The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Yet another vital wheat gluten question!

Fly's picture
Fly

Yet another vital wheat gluten question!

How does adding it affect hydration?  I know it goes in small amounts but given that it's virtually straigh protein (the one I looked at said 80%-90% pure protein) I can see it affecting dough consistency more than the small addition would seem. 


 


I'm looking at it b/c I'm still having difficulty getting my 50% WW bread to spring well in the oven and hold it.

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Say, in a pound of flour, you replaced tablespoon of the flour with a Tb of a typical vwg(say Hodgson mill). You have raised the protein % of the pound of flour about 1 percentage point.


That's about the difference between ap flour and bread flour(KAAP-11.7%, KABF 12.7%). All things being equal, the bread flour is going to absorb about a tablespoon or two(maybe a little more) more liquid than the ap to reach a similar dough consistency. This is based on what I read at King Arthur. Regardless, just adjust the flour or water as necessary to get the desired consistency. Of course, instead of using vwg, you could just use bread flour if you are using ap.


That said, I'm not saying that will necessarily help with your oven spring. It very well may though.


This was my most recent loaf of BBA Light Wheat(33% ww), with  1.5 ounces cracked wheat added. About an additional 3 oz water had to be added to get a similar dough to one with no cracked wheat. The protein level of my bread flour was 13%.



 

dghdctr's picture
dghdctr

As Mr. Frost suggests, using a very strong white flour, like King Arthur's "Bread Flour" (known in commercial bakeries as KA's Special) might just do all you need for added dough strength.


I've seen specs of anywhere from 25% to 60% for protein content in Vital Wheat Gluten, but I've never seen it spec'd at 100% protein.  In any case, you'll have to experiment a little and adjust if necessary -- this is normal, and not some mark of failure on your end if it doesn't come out perfectly the first time or two.


When I made 100% whole wheat bread in a straight dough, I'd use 2 to 4 percent VWG as compared to the flour weight in the formula.  We had to adjust it to react to varying growing conditions for our wheat berries, which were organically grown and of singular, specific origin.  Big mills can blend wheat from different sources to achieve a more consistent result, but at that time this wasn't typical of organic wheat distributors.


So the requirements can vary -- same as always.  Just start with 1 or 2 percent VWG and see what happens.  The extra gluten will require more water than what you normally use, and you'll have to experiment with those levels as well.  Take copious and specific notes of your observations as you try differing percentages of VWG.  Good luck!


--Dan DiMuzio


P.S.  Great looking loaf up there from Mr. Frost, BTW.

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Thanks for the compliment.


All the assumptions, values, calculations, etc. in my post above were derived from specs and data using this online "Mixed Mass Percentage Calculator"(right side after the link):


http://tools.foodsim.com/


I think it was developed by one of the guy's at the pizzamaking.com forum.


The protein levels of various flours and vwg are given in the drop down selections. The listed values pretty much agree with the manufacturer's listed specs(from what I can tell).


I use it to mix various white flours(and/or vwg) to get a desired protein level for flours in various recipes.

BettyR's picture
BettyR

If you wouldn't mind, I would greatly appreciate it if you would post your recipe for that bread. :)


Thanks...

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Hi Betty, sorry it took so long to get back to you. I sent you a message.


The recipe was a modification of Peter Reinhart's "Light Wheat Bread" recipe in his book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice.


Essentialy, it is exactly the same recipe, except with 1.5 oz of cracked wheat added, and an additional 2.5 oz of water added to adjust the hydration. I don't want to post the recipe, but I found it on the web(hint, smittenkitchen.com).


 

BettyR's picture
BettyR

OK, thank you!! I got the recipe.


 


I have some wheat berries but no cracked wheat. I wonder if I could crack the wheat berries in my blender or coffee mill. My grain mill doesn't do cracked, it just turns everything into flour.


 


Why is it nessary to boil powdered milk?


 


 

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Yes, I'm pretty sure a couple of pulses in the coffee mill will get you something that's similar to cracked wheat. Try not to grind it too fine though. Really, I can barely tell it's there as it is. I may increase the amount of cracked wheat on future attempts.


You don't have to boil(really "scald") the milk. Theoretically milk thats been heated to 180 degrees or so will result in a higher rising yeast bread. You really don't want to boil it. It's just that, unless you have a thermometer, you won't know if you have heated to a high enough temp. Just as soon as you see it boil, lower the temp and continue to heat it for a while, just below a simmer.


Again, that's just my personal preference. I always scald my milk for breads. I'm just always trying to see how high I can get my breads to rise.


