The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My Vital Wheat Gluten Bread Recipe or Goodyear Tires New Formula.

abfab's picture

My Vital Wheat Gluten Bread Recipe or Goodyear Tires New Formula.

Hi, I had a bread that tasted like regular bread almost but with only 5 carbs per bun or slice, The ingredients are Unbleached Flour, Vital Wheat Gluten, salt, vinegar and yeast. Not sure of the amounts so I tried one with 1/2 cup unbleached flour, 2-1/2 cups vital wheat gluten, 3/4 cup water 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and 3 teaspoons yeast. It was a disaster and made my breads machine door push open(really rose up!)and the stuff looked like a volcano. I baked some of the dough and it was very dense, chewy and not right, I fried some, tastes good like a doughboy or I should say like a dough flavored chewing gum, VERY VERY rubbery. Is there a special technique or is the amount of my ingredients way off? Maybe more flour less Gluten or vice vesa? The bread I bought is called Irene's Health Bakery(5.95 a loaf is too much!) and it's for my mother who is diabetic and likes only white bread. Does anyone have a  gluten bread recipe that tastes like white bread and has minimal carbs? Thanks!

StephenJ's picture

I never use more han 3 tablespoons of vital wheat gluten in recipes that call for it so maybe you are using too much. I seem to remember a gluten bread recipe ideal for diabetics in James Beard's book, Beard on Bread. If I find it I will post it or you can look for a copy in the library.

apprentice's picture

You found out in a way you'll never forget that vital wheat gluten produces a very strong bread. That's because it contains a high amount -- about 75% -- of protein that is "vital," that is, protein that forms gluten when mixed with water. Protein is the part that gives bread most of its strength and structure. Bread flour only has around 13% protein, so you can see what a massive dose of strength your 2 1/2 cups of vital gluten provided!

Gluten flour is made by removing a large part of the starch and used in small amounts in doughs, commonly multigrain breads to boost aeration. (My formula for a 25 lb. batch of whole wheat bread calls for just 3 oz. of gluten.) In larger amounts? Call Goodyear! :)

Have you looked in recipe books from your country's diabetes association? You could also check with your local hospital's dietitian to see if they can provide a yeasted white bread recipe suitable for your mother. I don't have experience in this area, but maybe others on the site do. Good luck! 

PaddyL's picture

I love white bread and was heartbroken when I was diagnosed Type 2 seven years ago.  I've since discovered that sourdough, white as well as whole wheat, is good for diabetics, very low on the glycemic index, and good for the digestion.

LindyD's picture

As you discovered, too much vital wheat gluten can put a bounce in each ounce!

When I use it, I add maybe a tablespoon.  Two and a half cups can make a few hockey pucks...

abfab's picture

Here is the original recipe it comes from an old book: Diabetes Mellitus and Its Treatment  By Richard Thomas Williamson(1898) this Gluten bread recipe was made for diabetics.

Mix one pound of gluten flour Uischof with three quarters of a pint or one pint of water at 85 F No yeast is required As soon as mixed put the dough into the tins and immediately place them in the oven which should be about 430 F Or the dough may be made into small dinner rolls and baked on flat tins The loaves in the tins take about an hour and a half to bake and the rolls three quarters of an hour There is not the slightest difficulty in the making of either The addition of a little salt improves the bread


This is where I got the idea for the recipe. It described bread as light and crisp and better buttered. God only knows what it really tasted like...they described bran bread made from eggs and milk almost the same way...yuck! In the book he also details the long and messy process of getting the Gluten out of the flour so it is vital gluten that he's calling for in this recipe. He even tests it for starch with iodine. Thank God for modern supermarkets!So I guess it can be made and since Irene's Health Bakery makes it there must be a certain process that they use to get it to be like plain old white bread.It is better toasted but is the only bread out there so far that is low carb and tastes like bread. I have tried sourdough and like it but Mom hates anything but the gluten adds protein which she is in need of...Thanks!

apprentice's picture

Hi abfab, hope my earlier post didn't sound superior or anything. I'm a big fan of experimentation. It was a compliment. Beginner's mind is the key to learning and sometimes can lead to amazing discoveries. So good on ya! From your reference to Goodyear in the subject line, you have a good sense of humour. That's also why I felt comfortable joking right back with you.

But like I said, don't know much about feeding diabetics. I did pick  up a copy of the Canadian Diabetes Assn's cookbook Choice Cooking years ago. Knowing there were so many tasty recipes in there is why I suggested finding out if there's a similar book in your country. (Not sure where you live.)

My book has few bread recipes and only one that looks like it would appeal to your Mum. Happy to type it up, if you like. It has cottage cheese for increased protein.


