The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Making high-gluten flour

Bushturkey's picture

Making high-gluten flour

Hi. I have a question about high-gluten flour.

The bread books I have, mention high-gluten flour at 14% protein. I can't get this in Australia (at most, 12.5% protein flour is the strongest I could source).

I've made a sourdough multigrain bread, which calls for high-gluten flour and I made my own high-gluten flour. I'd like to know if adding gluten flour (or vital wheat gluten) is the same as getting flour made from a high-gluten wheat (e.g hard spring wheat).

I used some basic algebra to make my bread flour (12% protein) into a 14% protein flour, using gluten flour (which comes with 70% protein - but this is made by mixing flour with water into a slurry and washing out the starch, leaving only the gluten, which  is then dried and milled into a flour. This means the gluten was first hydrated, then dried and milled).

Does added gluten behave as normal gluten during mixing (i.e gluten that hasn't been hydrated first)?

nicodvb's picture

it depends if the dry gluten that you add was obtained from a strong gluten wheat variety. Imagine what a disaster you would get  if it was obtained from the super-weak spelt or durum...

ananda's picture

Hi Nico and Bushturkey,

You would think it the case that gluten from weaker flours would not work as well as that from high gluten manitoba type flour.

But I'm not sure that is the case.   All the plant bakers in the UK add gluten to their dough mixers; they use mostly UK grown bread wheat strains now for the flour.   The gluten is extracted from regular British-produced other words, weak.

I think we have to look at the refinement process here.   Once all the other proteins have been removed, the gluten and gliadin fractions are the only ones remaining.   I believe that weak flour just yields less of these proteins, but the quality is the same.   So for a kilo of strong flour you would simply extract more gluten than you would for a kilo of weak flour.   In effect using weak flour to produce gluten simply means more is required to produce a given quantity.

However, you want to know if adding gluten to your 12% protein flour in the right proportion  protein will then produce a flour which performs the same as one with 14% stated protein level.   From what I can gather the answer to that is quite likely to be "no".   The reason given is that the gliadin fraction is quite difficult to extract.   So the balance between amount of glutenin and gliadin fractions in the prepared gluten will not necessarily be the same as that in regular strong flour.

All good wishes


mwilson's picture

It also depends what you're hoping to achive with higher gluten content. Long fermentation or higher rise?

Simply put, more gluten content equals a stronger dough.

I've not used vital wheat guten myself but I have manually extracted gluten from flour and mixed it back into a dough in the hope of getting more rise and it worked. From what I remember, from 200 grams of flour I was left with a rubbery ball of hydrated gluten that weighed about 60 grams. You may wish to try this, it's interesting! I don't do this anymore because I have found ways of applying different techniques to get more volume.

So I would just question why higher gluten is required and go from there.

Bushturkey's picture

Thanks for your reply.

I was making a sourdough seed bread, with lots of whole flax, acacia, sesame and sunflower seeds and I was wanting extra strength in the dough to lift the seeds up, so to speak. The recipe called for high-gluten bread flour (from Jeffrey Hamelman "Bread: a baker's book of techniques and recipes").

I get the same rubbery ball by adding water to gluten flour. I've also used it to make seitan dishes.

richkaimd's picture

I cannot answer y0ur question.  However, I put "vital wheat gluten" into the search box on the upper left of any page of TFL and got lots more answers there than you've already gotten by far.  Try it. 

Actually, years ago when I started reading this site I began to notice how many questions get repeated.  It's probably a good idea to start at the search box with any and all questions.  You'll be surprised how much is there already.

Good luck!



Bushturkey's picture


I tried the search function before I posted my question, but didn't use the specific term "vital wheat gluten" and got a blank search response.

I had a look at the "vital wheat gluten" thread and it does have alot of information!

Doc.Dough's picture

Some commercial high gluten flours are enriched with vital wheat gluten.  There is no reason why you can't do it too. Your math skills are clearly up to the task so go do the experiment. Start with a couple of teaspoons per cup (but weigh it so you can repeat it) then run splits until you find your optimum point.

Patf's picture

it depends on the source of gluten, and personal taste.

I'm in France and use the Francine range of bread flours which contain some added gluten, and I'm happy with the resulting bread. Although it probably wouldn't please the purists.

I also used to buy wheat gluten to add to farine complete from a local mill and found the resulting dough texture very "strange" - can't describe exactly, but nothing like the dough I  now obtain from Dove Farm organic.

mrosen814's picture

Hi Bushturkey...

I am in Melbourne and in search for high-gluten flour. May I ask where you found the 12.5% protein flour?