The Fresh Loaf

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Adding vital gluten

kck83's picture

Adding vital gluten

I am having trouble getting my dough to rise, even with very extended proofing times. Could it be the flour I'm using? On the package it says, in a 30 g serving size, there are 4 g of protein. Would that mean 13% gluten? Is that "strong enough"? My room temperature is running about 77°. There is a Vital Gluten product sold at a local bulk food store. Has anyone used that (successfully!)? 

Tombreadian's picture

Here in America, bread flour has around 12.5% protein, which is about 1% more than our all-purpose flour.  I believe you are correct that 13.3% is what you're already working with, and would think that is strong enough.

I'm new here and so far work exclusively with a bread machine so my knowledge of protein content in something like sourdough is severely lacking.

I can point you at this website I occasionally use when working with weaker flours to bring them up to something more desirable.  After years of listening to folks disagreeing how much vital wheat gluten to add (from 1/2 tsp to 1 Tbsp per cup to raise 1%), I set up my own spreadsheet to calculate percentage increase based on 'known' percentages of protein in my flour, and also in my VWG.  This website's calculator matches my own research.

Hope this is helpful!

RyeSmile's picture
RyeSmile (not verified)

Thanks for sharing that calculator!

phaz's picture

Don't need it - work on the starter. Enjoy!

tpassin's picture

That "4 g" of protein is rounded off to the nearest gram, so it could be between 3.5 and 4.5 grams per 30 g.  Anyway, high enough to be fine for most breads.  I wouldn't go around adding vital wheat gluten to it unless you wanted to make bagels, or a very high hydration bread (like 100% hydration), and even then only after trying without adding any..

kck83's picture

Thanks for your comments! Sounds like the flour should be OK. I'll work on the starter! 

Benito's picture

I’m guessing that you’re in Canada based on the protein measures that you’re giving.  For some horrible reason the protein measures here are rounded off and measured per 30 g of flour.  For Robinhood Best for Bread flour says 4 g of protein per 30 g of flour which would be 13.3% protein, but I don’t believe it is actually quite that high.  I think it is more like 12.5 g or so.  In any event, that is more than strong enough to make bread and in fact Canadian all purpose flours which are typically between 11-12% protein are also more than strong enough to make bread with.  If your doughs aren’t rising you have other issues to look at.  If you’re using commercial yeast, is it viable?  If you’re using sourdough starter/levain is it strong and very active?