Vital wheat gluten improves breads
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Vital wheat gluten is an ingredient that can add a lot of flavor and texture to baked goods with the added benefit of extending the shelf life of home baked breads.
Comprised of about 75% protein, vital wheat gluten is one of the easiest ways to guarantee that bread dough will rise high. Beyond helping the bread form the necessary strands of gluten, vital wheat gluten increases the elasticity of the bread dough, and softens the texture.
While many commercial bakeries and avid home bakers choose to use vital wheat gluten in all of their bread recipes, it is especially helpful when used in the following types of breads:
- Breads made with a flour that has a low protein content (usually the most inexpensive brands)
- Whole wheat or whole wheat blend breads
- Rye breads
- Sandwich breads
To use vital wheat gluten in homemade breads, add one teaspoon of vital wheat gluten to each cup of flour called for in the recipe. For heavy and dense breads, such as rye bread, more can be used at the discretion of the baker. Once opened, vital wheat gluten should be stored in the refrigerator.