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Thoughts on adding gluten to bread recipes?

I took a breadbaking class on Saturday with my brother's girlfriend- it was my Christmas present to her! (See how I worked that out well- Christmas present to her, and me!! ;-) The class was slightly disappointing, not a ton of information, I think the presenter lacked the confidence to teach that class. Anyway, she made a whole wheat bread and there was 2 T. of gluten in the recipe. I bake quite a bit, and I make bread every once and a while, so I've seen lots of recipes, but I've *never* seen a recipe with added gluten. What are your thoughts on this? Is it necessary? She said if a recipe has more than 50% whole wheat or some other flour besides all-purpose or bread, to add the gluten for less dense bread. However, she was not necessarily confident in her answer, so now I'm not either!

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  1. DH is the bread baker in the family and he often adds gluten when he makes ww bread. You don't need much, around 1-2 Tbs for about 4 cups of flour (I think). It does make a difference in the texture which is more elastic and less crumbly.

    1. Well put cheryl_h. I also sometimes add a Tbsp or two of gluten flour when I'm making white bread for the same reasons, and always if I'm out of bread flour (oops!). Makes for a better crumb, and crisper crust.

      1. I find the extra gluten helps the dough hold its shape once its risen, so I get a lighter loaf. I use it mostly for whole wheat sandwich breads, though, not so much for other shapes.

        1. Interesting... I might have to try one loaf with gluten and one without, just to see and taste the difference. My one attempt at all whole wheat was extremely dense.

          1. this is excellent stuff..so..i want to make bread using oat flour and found this chat as i thought that adding gluten would help it to raise, as oats dont have teh right protein to make gluten. I am doing this as part of teh weight watchers core plan diet...so what actually is gluten and how do i buy it / where ?

            1 Reply
            1. re: peter_b

              I've seen it in the baking section of grocery stores. It's a protein that's found in wheat, among other grains.

              http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-glute...