The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

vital wheat gluten/dough enhancer WITH ww

crazyknitter's picture

vital wheat gluten/dough enhancer WITH ww

Someone gave me a recipe for their bread.   Their bread was so soft and moist with 100% whole wheat white wheat.  It was so soft and fluffy, AND very much like your store bought bread.   So... I requested the recipe.

I have been trying to achieve these results with my own 100% whole wheat (home milled).  

I studied this persons recipe... and I have summed up the difference is that this person adds in vital wheat gluten and dough enhancer.  Now, I personally like to develop my gluten by soaking my grains for a few hours... and then add in the slow rise.  We like how it enhances the flavor of the bread.

So, I decided to try adding in dough enhancer and wheat gluten.  It definitely aided in the fluffiness and softness.  

I was wondering if there is a method of making 100% whole wheat bread and getting this fluffy soft, nice sandwich-like loaf without using added dough enhancer or vital wheat gluten?  Can anyone give me some advice?


crazyknitter's picture

I forgot to mention that there was one other difference between my friends recipe and mine:   the use of buttermilk.  So, I can see why my friend's recipe turned out quite soft.

phxdog's picture


Your friend may not wish that recipe to be shared, however, with out the recipe it will be harder for the experts on this forum to give you suggestions for the improvement in texture that you are seeking.

I have found that the addition of an oil or shortning will help soften the texture a bit. How fine does your mill process the wheat berries?

I have never used whire wheat, just the red winter wheat. I normally use RLB's 100% Whole Wheat Epiphany Bread recipe ( I have been very happy with that recipe.

Good luck!

Phxdog (Scott)

Chuck's picture

Perhaps investigate Peter Reinhart's method of making WW breads (the book he co-wrote is called "Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor"). His method is quite different, and I've heard (no first-hand experience yet:-) the results are remarkably good.

There are a gazillion different things sold as "dough enhancer". Can you post your dough enhancer ingredients so we have a chance to figure out what's going on?

Some things that act as a "dough enhancer" can also be obtained and used as separate ingredients - same effect, but less stigma. (For example diastatic malt/sprouted barley flour is pretty common, and in general the best "dough enhancer" I've ever run across is olive oil~)


BettyR's picture

some people have a problem with the dough enhancer because so much of the time it is made with chemicals that we don't know or understand and who wants to put that in their food. But vital wheat gluten is simply made by making a dough out of wheat flour and rinsing it with water until you get all the starch out. You are then left with the gluten, which is a high quality protein, it is then dried and powdered. People all over the world have been making it for thousands of years and using it as a substitute for meat and sill do so today.

It does improve the texture of bread but it also adds extra nutrition to the bread you are feeding your family. Why would you not want that?

RobynNZ's picture

Check out TxFarmer's blog here on TFL to learn what she has reported on making soft shreddable breads:

The last is for whole wheat, but suggest you read the earlier posts to learn about techniques and the role of ingredients. Her whole blog is amazing and well worth following.

You could also try using the search box to find out what other posters have had to say.