14.2 % flour by blending the GMHK and VWG.

1. Select GMHK from the first drop down menu.
2. Select Hodson Mill vwg from the next drop down selector.
3. Enter "16" in the box after "Mass".
    Do not enter quote marks( " ).
4. Enter "14.2" in the box below "Mass"
5. "Check" the second "Mass>%"
6. The bottom 2 boxes will then show how many oz. of GMHK(Mass A) and how many oz. of vwg(Mass B) are required to achieve the a pound of flour with a protein % of 14.2 %.

It takes very little vwg to increase the protein level. I would guess about 1 TBS vwg(.3 oz) to raise the protein 1 percentage point for a pound of flour.

Here is a little video I made showing how to blend some KAAP and KASL to acheive 12 oz of a desired 13 % protein flour(ignore the audio):

So I needed 5.76 oz mass A(KAAP) and 6.24 oz Mass B(KASL) to acheive a blend with 13% protein.

If your particular vwg is not listed in the drop down, then instead of using the drop down, you would check the circle immediately below the drop down and the enter the protein % of you vwg.

Once you do it a couple of times, you will realize it is very simple to use the calculator. Good luck.

ps: If you would like, just tell me what you are trying to acheive, and I will calculate it for you. Maybe even do a video.


GrapevineTexas's picture

Mike, I have successfully made bagels with the Gold Medal Bread Flour, but I am now a faithful convert to KA. 


Mr. Frost, ... but I have to admit that it looks like MATH to me ;)  ... OH NO!  ...

Seriously, I am a bit befuddled, but this wouldn't be the first, nor the last time.  I do LOVE the thought of this little item though, and when I have a few minutes I'm going to play with it to see if I can (cough) (cough) understand it. 

It ain't easy, but I is gonna try. 


Thank you for posting it. 


mikeinnyc's picture

Thanks guys I really appreciate the help. I was in a rush today so I took a chance and went for 1 tsp per "cup" of flour - will see how these look tomorrow when I bake them. The dough was definitely more resilient today than in the past. I can't say that my bagels have been anything to write home about so far, but I'm hoping to at least avoid another round of wisecracks from my girlfriend ....

mikeinnyc's picture

...more or less. At least definitely better than just regular bread flour. But for some reason, some of my bagels were rounder and puffier than others. I was moving pretty slowly - could it be because of different temperatures/rising times? I sifted the VWG through 2x so it should have been evenly distributed. I do plan to use high protein flour next time, but I have the feeling my bagel shortcomings were not the fault of the flour alone

Maryland Bob's picture
Maryland Bob

I make Peter's bagels with KAF bread flour which is pretty high in gluten to begin with and get great results. I follow his instructions exactly. I knead it in a bread machine for maybe 8-10 min. Recently I used some KAF Sir Lancelot high gluten flour and got spectacular resilts. But at $7 for a 3# bag it's a bit rich for my budget. But I go to VT twice a year and there is a coop in Bratteleboro that sells it in bulk for about $1 a pound.

jayjaybaker's picture

I tried the unclesalmon link to the calculator mentioned in this thread, but the website is no longer in operation (August-2017). I found a link to a real easy VWG calculator that is up and running. Try this link