PaddyL's picture

....diabetics.  As you say, it's in an old book and the so-called 'diabetic bread' is history now.  Thank God.  I make a buttermilk sourdough bread every week, 2 loaves of plain white and 2 loaves into which I knead some raisins and do a cinnamon swirl, the latter for my sister.  I've been eating the white buttermilk sourdough bread regularly for toast and for sandwiches and my blood sugar is not spiking; on the contrary, it remained normal.  This bread does not taste sour, it's white, it's soft, and makes beautiful toast.  I'll post the recipe for the sourdough starter, if you like, along with instructions on how to make the bread itself.  It has made the world of difference to me, a diabetic but not a lover of sourdough itself.  I thought I'd never be able really to enjoy white bread again, but now I can and do.

abfab's picture

Thanks everybody for the nice comments, The sourdough recipe would be great if it tastes like white bread. Mom is 99 this October and she can still make a loaf much better than me but she likes her Gluten bread from Irene's Health Bakery for the last 7 or 8 years and it is kind of hard to change her tastes at this stage. I wish I knew her secrets as she is never sick and her mind is still all there and she volunteers for meals on wheels. She dips her Gluten bread in a glass of Sandeman port wine every day at about 8pm since far back as I can remember(I'm 62) She used to have a regular piece of homeade white bread before the diabetes. She calls it her nightcap, she also like scones with clotted cream but only once in a while now. She also has a glass of tart cherry juice every day with breakfast. My grandmother also did the cherry juice and had a glass of wine everyday. She passed away at 103 so I guess there might be something to it? If you are wondering about the cherry juice my grandfather (dies at age 94)had 40 acres of Montgomery cherry trees in Michigan and we always had lots of cherries! I buy them from a farm now that I live in Rhode Island and have them delivered. I am going to try one more time with the gluten, this time much more flour and a little inulin for fiber, and to slow the sugar a bit. Thanks!

PaddyL's picture

This bread is not sour at all, but lovely and soft and white.  I've copied and pasted the starter instructions and bread recipe from the King Arthur Baking Circle as is.

Submitted by: Wharrison Category: Sourdough Last Updated: 1/23/2003 Add to My Recipe Box

3 Cups Buttermilk (preferably Prairie Farms)
3 Cups Bread Flour or Unbleached Flour
1 Pkg. or Tablespoon Yeast
1/4 Cup Honey


• 2 Cups (generous) sourdough starter
• 3 Cups milk (2%)
• 1 Stick Butter
• 1/2 Cup Honey
• 4 Teaspoons Salt
• 2 Teaspoons Yeast *
• 1O-12 Cups Bread or Unbleached Flour
• * Yeast can be purchased in bulk from various sources Transfer yeast to airtight containers and place in the freezer or refrigerator.

• Equipment Needed:

• 6 Quart stainless steel, plastic, or crockery container
• 4 1 1/2 quart Pyrex baking dishes
• Measuring cups and spoons
• Heavy-duty spatulas or wooden spoons
• Sauce pans
• Olive (preferred) or other good oil and Crisco
• Pastry brush
Bread Board (optional)
• Accurate Meat Thermometer (optional)
• Large baker's rack (optional)
• Chef's or heavy duty apron


325 degrees for approximately 5O minutes. See procedures for additional information.


Excluding the replenishment of the sourdough starter the night before baking, the baking of this bread will take up to 4 1/2 to 5 hours from start to finish.

Among the factors insuring the consistent flavor and quality of this bread is the use of the buttermilk starter; its replenishment the night before baking; and milk, honey, yeast, and butter. The replenishment of the starter the night before baking and the weekly baking of bread, which helps to maintain the consistent quality of the sourdough starter, are the primary factors in maintaining the consistency of flavor. Should you be unable to bake bread on a weekly basis, procedures are given below to help insure the consistency of quality. These hints are helpful when the baking of bread in the summertime is generally periodical.


In the morning, mix all ingredients in a large bowl and cover. As this is initially a very active mixture, the starter should be stirred down several times during the day. In the evening, the starter should be stirred down once again and placed in a 2 - 2 1/2 quart container with a slightly loose fitting top. A plate should be placed underneath the container to catch any spillage which may occur over the next few days. Place the starter in the refrigerator. For the first few days, the starter may have to be stirred down. After the 4th or 5th day the catch plate can be removed.

The mixing of these ingredients should be done approximately one week prior to the intended baking of bread. The sourdough starter will still be at its peak of flavor and activity. Afterwards, the starter will become a little more "sour" with each passing day, making it a good starter to use for Rye breads or for a more "sour" sourdough bread.

The following measures will be helpful to those who are unable to bake this bread on a weekly basis: --

Within ten days two weeks after non-use, this starter will begin to take on the well known characteristics of a true "sour"dough starter. By the 3rd or 4th week of non-use, one may begin to see the appearance of a blackish liquid and experience the smell of an "alcoholic" sourdough. In order to bring the quality, flavor, and activity of the starter up to standards, the following procedures should be employed: --

(1) If the starter has not been replenished for two or three weeks and the blackish liquid has not appeared, pour the starter into a large mixing bowl, thoroughly mix, and remove half (about 1 1/2 - 2 cups) of starter. Add 2 cups each of bread or unbleached flour and Buttermilk. Blend thoroughly and cover. If this procedure is done in the evening, you will be able to bake an excellent bread in the morning.

