The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Quality of gluten: a simple test you can perform right now

RobertS's picture
RobertS

Quality of gluten: a simple test you can perform right now

I just read at "Askville.com" about a simple test to determine the relative quality of the gluten in flours you use, and think you may want to try it. It's fun and educational.


We all know about the importance of quantity of of gluten, but quality of gluten is also very important.


Make a small stiff dough of ball using 1/4 cup of flour. Make one ball for each flour you have on hand.


Knead till it becomes quite elastic, then continue kneading between fingers under a stream of water, till the water washes out all of the starch in the ball. You now have a ball of pure gluten. By playing with this ball, stretching and folding it, you will soon see how resistant it is to tearing compared with the other balls you test. A good bread flour will enable you to pull the gluten into a very thin membrane.


RobertS

Peasant Baker's picture
Peasant Baker

Is there a specific % of Hydro to this test or just until the flour becomes a workable dough? 


 This would be a great test since my local Whole Foods bulk bin switched from KA special to some other source.

RobertS's picture
RobertS

Hi Peasant Baker


No specific amount of water. Just make a stiff dough. Different flours will use different amounts of water for the same volume of flour.


RobertS

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Thank you, RobertS. That sounds well worth having in one's "tool bag". I have to try that.

copyu's picture
copyu

'Quality' vs 'Quantity'...a really interesting concept, although I'm now getting a little confused (or perhaps educated?)


I've been watching videos on YouTube of people making Chinese "pulled noodles" and, when I find a recipe, they generally specify very weak CAKE FLOUR with, occasionally, a a mere quarter or half-cup of All-Purpose flour


I know that most of the Chinese noodle and dumpling recipes use lye water (Kansui) and wondering whether this makes all the difference to the "stretchability" of the dough...or is the gluten in "softer" wheat flours somehow 'better'? 


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auhHl5-6VdY


Cheers,


copyu


PS: I'm not ignoring all of the elaborate 'working' of the dough that Chinese chefs do...or have their apprentices do for them! copyu