Vital wheat gluten?

curious about vital wheat gluten… I see it in many bread recipes. is this something i dont need if i use hard canadian flour most of the time. Also, is it used to to give a gluten boost to high non gluten flour recipes, rye etc.

Im quite new at bread making but people keep asking me to make more so i must be doing something right. I just keep experimenting.

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I have used vital wheat gluten in the past when making commercial yeast whole wheat (as in 100% or nearly 100% whole wheat) recipes to improve the texture and crumb. I don’t use it now and find that with the longer processing of sourdough/natural leaven bread making, I don’t need or want it.

I use a hard red wheat from Montana for “White” flour (WheatMontana brand … probably similar to your Canadian flour) and bolted (see the store for bolted explanation) heirloom flours from Breadtopia store for whole grain: Kamut Khorasan, Spelt, Einkorn, Rye and I want to try Red Fife. I also used bolted White Sonora which is a soft white.

You are absolutely on the right track, in my opinion, with “keep experimenting” :slight_smile: And if you get bread that you and others enjoy, without the vital wheat gluten, leave it out

Liz is right Mike you have to keep experimenting. I have been doing the “whole grain” “home milled” breads now for a year and have a list of breads and a mill room filled with different ingredients. Vital Wheat Gluten and similarly Xanthan Gum are in the cabinets. I have used these two different products in my whole grain recipes and frankly don’t know if it made much of a difference. Never did do side by side trials so my statement may not have much credence. I did though have a gummy texture to a loaf that I understand was a result of the VWG so using it a person has to be cautious with the amounts and don’t overdue.

I ABSOLUTELY refused to use store bought bread flour or all purpose so my “boost” was not what I thought it should be but I did find that using a portion of Breadtopia’s Organic White (Whole grain) made a difference in the final bread. If you are using whole grains you may not get the “boost” you are looking for, but then I personally did not want to make Wonder Bread anyways again you have to decide on the final product. My wife makes all the deserts and has found that Einkorn makes great pastry flour although high in protein. She won’t let me make any bread with it she says the Einkorn is hers :smiley:
I also found that the texture of the whole grain (pretty much any different combination of grains is totally different in final texture for pizza dough. Even a 60% hydration dough is VERY extensible compared to using store bought bread flour which I used in the pizzerias and requires different handling.

What I also found through experimentation is EGGS instead of the VWG. I recently converted a recipe for an enriched dough and found the dough had SO MUCH STRUCTURE using 2 eggs that in the oven I would get oven spring with 1" high holes across the entire top of the loaf with a thin crust above it. I intentionally over-proofed the dough to see what would happen and it did not collapse but retained its shape. It actually looked like a Wonder bread in the oven (it was huge) I was surprised when I cut it open. I found after a 1/2 dozen bakes this bread required a lid over it to keep it from expanding so much. Now I use the Pullman pans with covers (makes a better sandwich bread anyways.) The crumb is the best I have ever made and it sits sliced in a plastic bag for 4 days on the counter. Same for the hamburger rolls I have made with the dough.