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How much vital wheat gluten to use in whole wheat bread?

visciole May 19, 2010 08:23 AM

I recently realized I have been using the wrong amount of vital wheat gluten in my whole wheat bread -- I have been using a tablespoon per cup of flour when I was supposed to be using a teaspoon. I haven't really noticed any ill effects. What would you imagine the result of this would be?

And what have you all found to be a good ratio between whole wheat bread flour and vital wheat gluten? What should I be looking for to determine that I have the right amount?

  1. e
    eamcd May 19, 2010 12:06 PM

    I use about 2+ tablespoons per double/triple loaf recipe. I started with 3 Tb (per a recipe I saw) but I actually found that made the bread too spongy -- not too dense. It was a strange texture. I've found we like 2 Tb better.

    But, honestly, if you like the way your bread comes out with what you've been doing. then do it how you like it!

    1 Reply
    1. re: eamcd
      visciole May 19, 2010 12:17 PM

      Yes, the bread is springy rather than dense. I wouldn't say spongy, though. I just began baking my own bread recently, and, since I am the type of cook who likes to tinker, I suspect I'll be experimenting with using less gluten to see how it comes out. You can't really go too far wrong with freshly baked bread!

      When you say double/triple loaf recipe, how many cups of flour is that? And are you using all whole wheat flour? Thanks.

    2. n
      nstoddar May 19, 2010 10:33 AM

      The directions on my package tell me to use a tablespoon per cup of flour, so that's what I've always done. I like the results. What directions are telling you to do only a teaspoon?

      2 Replies
      1. re: nstoddar
        visciole May 19, 2010 10:51 AM

        My package of Hodgson Mills vital wheat gluten says to use 4 teaspoons per loaf. I'm not sure where I got the one tablespoon per cup idea -- which obviously you have too -- but it seems that most recipes I've checked have called for a good bit less. When I saw the instructions on the box it got me thinking. I guess I was also just curious as to what "too much" vital wheat gluten would do to a recipe.

        1. re: visciole
          n
          nstoddar May 19, 2010 11:39 AM

          Well, if you ever add "too much" -- however much that is -- I suppose eventually you'd have too much gluten getting developed. So, too much gluten means too strong, means a denser loaf. You might be able to search the archives over at www.thefreshloaf.com for some posts about vital wheat gluten. I use Bob's Red Mill, but I'm not sure why there's such a big difference between the amounts.

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