 

BettyR's picture
BettyR

I need to make bread today so I'm going to give this a try. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Thomas Mc's picture
Thomas Mc

Sometimes I soak wheat overnight, then give it a quick spin in the food processor, before adding it to the dough. That way it is already fully hydrated, so it won't "steal" moisture from the dough.

BettyR's picture
BettyR

Mr. Frost...


I had unexpected company drop by yesterday and I didn't get to do my baking so I will be doing it today.

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

I don't know if it's because I cook on a well pre-heated stone, or maybe I'm just not hydrating as well as intended, but I find that this recipe is done in the minimum recommended cooking time.


My 8.5" loaf(a few posts above), was done when I checked it at 45 min. I use a probe thermometer, and when inserted, the temp shot right to 190 deg and probably maxed out at 200. Even so, the tip of the probe seemed a little gummy, but when cooled, the loaf was fully cooked(and not gummy at all).


2 days ago, I made the exact same recipe but the dough seemed just a little drier, so I kneaded in about 1 & 1/2 Tbs extra water. Everything else was exactly the same, except I baked this one in a 9 x 5" pan. It was fully cooked in 40 min.


I do tend to preheat my oven and stone about 50 deg higher, then lower to the prescribed temp when the loaf is loaded into the oven. Surely also a factor.


BettyR's picture
BettyR

That is a beautiful loaf!!


 


I totally suck at shaping a proper loaf. When I was growing up we baked our bread in a cast iron skillet, shaping the loaf into several medium size balls and setting them around the edge of the skillet with one in the middle. I have tried shaping a loaf and I always end up with large air holes at the top of my loaf. So I usually fall back on old habits and shape my round balls and just stick them in the loaf pans. It works just fine...no holes...but I never get a gorgeous loaf like that.


 


Any advice?

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Thank you. I think you will find that this loaf will often turn out quite nice looking. To me, it's one of the attractions of this recipe. Otherwise(taste wise), it's somewhat ho-hum. Just your basic light wheat sandwich loaf. That's one of the reasons I'm trying add-ins, like the cracked wheat, etc. Next I may try a healthy tablespoon or so of malt powder or malted milk powder to scald along with the milk.


One of the keys to try and limit the big holes in a sandwich loaf(of this type) is to not worry about being too gentle with the dough in shaping. Pressing it out into a rectangle, and then pressing on it firmly(somewhat) to minimize/equalize the bubbles. Pinching along the roll to seal often, as you roll it up.


Try to make a roll pretty much the same width and length as the pan. When you put the dough in the pan, again, press it somewhat firmly so it is equally, flatly distributed throughout the pan.


Thanks for trying it, and hope you enjoy.

BettyR's picture
BettyR

My bread is in the oven...I tried cracking some wheat berries with my coffee mill and my blender. I got a mixture of flour and whole berries but no cracked ones so I just gave up and left that out. My sour dough starter needed to be fed and since I am making two loaves I just removed my normal 1/2 cup of starter that I feed and threw the rest of it in my bread to make up for the lost flavor of the soaked berries. We shall see what happens....I'll let you know.

BettyR's picture
BettyR

OK the bread is out of the oven and it turned out very well. I'm really impressed with this loaf. I think I have a new favorite sandwich loaf.

We had some leftover roast in the frig so we had roast beef sandwiches for supper...they ate one whole loaf so yea I would say they liked it.


mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Glad you liked it. I was always thinking that some sourdough, or maybe even just some buttermilk might be all that's needed to make this my go to bread. I've got to start working on a sourdough starter one of these days. Really the maintenance is the big issue with it for me.


Maybe even see how much the whole wheat could be increased, until it affected the rise. Although I think Reinhart has probably figured that 33% is the optimum amount.


They look beautiful. Guess you wiped out that old shaping issue in one try. Don't see how they could be any more perfectly shaped.


What size pan did you use?

BettyR's picture
BettyR

I still got one hole in the first part of the first loaf...I'll see about the second loaf when I cut into it but I think I'm about to figure this out...I hope. I think I've been rolling the dough out too thin before shaping and pulling too much when rolling, and not sealing well enough while rolling. 


 


As for the starter all you have to do with it is feed it once a week and it's good to go. I just take mine out of the frig...stir it up and let it sit at room temperature until it gets some really good bubbles going, then remove 1/2 cup and set it aside and use the rest of the starter to make my two loaves of bread. 


 


Then I feed it by washing and drying the container...add the 1/2 cup of starter and stir in 1 cup of warm (body temp) water and about 1-1/2 cups flour...I really don't measure it exactly...I add enough flour to get a pancake batter consistency. Leave it sitting on the counter until you get some good bubbles going then cover and stick it in the frig and it's good to go for another week.