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Vital wheat gluten + bread flour with whole wheat

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rlatndyd's picture
rlatndyd

Vital wheat gluten + bread flour with whole wheat

Just starting to experiment with the whole grains, (I'm currently using Bob's Red Mill organic stone ground whole wheat flour )


I feel that 100% WW breads are often too dense and flat. No one in my family likes them but me. 


I'm thinking of mailordering vital wheat gluten but would simply adding the vital wheat gluten to WW make the loaf lighter?


or do I have to resort to some use of bread flour at least?


What would be a recommended ratio? 


 

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

I really don't know much about BRM stone ground, but it sounds to be rather course and heavy. You might try some more finely milled ww flours like King Arthur, or Gold Medal.


I have seen several 100% ww recipes which claim to be "light & fluffy" (for ww), here and other places. I've read that thorough hydration(soaking) and kneading are key.


If the "resistance continues", you might try white whole wheat. It's supposed to bake up lighter and fluffier than traditional whole wheat and has all the whole grain benefits. Not as boldly flavored though.


The vwg does work too, but I think all things being eqaul, a course ground ww flour is just not going to be as fluffy as the more finely milled flours.


ps: The directions on my box of Hodson Mill vwg say 4 teaspoons per loaf. If you consider a loaf being 3 to 4 cups flour, I guess that works out to about a teaspoon per cup of flour. By the way, I see this just about everywhere here in the Atlanta, Ga area so it may be pretty widely distributed. You might want to check near the flour and/or baking ingredients in you local grocers.

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

I found VWG in the bulk bins of a local healthy food type market (like Whole Foods, but a local chain).  It was very economical. 

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Yes, I agree. I too have(since) found a local bulk source, but of course, no documentation to show.


And by the way, I checked Bob's Red Mill website, and there recommendation is 1 tablespoon per cup of flour...and Bob's is one of the "strongest" I've seen. Those are all just recomendations, I guess, as the different flours one is trying to augment have various levels of gluten available. From almost none, to quite a bit for some whole wheats.


 

yozzause's picture
yozzause

try going to a 50% whole wheat and 50% white flour especially if you are trying to get the rest of the family to go down the wholewheat path then you can slowly add more wholewheat. whole wheat is great flour if you use some dark stout in it too as an overnight soaker or a pinch of yeast in it overnight. Use all the the liquid and all the 50% whole wheat.I think i still prefer mine as a 50/50 mix though.

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

Try using King Arthur's Whole Wheat white. Try their WW sandwich loaf. It's pretty soft and fluffy and it's 100% whole wheat.  You can make it with the WWW and if you retard it in the fridge it will be even better. Also, sourdough seems to mellow out the taste of WW if bitterness is an issue.  You could try making this sandwich loaf 1/2 white flour and just keep sneaking up the whole wheat with them.


Do they like rye? That's even more nutritious than WW. If you could get a little rye into a loaf that would be good to. How about some seeds, flax/sunflower/nuts/millet/etc? My family's favorite is a multigrain sourdough with tons of seeds including wildrice, flax, rye berries and wheat berries.


Glad my half of the  family (husband,my parent's who I give bread to) love rye and whole wheat as otherwise they would be out of luck as I'm not going to bake white for them. At Thanksgiving, I took some very light, tasty WWW rolls to our dinner with the step kids (none of who eat WW) and about half the family chose to eat the crappy rolls from the plastic bag, not even heated up.  I couldn't believe it!  Took same rolls to my family and they couldn't get over how good they were.


The none WW side of the family does seem to like rye bread (with WW slipped in) despite the WW phobia. They have no reference point at all for rye as rye is not found in Phoenix anywhere except maybe at a deli served with a reuben or ham/cheese sandwich.


I think it's partly what they grow up with. My husband's ex bought wonderbread so that's what they grew up with and what their kids are growing up with. My mom always had whole grains and rye in the house. Our grandmother lived with us and baked only WW/rye and that's what mom grew up with so that's what I grew up with.

rlatndyd's picture
rlatndyd

Thank you all for comments. 


I'll definitely try adding some rye since I happen to have a bag of dark rye and also 50/50 for my family. I've only just begun baking recently and everyone's so used to store-bought white or enriched breads. btw, what are some nutritional benefits of rye over wheat? 


I'd also love to try whole wheat white but don't think I'll be able to get it since I'm not in the US for the moment. Finding 100% stone ground ww and dark rye here was hard enough :(


 

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

Rye is very high in soluble fiber and has a very low glycemic index. There are a lot of studies about rye being more healthy for diabetics, menopausal women, prevention of colon cancer. You can do an internet search and be amazed at what you'll find.


