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Rootin' Tootin' Gluten!


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For those of you that make homemade bread, especially with a bread machine, the loaves tend to come out much more dense than store sandwich bread.  That's great for dipping in soup, but if you want more airy bread - especially with Whole Wheat Flour, try adding 1 tsp of Vital Wheat Gluten (VWG), also called Gluten Flour, for every cup of bread/whole wheat/etc. flour.

For baking in a bread machine (I make the dough then bake it in the oven in a bread pan to get the shape I want), I found that the recipe for a 1 1/2 lb loaf makes a 2 lb size loaf with VWG added.  That means you're only getting about 75% of the calories per slice.  This should work as well in pizza dough, though I've not tried it.

Gluten Flour can also be used to make "Seitan," a wheat-protein-based product nothing like bread that is meat-like in look and texture and there are some vegan recipes that use it here.

It used to be easily found in the baking needs aisle of supermarkets but now there are more "gluten free" products than other flours and Gluten is hard to find.

Gluten is sure to be a controversial food item for some, but Harvard Medical School says: "Negative media attention on wheat and gluten has caused some people to doubt its place in a healthful diet. There is little published research to support these claims; in fact published research suggests the opposite," and the Mayo Clinic says, "there's little evidence that a gluten-free diet offers any particular health benefits," and the National Institutes of Health says, "high-quality evidence supporting gluten avoidance for physical symptoms or diseases other than those specifically known to be caused by immune-mediated responses to gluten is neither robust nor convincing. In fact, gluten avoidance may be associated with adverse effects in patients without proven gluten-related diseases."

Most flours have shelf lives of 6-9 months at room temperature and twice as long refrigerated.  But Gluten flour, due to being 70-80% protein, has an unopened shelf life of 7-10 years and a couple years opened which may be extended by refrigerating it.

So use or avoid it as you choose.  If you choose to try it, this is a good product sold on Amazon:




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