The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

"High gluten" and "high protein" flour

DrPr's picture

"High gluten" and "high protein" flour

What do the terms "high gluten" and "high protein" mean when it comes to flour that is optimal for bread baking?  Are they the same thing or should your flour have mostly one or the other?

Dragonbones's picture

Same thing AFAIK -- gluten is formed from proteins, and high gluten flours are high protein flours, as most of the protein in flour is gluten or will form gluten. I don't understand it well on a technical level, but for your purposes the answer is yes. BTW, Wiki says

Gluten is a composite of the proteins gliadin and glutenin. These exist, conjoined with starch, in the endosperms of some grass-related grains, notably wheat, rye, and barley. Gliadin and glutenin compose about 80% of the protein contained in wheat seed.

Not all recipes will use high-gluten (aka high-protein) flour, though. provides the following info:

Protein - the framework of bread

Wheat flour is unique because it in the only cereal grain that possesses gluten-forming proteins. Gluten and protein are closely related, but not synonymous. When combined with water under mixing stress, the proteins in the flour will form what is called gluten. This gluten structure is responsible for providing extensibility, elasticity and gas-retaining properties to yeast-leavened baked goods. The quantity of the gluten is proportionate to the amount of protein in the flour. The amount of gluten will increase as the protein content increases.


photojess's picture

since it didn't get answered in another thread, but can I add VWG to KA bread flour to make it equivelent to high gluten flour, and if so, how much?

I know that's the purpose of VWG, but what ratio would make it equiv?


photojess's picture

Dan and others have given me some info to work with in the other current high gluten thread that's going.

Steve H's picture
Steve H

Just a thought, you can probably do this by a little stoichiometry if you have a target percentage to shoot for. I think vital wheat gluten (VWG) is around 85%-90% usually, whereas bread flour is maybe 12-14%..

I might be rusty on my math, but I think the answer is % = (T-F)/(G-F) where % is the percent of VWG you should substitute, F is the percent gluten in the flour, G is the percent gluten in the VWG, and T is the target percentage of gluten.

For example, to boost KA Bread Flour to 20%, I got a subtitution of about 8% VWG.  I did this kind of guesstimation to make bagels and they came out pretty darned good.


yozzause's picture

We used to add EXTRA GLUTEN to a bread that was sold as HIGH PROTEIN bread, cant quite remember how much was added but i do remember it would often  suck in at the sides after release from the tin especially if lightly baked . Almost to the point that it was not really saleble. You should be able to get a good loaf from a flour that has a protein content (gluten) anything over 10%.

additions to wholemeal and ryes are helpfull if you prefer a well gassed loaf with an open texture, or just enjoy them as a more dense alternative.

regards Yozzause 

Dcn Marty's picture
Dcn Marty

I could be wrong, but I seem to recall soy flour is high protein, but low gluten. If so, we need to be quite specific in our recipes about what is called for.

photojess's picture

that a high protein flour would also have high gluten.  so if KA's high gluten flour had more gluten, then by adding some VWG it would just increase the gluten.

(I don't know if it has protein or not )

DrPr's picture

Yeah, that is kind of confusing, but soy is high in protein. Perhaps soy flour works fine for low-gluten baking because of its protein content.