(2) If the starter has not been replenished for three or more weeks and the blackish liquid as appeared, pour the starter into a large mixing bowl, thoroughly mix until the blackish liquid has been incorporated back into the starter. Remove all but 1 generous cup of starter. Throw the old starter away. Add 4 - 4 1/2 cups each of bread or unbleached flour and Buttermilk and blend well. Cover and leave overnight. In the morning, transfer the starter back into the cleaned container and return to the refrigerator.


Baking bread from the early fall to the late spring is a relaxing and very enjoyable experience to say nothing of the nutritious quality and excellent flavor of this bread or of the joy that can come from the breaking of bread with another person.

Since the recipe will make four 1 1/2 lbs loaves, the sharing of an extra loaf or two with a friend or neighbor will extend the hand of friendship and build the bonds of human fellowship. Should you not be equipped or inclined to bake four loaves of bread at a time, simply cut the recipe in half and share the recipe.

Throughout the summer, when the baking of bread adds heat to an otherwise hot kitchen, this bread can be made in its four loaf version. Once the bread has sufficiently cooled, the extra loaves can be sliced, placed in a freezer bag and kept frozen until needed. This pre-slicing will provide for more immediate access. By making use of the replenishment methods given above, one can easily bake consistent quality bread during the hot summer months on an infrequent basis.

By purchasing dry yeast, Rosemary and honey in bulk form, one can easily cut the cost of making homemade bread. Bulk dry yeast and Rosemary can usually be found in most health or bulk food stores. The Rosemary can be kept in tightly fitted jars and placed in a cool, dark place. The yeast can be kept in a similar container and placed in the refrigerator door. Under these conditions, both can be kept for at least a year. Good flavorful honey can be found in bulk from any local beekeeper. With a little searching, one can find a good flavored honey at a reasonable price.

THE NIGHT BEFORE: Remove the starter from the refrigerator and place the contents in a large mixing bowl. Add two cups each of
bread or unbleached flour and Buttermilk. Mix thoroughly and cover. Leave out overnight for about 8 to 1O hours. In the morning, stir down the starter and mix thoroughly.

IN THE MORNING: In a small saucepan, heat the honey and melt the butter. heat 3 cups of milk in another saucepans. The ingredients in both pan should be slightly warm and not exceed 95 to 1O5 degrees. An accurate meat thermometer will insure proper temperatures.

MIX: In a 6 quart container, place 2 generous cups of the starter. Add the warm milk, honey, and melted butter and mix thoroughly. Add salt and yeast. Blend very well. Gradually add 6 cups of flour and mix thoroughly. Dust the counter space or table top or bread board with 1 -2 cups of flour, scrape out bread mixture onto the floured area; and dust the top of the dough mixture with another cup or two of flour.

KNEAD: Knead dough for approximately 1O minutes, adding enough flour to prevent it from sticking to the counter or table top or bread board. After 1O minutes of kneading, the dough should be slightly sticky and softly firm, as baby's bottom.

HEAT: Heat oven at 25O degrees for about 2 - 3 minutes. This
simple procedure will help incubate the dough at the needed
temperature and insure the rising of the bread dough to double in size with 1 3/4 to 2 hours. Turn off the oven.

PROOFING: In a cleaned 6 quart container, place several tablespoons of Olive or other good oil and coat both the sides and bottom of the pan. Place dough in the container and move the dough around and turn it upside down to insure the even coating of the bread dough. Cover the container and place it in the oven. The dough should "proof" with 1 3/4 to 2 hours.

COAT: Coat the 1 1/2 quart Pyrex baking dishes with a little Crisco. The use of glass baking dishes will permit the baking of the bread at 325 degrees - thus saving energy. Their use will also facilitate cleaning.

MAKE LOAVES: When the dough has doubled in height, remove the container from the oven. Dust the counter or table top or bread board, and transfer the dough onto the floured surface. Punch down completely and then divide the dough into four equal parts with each loaf weighing approximately 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds. Shape each portion into a loaf and placed it in the coated baking dishes.

BRUSH: Brush each loaf with a little Olive or other good oil. This will insure a good, soft chewy crust. If you wish to have a harder crust, a glazed crust, etc. please consult your various bread books.

FINAL PROOFING: place baking dishes in the oven. Within 1 1/2 hours, the dough should have risen to twice its size with the top of the dough barely 1 - 2 inches above the sides of the dishes.

BAKE: Set temperature at 325 degrees, set timer for approximately 5O - 55 minutes and turn on oven. When the timer goes off, leave the oven on and remove the bread from the oven. Let the bread cool in the baking dishes for a minute and then remove the bread from the dishes and return them to the oven
Set the timer for about 1O minutes, turn the oven off and
let the bread remain in the oven until the timer goes off. This procedure will insure a better crust, especially on the sides and bottoms of the loaves.

Remove the breads from the oven, place on a cooling rack and
let them sit for several hours. Wrap cooled bread in 1 gallon plastic bags and tie shut.

If some of the loaves are headed for the freezer, let the
bread sufficiently cool down so that it can easily be sliced with a good bread knife.

This bread will not only freeze very well and but it will easily last for at least a week or more on the counter shelf, if kept tightly wrapped.