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Thread: What is "vital wheat gluten"?

  1. #1

    Question What is "vital wheat gluten"?

    I am absolutely dying to try the recipe for "savory cheddar crackers" posted by sneezles on valchemists sugar thread, but couldn't find this wheat gluten at Publix. What am I looking for, what does it do and where in the heck do they usually keep it?

    Cheddar crackers have to be one of my favorite snacks EVER and this recipe gets rid of all the white flour and subs oatmeal, wheat gluten, and a small amount of soy flour.

    Thanks a ton!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    I use Vital Wheat Gluten in any bread recipes that contain whole grains. It helps them rise better. I think it has to do with adding gluten to whole grain flours to make them more like white flour.

    The box I pulled from my pantry is from Arrowhead Mills. I have seen it in many of our local supermarkets. Sometimes it is by the baking products/bread mixes; often it is in the "health food" section of the market. You best bet, if you can't find it in the supermarket is to pick up a box at a health food store. Mine still has a $2.65 price sticker on the 10 oz box.


    The box is the size and shape of a bread mix, if that helps.
    Here is the description of wheat gluten from the back of the box:

    Wheat gluten is the natural protein derived from wheat. It is basically wheat flour with the starch removed. Used by the baking industry to produce consistent, uniform breads, anyone can use their secret to bake beautiful, well-risen breads at home...

    It tells you how much to use:
    1 1/2 tsp per cup of flour for whole grain breads
    1 tsp per cup of flour for white breads

    I hope there aren't too many typos, I don't have time to proofread before church.

    Jane

  3. #3
    Thanks Jane. That helps a ton!

  4. #4
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    Here's a picture of the brand I buy. Sometimes it helps to see what it is you are looking for. There are other brands, it just depends on what your store carries.


  5. #5
    Join Date
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    If you have trouble finding it in the store, it's also available from King Arthur .

    I compared the price at KA with what I pay for it at Whole Foods, and it's just about the same.

    Helene
    "We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our founding fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake."
    --President Barack Obama, 1/20/09

  6. #6
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    Jane, I read the directions you posted. Do you add Wheat Gluten to any bread recipe? Even if it doesn't call for it? Or, for example, I often take bread recipes that call for all white flour and sub wheat flour. Would you also add the vital wheat gluten when doing that? I'm intrigued.

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by SusanMac
    Jane, I read the directions you posted. Do you add Wheat Gluten to any bread recipe? Even if it doesn't call for it? Or, for example, I often take bread recipes that call for all white flour and sub wheat flour. Would you also add the vital wheat gluten when doing that? I'm intrigued.
    Yes, that's exactly what I do. I usually put in a couple of tablespoons of vital wheat gluten in whole grain recipes that call for 4 cups of flour. I also prefer to use recipes that are half whole grain and half white flour. In that case, I'd use a rounded Tablespoon.

    Jane

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by SusanMac
    Jane, I read the directions you posted. Do you add Wheat Gluten to any bread recipe? Even if it doesn't call for it? Or, for example, I often take bread recipes that call for all white flour and sub wheat flour. Would you also add the vital wheat gluten when doing that? I'm intrigued.
    Yes! Here's some info for you (and BTW Laura Brody also has her own brand, called Dough Enhancer):

    A Natural Baking Aid
    Vital Wheat Gluten is a natural protein derived from wheat or wheat flour. Wheat gluten is wheat flour with the starch removed. Vital Wheat Gluten has the ability to be highly elastic when water is added. This sets it apart from all another available vegetable proteins. Wheat gluten rapidly absorbs about twice its weight in water. This results in increased yield, dough strength, and extended shelf life or "vitality", hence the name, "Vital Wheat Gluten". Vital Wheat Gluten is approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for use as a dough strengthener, formulation aid, nutrient supplement, increasing the protein level of the flour, processing aid, stabilizer and thickener, and texturing agent. It is often used in specialty breads.

    Suggested use for most bread recipes using yeast

    1 1/2 tsp Vital Wheat Gluten per cup of whole grain flour. Mix or sift well with the flour. The strength of the flour will determine the amount of gluten you need to use. When making breads containing bran, raisins, seeds, etc., you will need to increase the amount of wheat gluten used. If too many large bubbles form, cut back the amount of gluten you are using.
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by SusanMac
    Jane, I read the directions you posted. Do you add Wheat Gluten to any bread recipe? Even if it doesn't call for it? Or, for example, I often take bread recipes that call for all white flour and sub wheat flour. Would you also add the vital wheat gluten when doing that? I'm intrigued.
    I'm not Jane, but yes you can add it to any recipe even if it's not called for. Just add to the dry ingredients. Add esp. if using wheat flour. Whole Wheat flour (all-purpose) usually has problems rising IMHO. I just got through adding it to some cinnamon raisin bread. The bread rose better.
    Leisa

  10. #10
    Has anybody substituted ww flour for all the all-purpose or bread flour called for in a recipe which doesn't call for any ww flour at all?
    Will wheat gluten help in those situation? For some reason I have this aversion for all-purpose/bread flour and don't have very many recipes which call for only whole grains( flour)
    Thanks

  11. #11
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    This is so cool! I definitely want to try it.

    Lotus - yes, I almost always use at least some WW flour in recipes even if they call for only white flour. Bread sticks, plain bread, sweet/quick breads, dinner rolls, etc. I think the flavor is more interesting, and feel like I'm doing something good for myself.

    But, my rising isn't always consistent (haven't had any luck with cinammon rolls, for example). So, i definitely plan to try some of the vital wheat gluten.

  12. #12
    Originally posted by lotus
    Has anybody substituted ww flour for all the all-purpose or bread flour called for in a recipe which doesn't call for any ww flour at all?
    I wouldn't sub. more than half whole wheat flour for the white. JMO

  13. #13
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    I would only sub on a 3:1 ratio, 3 parts bread flour, 1 part ww flour.
    Leisa

  14. #14
    lotus here's a link to Buttermilk Wheat Rolls I posted yesterday. They call for...

    1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
    2 cups whole wheat flour
    1 1/4 cups bread flour

    http://community.cookinglight.com/sh...threadid=37509

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