The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Vital Wheat Gluten and Sourdough

Tyler Dean's picture
Tyler Dean

Vital Wheat Gluten and Sourdough

I'm not saying that gluten is good or that it is bad, I'm wondering if the sourdough fermentation breaks down added vital wheat gluten in a loaf like it does the existing gluten in the wheat. I would like to know more about the process of breaking down the proteins in grains with wild yeast, specifically gluten in wheat. I understand that the gluten is necessary for the proper structure and oven spring, but I have also come to understand that sourdough and other wild yeast does something to the gluten to make it more friendly for anyone who may have issues with gluten. Are we building it up while breaking it down?
So what's the deal guys?

clazar123's picture

I wanted to see the response to this question. It has been debated in the past but that was a while ago. It is always interesting to see how our knowledge grows and how the information has changed over the years.

I believe that pannetone is a bread where we build it up and break it down to achieve that wonderful feathery texture. That is the difficulty in making a truly wonderful pannetone. I have to believe it can change the characteristics of the gluten protein. As for making it more digestible- I have never seen anything but opinion on that. But that's ok because the opinion and questioning is where, eventually, more organized and repeatable inquiry begins.

Do the "Modernist" peope have anything in their expensive tomes about this question?

whosinthekitchen's picture

There is currently a tv series called Cooked.

in one episode sourdough, fermentation and what happens to gluten is discussed.  On Netflix or prime.  I found it helpful.

Good luck,