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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A question has come up about gluten. One person says to add gluten to whole wheat loaves because it lightens the loaf - other says there's more gluten in whole wheat to begin with.

I've never added gluten to any bread and am interested to know what advantages there are, if any, to doing so?
 

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From what I've read gluten is added to low protein flour like AP flour to improve, i.e. strengthen, its crumb.
 

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I think that it's true that whole wheat flour tends to be higher in protein than white flour. It can be a double edged sword however. The bran and germ in whole wheat flour can often sever the gluten strands as loaves proof. This renders the extra protein (gluten potential) moot at best. This cutting often leads to whole wheat loaves "collapsing" leaving them with dense a crumb. Adding vital wheat gluten can help over come this issue.
 

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Whole wheat is "heavier" hence the need to lighten the dough. I have always just substituted some of the whole wheat flour with white bread flour instead of adding gluten.
 

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Since all of the gluten is in the endosperm, then proportionately whole wheat flour has less of it by weight than white flour.
Breads made with 100% whole wheat flour are very dense and in some cases that may be the desired result. I usually use a 50/50 mix of whole wheat and high gluten bread flour.
I suppose it would also depend on the strain of wheat used to produce the whole wheat flour. A soft wheat grain may need an extra boost with added gluten.

Jock
 
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