The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How Much Vital Wheat Gluten for Whole Wheat Flour?

BSquared18's picture

How Much Vital Wheat Gluten for Whole Wheat Flour?


With the help of folks on this forum, I've been perfecting a South-Beach-friendly whole-wheat bread recipe (ie., using no sugar or white flour). The ingredients and procedure I'm using now can be found at:

The resulting loaves are tasty and have a nice, although heavy, texture.

I've read elsewhere that a couple of TABLEspoons of vital wheat gluten are recommended per cup of whole wheat flour. As the link above shows, the recipe I'm using calls for much less.

If I want a somewhat lighter loaf with more of a rise to it, would it make sense to experiment with more wheat gluten? What do you think?


obrien1984's picture

This is not the answer you were looking for, but I think it might help you in your quest to make delicious whole grain bread.

First, two tongue-in-cheek notes. I would like to point out that you actually *are* using white flour. It just so happens that it doesn't have any of the bran or germ sifted out of it!

Additionally, you have plenty of sugar in this recipe: lactose from the milk and sucrose from the honey*. To your body, sugar is sugar. 

Having said that, I love to bake whole wheat breads. I think they're delicious when made correctly, without honey OR vital wheat gluten. While there are many, many methods, I am a firm believer in those recipes found in Peter Reinhart's latest tome, Whole Grain Breads. I was first in line to check this out of our library last December, and loved it so much that I ended up buying a copy. Honey and milk are optional in these recipes, and I don't miss them a bit. 

Sorry I couldn't answer your question directly (I'm sure someone else here will). Happy baking! 


*Note: honey is made up of fructose and glucose. I'm not clear one whether those two sugars exist separately in honey, or whether they are combined into the polysaccharide, sucrose, which is the exact same thing as table sugar. 

BSquared18's picture

Thanks, Obrien.

Instead of saying "white" flour, I should have said "bleached." What I'm using is stone-ground, whole wheat flour, the theory being that the less processed it is, the better.

Good point about the sugar. I've read somewhere that the yeast needs some kind of sweetener to feed on. What kind of "yeast food" do you generally use? I've learned somewhere else that molasses is its "favorite" food. At any rate, given the amount of sweetener used, I doubt if it's a big issue from a dietary point of view.

Thanks for the tip on Reinhart's book. I'll see if it's in the library.

I went ahead and doubled the amount of wheat gluten, and it made a big difference. A very tasty loaf; yet dense, the way we like it. The great thing about baking bread is being able to experiment.