I wonder, can you ship from King Arthur internationally, probablly not feasible. Are you military? Where are you located?

rlatndyd's picture
rlatndyd

I should print out a list of health benefits and let my family see it :)


I'm in Korea for the winter break so shipping internationally will probably expensive. I should probably bring home some if I can next time I come home, though the customs might have restrictions on agricultural products. 

General Store Guy's picture
General Store Guy

My whole wheat bread is light enough that when I fold a slice it doesn't break or crumble, but just bends...yet still has depth of flavor & nutrition that comes with whole grains and lacks the gummy-ness of white bread. I use Vital Wheat Gluten, but the key is adding Dough Enhancer . Check out www.STGeneralStore.com for Dough Enhancer and Vital Wheat Gluten. The amount needed is right on the label of the can.

rlatndyd's picture
rlatndyd

thanks for the tip. I'm not sure how it "enhances" the dough but I'll give it a try since it's not that expensive. 

clazar123's picture
clazar123

This is one of the great puzzles I have come across.So many people seem to think that VWG will solve so many of these texture problems in WW bread.VWG does nothing for the moisture content. Adding vital wheat gluten is not necessary,usually, and will only make your bread crumb denser and chewier. So definitely add it if that is what you are looking for.


But the key to lighter whole wheat bread is:



  1. hydrating the whole wheat flour by doing a long rise and starting out with a tackier dough than you usually would. The extra moisture will absorb when it sits during its long rise.

  2. up to 1/3 of the flour amount should be pastry flour (I use WW pastry flour but any low gluten flour will do-rye,oatmeal,cornstarch,etc). It helps provide a starchy matrix that lightens the crumb.Rye flour adds good flavor but can make it quite sticky.That stickiness doesn't go away-look up making rye bread to see what I mean.

  3. enriching the dough with milk, egg and oil or all 3.


Whole wheat bread is something i do well and even my husband (who also dislikes whole wheat bread because it is dense and crumbly) likes my whole wheat bread.I bake 3 loaves/week.


Most whole wheat flour has more than adequate gluten formation for a good loaf of bread. But the bran and roughage in it takes a long time to absorb any moisture and if you don't allow it time to moisturise than as it sits in the loaf it takes all that wonderful softening moisture from the crumb,drying it out and making it crumbly.


So soft,flavorful whole wheat is definitely do-able but takes a little more time and if you want to have a loaf with better keeping time and be as soft as you can make it-enrich it with milk,eggs and oil or any combination.


My favorite recipe actually gets mixed into a tacky dough, put in a large plastic container and put in the refrigerator overnight. Next day,finish the rising ,fold/stretch,shape,proof,bake.


Enjoy! Bread is incredibly complex and incredibly easy but always delicious.


 

rlatndyd's picture
rlatndyd

Thank you. The loaves didn't come out lighter with vwg. Would you mind sharing your favorite recipe? I'd love to try it out!

Edith Pilaf's picture
Edith Pilaf

I use Bob's Red Mill stone ground whole wheat and get great results using two different recipes.  One I found on this site and is the Buttermilk Honey whole wheat posted by JMonkey a couple years ago.  The other is Reinhart's whole wheat sandwich bread from his "Whole Grains" cookbook (check your local library for it).  Both are 100% whole wheat, use an overnight soak of part of the flour, and are enriched with eggs, butter, honey and use buttermilk as a conditioner.  I've never liked whole wheat bread, but I love the loaves these two recipes make.  Reinhart's loaf is especially soft and tender, and has great flavor. 


I believe the key is the overnight fermentation of the dough.  If done correctly, you don't need any other "dough enhancers".  I highly recommend Reinhart's book to give a good understanding of the concept and process.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

My uncle was a phenomenal baker and rarely used a recipe.Big sigh-I've turned into him! Now I understand-I used to get very frustrated with him.


I have changed my favorite recipe a number of times so I can give you the recipe where I started but it will definitely need tweaking as you go.It, also, is a combo sourdough/yeast recipe, so I'm not sure it will work for you. You aren't the first to ask me for my "recipe". I really need to measure it out again. My Saturday project,perhaps.


My recommendation is to take a single loaf WW recipe (about 3 cups/500g total of flour) from any source and use the concepts I stated above to make it.(Tacky dough,long rest,enriched,some soft, pastry flour). Write the original recipe down in a notebook and take notes on the outcome.Then make it again-same recipe with a single change to see how it affects the outcome of the second loaf. The best way to make a good loaf is to make many loaves and figure out what works best.


