So what's the difference between Bread Machine Flour,|
High Gluten Flour & Vital
Wheat Gluten Flour?
First, the Definition of Gluten:
Gluten is a protein found in Rye, Wheat, Oats, Barley & Triticale.
("Gliadin" is part of the gluten structure. Gliadin is present in varying amounts
in these grains. The combination of gliadin and glutenen makes gluten.) This protein
gives structure, elasticity and sponginess.
Vital Wheat Gluten Flour:
Also called "gluten flour", "instant gluten flour", "pure gluten flour", and
"vital wheat gluten" depending on vendor and manufacturer. This is flour with the
starch and bran removed. Gluten is the natural protein in the wheat
endosperm which, when combined with water, forms a taffy-like dough. This
retains the gas and steam from baking.
Bob's Red Mill vital wheat gluten flour — and any other
brand of vital wheat gluten flour (such as Hodgson Mill) that carries the
same Nutrition Facts as those at right — is 75 to 80%
approximately 24 grams of
carbohydrate per cup.
The process of keeping mostly the
protein constituents of the wheat and very little of the starch makes this product
a useful aid in low-carbohydrate baking and cooking (a necessary component of
the wonderful Gabi's Bread Recipe here
at the site.)
The protein binds moisture meaning your bread and baked goods will
usually be more moist and "fresh" than traditional baking yields as well.
This should never be confused with other gluten flours as mentioned below
which can have significantly more carbohydrate.
Please check your labels!
Vital Wheat Gluten Flour is usually available in the health food section or baking
section of your grocery, or at some health food stores. If you're unable to locate
it, you can order directly from the manufacturer
at Bob's Red Mill. (Do a search for
High Gluten Flour and Bread Machine Flour:
While vital wheat gluten flour contains 75% or greater protein, the flours labeled
Bread Machine Flour and High Gluten Flour have between 12 and 14% protein. Usually milled from hard red spring wheat,
the carb count ranges from 54 grams per cup for High Gluten Flour to 66 grams per cup for most Bread Machine Flours.
For small uses, this can still be of value since all-purpose "white" flour (bleached or
non-bleached; enriched or not enriched) contains a whopping 92-97 grams per cup!
Recipes at this site that call for "gluten flour" in baking applications are referring
to vital wheat gluten flour with 24 carbs per cup. Vital wheat gluten can also be
an essential ingredient when baking with soy flour or soya powder, as soy contains no
gluten element to allow baking doughs to raise or hold their shape.
All gluten products (as well as soy flours) should be stored refrigerated or frozen
as they are natural products (no preservatives and a full-fat profile) and can
therefore become rancid.