The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

To add gluten or not to add, that is the question...

mluciano's picture
mluciano

To add gluten or not to add, that is the question...

Hi again! Right now I'm on my fourth attempt and so far is coming very good... Thanks to Jmonkey, Browndog, and MiniOven for the hints... This recipe that I'm making Honey Whole Wheat Bread (a lot simple than the oatmeal cinnamon raisin I tried to make) doesn't have gluten and is coming out quite good. Then  how do I know if I should add gluten or not to a whole wheat bread?

Thanks for the help bakers... Oh! And wait for my pics of the loaf I'm making right now! In my case this bread was made by a teamwork!!!

apprentice's picture
apprentice

My instructor's take on gluten and ww flour was to use it only when we were working with stone-ground. About 3 oz. for a 25 lb. batch. There was one other interesting experience. An organic supplier sold us some bags of stone-ground ww that had really high enzyme activity. The bread would be dying on the bench before you could get it all shaped. It had no oomph left for proofing or the oven, and the finished bread was flat and  ragged on top! In that case, he had us increase the gluten a little but also substitute bread flour for some of the whole wheat (a couple of big scoops).

browndog's picture
browndog

Good luck this time around. I stopped adding gluten at all with my whole wheat breads when I started using preferments. My flour is stone ground and very coarse but it works well. I suppose this is where trial and error comes in--if your flour performs less than satisfactorily it probably would like the help. I use gluten flour if a recipe calls for it and it seems like a good idea, if there's a high rye content or something or its effect on the crumb is desired.

mluciano's picture
mluciano

Hi! To browndog, MiniOven, JMonkey, apprentice, and every baker that helped me THANKS.

Thanks to the videos and advice I made yesterday the Honey Whole Wheat Bread and this is the result...

Honey Wheat Bread (First time I did the recipe)

Honey Wheat Bread (First time I did the recipe)2

It came out great!!!And is so tasty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I really enjoyed it this morning.... Wohoo!!!

browndog's picture
browndog

I knew you could do it, MLuciano, you have the stick-to-it-ness of a terrier! Beautiful loaves, gorgeous rise, shape, color and crumb, what a treat. I've been hoping for this post--you've made my day. Did you find anything particular that you did that made the difference, or did everything just finally click?

apprentice's picture
apprentice

Well done, mluciano!

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

If your recipe combines bread and whole grain flours, the protein level of your bread flour may be sufficient without having to add additional gluten flour. Not all bread flours have the same level of protein. Sites for King Arthur and General Mills will give flour specifications though you may have look in the "flour for professionals" section.

I find that finely milled whole wheat flour is less likely to need gluten flour than a more coarsely milled one. It also matters whether the whole wheat flour is made from spring or winter wheat. Using a soaker or poolish helps too.

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

I've been wanting to make the honey ww bread and seeing your results is a push in that direction. The bread looks so light, not heavy at all. Great job.       weavershouse

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

 I copied off one of your ww recipes but I'm not sure this was your favorite honey   whole wheat. Can you point me in the right direction. These threads are getting     soooo long I'm lost. Thanks,                    weavershouse

ps, wonder whatever happened to TT? I figure jmonkey is busy with the big move. Miss them both.

browndog's picture
browndog

Well, I don't think I posted more than one, so that must be it. It took some doing for me to find it, let me tell you--I couldn't remember what thread it was, so I clicked on my 'name', that was a freaky experience. It's Beth Hensperger's 100% Whole Wheat bread, it made me a convert really. Before I started using this recipe I didn't much like 100%, thought of it as 'health' food and not much fun. Now I love it and believe prefermenting one way or another makes all the difference.

And I miss TT and JMonkey too! I feel like a little dog waiting at the window for the school bus to pull up...

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

And here I had it all along. Never mind :)

I'll thank you twice when I taste this bread.                                                                        weavershouse

browndog's picture
browndog

I didn't mean to sound whiny, I completely apologize and regret if I gave that impression. I found it comical that I didn't know where my own post lived, it really wasn't a hardship to find, though it was downright scary seeing all those posts with my name tucked in, and I was happy to do it in any event, good heavens, girl. If I were a politician I'd have to resign every other week for foot-in-mouth disease. I very much hope you bake it and like it, it really is my standard whole wheat these days. I tried twice to make Hamelman's Whole Wheat Levain, but who did I think I was kidding? The flavor was lovely, that deep, character-filled nutty taste you get sometimes, but they were little squat frisbee things, *sigh*. Now that I'm happier with my starter and it's warm out, suppose I should take MLuciano's example and try, try again...

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Since I'm one of those who originally recommended gluten to you, I thought I'd finally chime in. I'm coming to realize that there are a lot of other things that may make the gluten unnecessary. Years ago, I made a lot of WW bread in the bread machine and added gluten to the mix. It worked for me. I'm just now starting to learn very much about bread. I've always added gluten in fairly small amounts. Some people really don't like the taste when much at all is included.

So now my answer to your question might be "when nothing else experienced bakers suggest gives you quite the rise you want." ;)

I suspect that if you stick to recipes others here have used successfully you won't need to add any. And I hope that as we learn more about the ingredients and techniques for good bread, we'll both become a lot more proficient at developing our own recipes/formulas for whole grain breads.

Happy Baking!