The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Gluten Flour

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Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

Gluten Flour

Is gluten flour not the same as gluten?  I looked in the only store in my area I think might have gluten, and the closest I could find was "vital wheat gluten flour".  I figure I'm going to need extra gluten from time to time if I'm grinding my own flour (especially since I LOVE rye bread with caraway seeds).  But gluten is pretty much out of fashion these days.

And if it's not the same, how should I use the pound of gluten flour I bought?

sphealey's picture
sphealey

You are going to have to dig in a bit on the supplier's web site to be sure. Gluten is the protein in wheat flour that creates the stretchiness in dough and the chewiness in bread. Sometimes you want more gluten, sometimes you want less.

"Gluten flour" is typically flour with a gluten percentage of 14-16%. That is quite high; most all-purpose flours are around 12%.

"Vital Wheat Gluten" is usually _pure_ gluten that you can add to recipes when you need a bit more strechiness or protein "oomph". It is essentially _100%_ refined gluten. Using too much of it makes dough taste like cardboard.

Unfortunately I have never seen a package labeled "Vital Wheat Gluten Flour" - that would seem to be contradictory. Check the package to see if it has a protein percent in the 15 range or in the 100 range.

Most of the cookbooks that Floyd has reviewed on this site start out with a chapter on flour types that is well worth reading. The ones in _The Bread Bible_ and _Bread Alone_ are very readable with good pictures. I suggest checking one of those books out of the library.

sPh

Wayne's picture
Wayne

Hi Rosalie:

Sounds like you have a sack of Vital Wheat Gluten.  This flour is generally used to improve the rise in heavy doughs such as rye, etc.  It normally used in approx. 1 tablespoon quantities per 3 pounds of dough, or there abouts.  Hope this helps you.

Wayne

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

I don't have a package.  I bought it in the bulk aisle.  I always write the description of the item on the twist tie along with the bin number, date, and price.  It said, "vital wheat gluten flour" and I bought 1.77 pounds at $2.29, if that gives any clues.  You know what, I'm going to call the store and see if they can help me.

Rosalie

sphealey's picture
sphealey

> bought 1.77 pounds at $2.29, if that gives any clues.

That would lean me toward thinking it was high gluten flour. Vitual wheat gluten is usually around $12/lb from reputable suppliers in my area of the central US.

Of course, it could be Chinese "gluten"...

sPh

Taste a bit of it - if it tastes like cardboard it is vital gluten. If it tastes like flour it is probably gluten flour.

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

So, guess what!  It's Bob's Red Mill.  I called the store.  On Bob's web site, there's a product called "vital wheat gluten" and it's billed as 75% protein.  Cory at the store said a serving of the bulk stuff is listed as 30g and it has 23g of protein, so that's it!

So, now that I know what I have, I still need to know if this is what recipes calling for gluten want.

sphealey's picture
sphealey

That is one heck of a discount. I need your store's manager to talk to my store's manager...

> So, now that I know what I have, I still need to know if this

> is what recipes calling for gluten want.

If they call for "Gluten" or "Vital Wheat Gluten" in fairly small amounts (no more than 1 tablespoon per cup of flour), yes.

sPh

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

Bob's web site (https://www.bobsredmill.com/catalog/index.php?action=showdetails&product_ID=400) lists a 25-pound bag of the stuff at $32.60 - plus shipping I assume.  That would give them plenty of latitude for charging me $2.29.

Anyway, it's all an art.  If I do it right, I don't need any additional gluten anyway.  But it's nice to know....

BTW, the taste test didn't work.  Yes, it tasted like cardboard, but so did the AP flour I tried afterward.

Rosalie

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

This is exactly what recipes calling for gluten want. Bob's Red Mill is what I keep on hand for vital wheat gluten.

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

Okay, one more comment.  I FINALLY received the vital wheat gluten I had ordered online some time ago - and had nearly given up on.  It's Blue Chip Baker in the 27 ounce size.  So it works out to almost exactly the same amount as what I bought locally in bulk yesterday; I paid more than a dollar less for the bulk gluten than the online, even ignoring shipping.

It says it's 75-77% protein and that I should use 1/2 tablespoon gluten per cup of whole grain flour.

So now I know everything and I won't be bothering you guys anymore.

Rosalie