The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

minimizing gluten formation?

hajonnes's picture

minimizing gluten formation?


I have encountered multiple recipies where renound chefs wanting to coat food with batter and deep frying it ended up using 40% alcohol. e.g. J. Kenji López and Heston Blumenthal's fish and chips.

They want a lot of bubbles and very little gluten. Is it possible to do it without?

  1. So now I wonder if any of you have any idea how to minimize gluten formation (or maximize gluten degredation)?
  2. How to make a lot of bubbles?

without using alcohol.

yozzause's picture

i would have thought using a flour with lower gluten such as cake flour

mwilson's picture

Energy such as thermal and kinetic can be used to degrade gluten.

You could try cooking the dry flour first, cooked gluten will lose its viscoelastic (vital) properties.

Or you can mix a dough in a food processer until it loses its elasticity and then mix it down with the additional ingredients to make a batter e.g.; milk, egg etc.

Mixing dough to the point of degrading gluten is actually a technique employed in some large scale biscuit production factories.

Otherwise, fermentation, proteolytic enzymes, reducing agents and coagulants might help...

mariana's picture

Hi! Good questions!

Use distilled or demineralized water to minimize gluten formation. This alone cuts gluten formation at least in half. Salts in water facilitate gluten formation, so hard water is good for bread dough but not for your batter.

Using cake and pastry flour instead of all-purpose also helps. In Canada, our cake and pastry flour is actually high in protein, so it is good for batters used for coating fried goods, but it does not form much gluten, at least not too fast, definitely not as fast as APF.

To make a lot of bubbles use carbonated (sparkling) water where Kenji uses vodka.If you have a soda syphon, you can carbonate all (distilled) water used in the recipe.

tpassin's picture

The easiest way to reduce gluten content, if you don't have pastry flour,  is to add some flour that doesn't have any.  I often use masa harina (lime-treated corn flour), since it adds a subtle flavor that I like.

This doesn't address bubbles, though.  What do you want to bake that would have bubbles but low gluten?