Also, review the videos here on the "stretch and Fold" concept. It is a lot easier than kneading and accomplishes the task at hand.


 

celestica's picture
celestica

Laurel's Buttermilk Whole Wheat with Biga (recipe on this site) is amazing.  Light, fluffy, tasty, and easy to follow directions. 

SourdoughBaker's picture
SourdoughBaker

Some great posts here - and it seems that lots of us don't think gluten or bread improvers are a great idea.


They are both essentially shortcuts which you don't need to use - in the case of wheat gluten, this was invented to hold up low protein grain, which Wholewheat flour does not have to be. Old fashioned bakers like myself just hydrate the flour before use by 'blanching' with warm water...see


http://www.sourdoughbaker.com.au/recipes/old-dough-sourdough/wholemeal-sour-old-dough.html


for a good wholemeal recipe using this method. 


Bread improvers, in the main, are pretty bad news in general. They say they use tiny amounts of vitamin C to help strengthen the gluten. There are a cocktail of other 'yeast foods' and 'dough conditioners' in there, all in tiny amounts. The problem is, and the thing that noone will tell you,  is that these agents actually cause the gluten to form in an unnatural way. The net effect of this is to make the gluten indigestible to many of us. 


Interestingly, if you plot the rise of coeliac disease worldwide alongside the widespread take up of bread improvers in bakeries, you'll notice similar shaped curves on the graphs, only the coeliac disease runs a couple of years behind. Some say this is just a diagnosis thing - but many countries banned the use of these additives long ago. 


For what it's worth, hand kneading over a number of hours in small amounts will give you a sensational rise - you just work the dough a little each time, allowing it to rest for half an hour in between each turn. I've had huge oven spring using this technique with whole wheat bread.


Cheers, great thread!

Thomas Mc's picture
Thomas Mc

quote: "these agents actually cause the gluten to form in an unnatural way."


Please cite your source, and describe what is "unnatural" about it.

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

My husband works in a winery and he brought me home some food grade Ascorbic Acid Crystals (same as Vitamin C or sour salt) to use in making sweet and sour stuffed cabbage.  I was wondering about using a bit in some breads to "condition" the dough, but maybe that's not such a good idea.


I make KAF's multi-grain bread almost weekly.  Their recipe calls for their whole grain "bread improver" which is a mix of VWG and ascorbic acid.  I do add some VWG, but opted not to purchase their "improver" and was wondering what the addition of a few crystals of the ascorbic acid might do. 

SourdoughBaker's picture
SourdoughBaker

Ahh yes, that's a common thought - ascorbic acid in dough will destroy it, unless you have the capability to measure and weigh in Parts Per Million, which is a very, very small amount. 


To make a bread improver you need a base of something starchy, and then add minute amounts of vitamin c to that, and then work out how much of that can be used in dough to equate to about 15 PPM of vitamin C. 


It's very small, I can tell you. If you want some natural bread improver i've made using amalyse, barley malt and vitamin C (it works very well) I can ship some over to you. It's completely natural, and avoids all the nasties in commercial products. Took me quite a while to get the measurements right. You'll find me here:


http://www.sourdoughbaker.com.au/warwick.html


 


Cheers!

General Store Guy's picture
General Store Guy

Very interesting conversation. I am no scientist, so I don't know why, but my bread has a wonderfully light texture with all whole wheat (even with a coarse grind) that is due mainly to the use of Dough Enhancer.


I have heard of Peter Reinhardt's method of overnight soaking & hope to try that as I prefer the most natural ingredients, but for healthy homemade bread on a tight schedule I'll use the dough enhancer.


I don't even do a double rise. I put the dough in the bread pans immediately after kneading, let it rise for about 30 minutes and bake it for 24 minutes. In fact, the other day I didn't have time for a rise and the dough rose beautifully in the oven.


Here are the ingredients in my dough enhancer: whey, lecithin, tofu powder, citric acid, dry yeast, sea salt, spice blend, corn starch, ascorbic acid, natural flavor. No MSG.


 

deardavid's picture
deardavid

Yes, adding vital wheat gluten to your whole wheat bread recipe will make the loaf rise more and the bread will be less dense.  I find it makes a world of difference.


Bread making sites vary widely in how much vital wheat gluten to add per cup of flour.  Personally, adding two and a half teaspoons per cup worked for me.