The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How much Gluten Flour to use ?

  • Pin It
noyeast's picture
noyeast

How much Gluten Flour to use ?

In Peter's book "The Bread Bakers' Apprentice" Peter says to use gluten flour from stage 2 of his seed sour dough starter recipe.  Does this mean use 100% Gluten Flour, or does it mean unbleached flour fortified with a percentage of High Gluten Flour ?  If the latter, then how much GF should be added to the regular flour.

I can buy HG flour locally, it is a grey colour.  I have never been sure whether to use it at 100% in a recipe that calles for HG flour to be used.

Thanks.

Paul.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

I don't have BBA so I can't read any deeper than your quote.  Generally gluten flour means vital wheat gluten and high gluten flour generally means a flour with  14% protein or more.

I suspect you have high gluten flour and not vital wheat gluten, but you can run a simple test to find out.

Carefully weigh 5g (or X grams) of your flour and add an equal weight of water; stir until the water is absorbed by the flour.

If it is vital wheat gluten it will form a glob that you can easily pick up and roll around in your hands with the texture of a very soft Artgum eraser.  If it is high gluten flour it will make a paste that will get all over your hands if you try to pick it up and roll it around.

If it is high gluten flour, you can use it at 100% to make bread (i.e., pizza dough or ciabatta), or you can dilute it with a lower gluten flour to make other styles of bread.

noyeast's picture
noyeast

thanks Doc, after running your test I have vital wheat gluten.  I will assume around a 15-25% addition to my AP flour where high gluten is called for.

Paul.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Hi Paul, 

There's absolutely no reason to use a high gluten flour for a starter.  Bread flour will do, as will a good all-purpose flour.  Unbleached and unbromated, of course.

Actually, if you look at the BBA instructions, they list bread flour as well.  Since "bread flour" in most books on bread refers to a flour with a protein level of around 11 percent, using a reputable AP flour meets those requirements.  For example, KAF all purpose has a 11.7% protein level.  I use Gold Medal Better for Bread flour to maintain my own five-year-old starter simply because it's the cheapest unbleached, unbromated brand I can find.

Truthfully, I found the BBA instructions for creating a sourdough culture quite convoluted.  Mr. Reinhart subsequently acknowledged there was a simpler method which had been introduced to him by Debra Wink, and I believe he has used her method since.

You can read her instructions here:  http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/10901/pineapple-juice-solution-part-2

The actual instructions for creating the culture are in the lower portion of her posting.  Part one is a good read, as are the related links she presents at the bottom of part two.

noyeast's picture
noyeast

thanks Lindy,

I think one reason to use HG flour in Peter's case, is so the starter stands up better in the flask and its height is at least comparible with Peter's sample.  As it is, I used regular 11 % bakers' flour and although very active after the prescribed three days, won't rise up the flask any more than around 15-20%.

As a test, I will refresh the seed starter now with HG flour and see what difference if any I get. (just bought some vital wheat gluten this morning)  I will post back tomorrow.

 

Thanks for the links, I will look 'em up shortly.

Paul.

All at Sea's picture
All at Sea

... so your starter will soon rise higher as it grows up during these next few days. I use stoneground rye and that is very low in gluten - but it is teeming with yeast so fast-tracks my starter efforts.  Rather than just the height, keep an eye on the side view through the glass or clear plastic jar. What you're looking for is an increase in bubbles throughout the mixture some hours after feeding it. Rye, for example, won't rise much - due to its lack of gluten, but it's easy to see how aerated with CO2 it becomes just eyeballing the side of the jar. Lots of bubbles equates to lots of smiles from proud owner!

All at Sea

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Vital wheat gluten is used as an additive to drive up the protein content of weak flour.  For standard all purpose flour (10-11% protein) I would not add more than about 4% by weight as a starting point.  If that doesn't do what you want add another 2% each trial until you get to where you want it.  Too much will completely waste a batch of bread unnecessarily. VWG is about 75% protein so you can do the math if you know what your baseline is.

 

noyeast's picture
noyeast

ok thats good to know.

Thanks, Paul.