The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Vital Wheat Gluten Math

HeidiH's picture

Vital Wheat Gluten Math

I need to make some bread for a silent auction among some disabled veterans that are raising money to support a nearby hard-up kindergarten class.  Piggy me wants to save her mail ordered flours for home so I figured an experiment with vital wheat gluten was in order. 

If Bob's Red Mill Vital Wheat Gluten Flour is 75-80% protein, KA bread flour is 12.7% protein, and KA Sir Lancelot is 14.2% I posited that with a little basic algebra I could figure out how much vital wheat gluten might make a loaf of KA bread flour bread as light but chewy as I like it.  I got a bread that worked out pretty well.   Light, chewy, with just the right number of holes for my money.    The flavor is definitely a "white bread" flavor not the same as bread made with imported flours but I am coming to understand what a difference species of wheat makes. (Formula is under the pics.)

600g KA bread flour x .127 = 76.2g protein

600g KA Sir Lancelot x .142 = 85.2g protein

So, I needed to find 9g of protein via the vital wheat gluten.  So, dividing 9g by .80, I got 11.25 grams of vital wheat gluten.

Doing a little rounding and coping with all this being approximate, I decided to replace 10g of a 600g recipe with the vital wheat gluten flour.

So, the final formula was

590 g KA bread flour (98.3%)

10 g vital wheat gluten (1.7%)

12 g salt

9 g instant yeast

420 g water

I used the stretch and fold method and divided into two rolls, painting both with egg wash and dusting one with a Tuscan herb mix and sea salt and the other with black and toasted sesame.  They were baked at 375 F for 40 minutes.


cranbo's picture

As it was pointed out to me in a similar thread of mine a while back, there's little relationship between the amount of protein in a flour and the amount of gluten. The "moral" of the thread was that just adding vital wheat gluten will not cause a lower protein flour to behave like a high-protein flour.

That said, adding gluten does have the benefit of making your dough more chewy and can help with strength & structure...and your loaves look delicious and well-developed.  


HeidiH's picture

Yes, I had read that thread here and others about vital wheat gluten on TFL.  I also read around the web and understand that it isn't alchemy but might be an okay solution to this project.  It seems the trick is not to use too much of this stuff or you can end up with chewing gum instead of bread.  I really do appreciate all I have and am learning from TFL contributors of the science and techniques of bread making.  Thank you for that info.  Without it, I wouldn't have even known to try this. 

My husband and I were just talking last night about how my bread has improved so much during the last few months since I joined TFL and started to learn about things like hydration.  The sharing of knowledge here is precious.


BettyR's picture

I live in a very rural area in Texas, they don't sell bread flour at the grocery store nearest my home. The closest place I can go to get it is a two hour round trip drive...I don't want it that bad. So I order gluten on the net in bulk to save money and I have great luck with it. Not only does it add extra nutrition to the bread it improves texture, allows the dough to hold more liquid, and extends the shelf life of my home made bread. My sandwich bread stays soft and fresh for about 5 days....

I find that 1 generous tablespoon of gluten to 2 cups of flour works very well in my breads.

Here are a few of the usual things I make using the gluten.








HeidiH's picture

Gotta run to the kitchen and get food after looking at those pics!  Definite Pavlovian response here!  Beautiful.

MaxstersMom's picture

Hi Heidi,

Your breads look beautiful! Do you think you can part with your Foccacia bread recipe with me? My email is

Hope to hear from you and great baking!


HeidiH's picture

Yup, I'm afraid all those beautiful pictures aren't my breads, they are Betty's, so you'll need to ask her.  Also, a heads up: Email addresses get converted to some strange hash in TFL forums. 

davina's picture

Hi Heidi,

The bread looks delicious. Isn't that the recipe below the bread picture? How can we contact Betty? Is she in KA?