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Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by altaf, Apr 24, 2005.
How vital wheat gluten is used? and what for?
Vital wheat gluten is almost all protein. 6g/9g serving v. 4g/31g serving for bread flour. It is this protein, when hydrated and kneaded that forms the gluten strands that trap gas and allow breads to rise. When added to low protein flours, like pastry, or flours that lack a traditional gluten profile, like rye, vital wheat gluten can help improve a breads rise and crumb texture. It can also be used to help whole wheat breads. The bran in whole wheat flour can cut the gluten strands and leave you with a dense loaf. Adding VWG can provide a little extra boost to combat this problem. There is a school of though that VWG can result in gummy bread. I tend to be of this school and don;t use it anymore.
You can add about 1 tsp VWG per cup of flour in a recipe.
Hope this helps.
I know that vital wheat gluten FLOUR is used a lot these days, supplying the low-carb diet craze with a sustitute for white flour. Because of it's high protien and fiber makeup, it's a natural for breads and pastas recommended by diets like Atkin's and South Beach. Tastewise, it doesn't stack up to regular flour. Actually, it tastes pretty awful IMO. Need to do a low-carb? Stick with a whole grain, whole wheat, or rye, and consume moderately. Just my 2 cents.
Thanks KyleW for the information. The reason i asked the question is that my country's flour is soft and low in protein, and i want good results with baking bread.
By the way, i visit your site monthly...your bread is
Typically VWG is used by commercial bakeries to supplement flour protein levels. This especially happens in poor crop years when protein quantity or quality is lacking. Commercial bakers don't want to use VWG because it is expensive ($0.80/lb) compared to flour ($0.15/lb). But some years it is necessary. As pointed out it is also commonly used in whole wheat, etc. to achieve volume, etc. Many countries do not have the higher protein bread flours (11 to 13%) that the US does and they need to supplement with VWG. By the way much VWG comes from Austrailia. Used at low levels as a supplement you really shouldn't taste it at all. VWG does have a higher absorption than flour so additional water will be needed. Or, rather than adding the VWG on top of the formula (with its add. water), subtract the weight of the VWG from the formula flour and leave the water alone. See how the dough feels; you can always add a little more water near the end of mixing if need be.
The low carb craze saw a huge use of VWG not only as supplementing the reduced flour % in formulas but also, since it is mostly protein, as a carb reduction ingredient. The problem was how to deal with all this protein trying to form gluten! Also, using VWG for this purpose was actually cheap since many other proteins and protein isolates cost as much as $3.00/lb. In this case, yes you could taste the VWG.
VWG can also be used to make a tasty meat substitute called Seitan. You mix it with water till it gets to be that weird, liver smoothness, and then you boil it in broth. It takes on the flavor of what you put it in, and also has a wheaty flavor. Boiling it results in a fluffy, chewy mass that can be added to soups, stews, stir fries, etc..
Sounds gross, but I love it!