be using). yeast breads. | Privacy Policy, If your bowls look different, remember which one contains 4. Talk about your results. 6. gluten you extracted in the previous activity is technically Without it, there would be nothing have a finished gluten ball. Pastry dough with too little gluten would be too tender and would fall apart easily. the gluten too strong, which makes for a tough, chewy finished dough. More and more people without the disease, however, are turning to gluten-free foods as well. You want to add ingredients that attract moisture and hold it in the structure. You need to aerate these batters. gluten development. Did For many baked goods, For cake recipes that use cocoa powder, bloom just means to enhance the flavor in some way. vegetarians—find it to be an excellent addition to stir-fries which type of flour. CAUTION Most of the European all-purpose flour I encountered had a protein content of about 10%. In baking, gluten is mainly used for the light texture and Adjusting the amounts of water and fat in a recipe plays a major role in the extent of gluten formation. This would result in bread that is too tough and chewy. This gluten-relaxation lessens the elasticity of the dough, making it easier to roll out. How the Variety of Flour Effects Gluten Development As discussed in our lesson about the function of flour in baking , choosing the right variety of flour is critical for gluten … Bread dough is elastic, meaning you can pull it and it will stretch before it breaks. 4. This has helped me realize what a huge role it plays in baked goods. of gluten as the rubber of a balloon: The stronger it is, Gluten is not a single protein but a mixture of cereal proteins, about 80% of its dry weight (for example gliadins and glutenins in wheat grains), lipids, 5-7%, starch, 5-10%, water, 5-8%, and mineral substances, <2%. Dimension bars at the bottom of each photo show distance in microns (one micron is one-millionth of a meter). Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in gluten-free baking and I will be happy to post some recipes that have worked for me. Gluten is also a key component in foods that aren't baked, like pasta. And you can add a bit more than the recipe calls for. Bloom cocoa powder in hot water. Pie crusts, for example, should be tender and not chewy. • bowls (one for each flour you’ll That’s gluten. 1 Fig. Kids, please don’t try this at home without the help contribute to the consistency and nutritional value of bread. So more sugar means a more tender cake with a finer crumb. My best results have been from mixing rice, millet, potato, and soy flours together to make some pretty great muffins. Fat, on the other hand, hinders gluten development by creating a coating around the proteins. I had a lot of success with muffins, cakes, and some pastries, using various gluten-free flours. If not, label them. This means that gluten itself isn’t actually present in the flour, but rather its components. Pasta made from low-gluten … Kneading/High Speed mixing in bakeries. separate bowls, measure out 1 cup of each of your flours. the sink, run cold water over one of the dough balls. The coarseness of the crumb is likely caused by the lack of acidity, which allows gluten proteins to readily form, and the neutral liquid which can bolster gluten formation. When often say “do not over mix.”  While you cannot undo the gluten development in an over-mixed batter, relaxing the dough can make it easier to work with. up expands the ball. Fruit cakes should taste of the fruit and be very moist. Keep pouring out the cloudy water that collects in the bottom of the bowl. But it’s also nutritious edible. You Know? 5. the batter too much. If the gluten is too developed, bread dough will no longer stretch easily (think of a really tough elastic band that is difficult to stretch out.) product, known as seitan, is a great source of texture how much smaller your ball has become—and how much more Shows the protein network formed after water is added to … Bread, for example, has more gluten than a tender, flaky pastry. Are the Vanilla cakes should have a strong vanilla flavor. For Exploratorium | Use Policy 2. dough ball will become a gummy, slimy network of gluten strands. & Discuss Use real extracts. In This does not mean, however, that the more gluten in bread and the less gluten in pastries the better. the dough in cheesecloth in order to hold it together. gluten balls all the same size, or are some larger than others? Beat well. Most other cake and pastry flours are around 6-8% protein. Fig. ; This stage “works” the dough, stretching the gluten complexes. Cake and pastry flours have lower protein contents because we don’t want too much gluten formation in these baked goods. Linda Larsen creates and tests recipes for major food companies, is the Busy Cooks Guide at, and is the coauthor of Eating Clean For Dummies. different results. Here are several ways of getting a tender, fine crumb in gluten-free cakes: Add a little extra leavening. Pastry chefs, on the other hand, prefer low-protein © The gluten is what gives the pasta its firm texture. and to find out why using different flours can lead to such Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves are classic cake spices. Use brown sugar. Applesauce, pear purées, or any other puréed fruit really helps cakes stay moist and tender. Sugar adds tenderness to cakes, and it’s hygroscopic, which just means that it attracts water. The addition of water to flour causes hydration of the Gliadin and Glutenin proteins and leads to the formation of gluten. Gluten is both plastic—able to change shape—and Why Be careful These include: Earlier, I mentioned that the more you mix dough, the more you develop the gluten. You may remember from my puff pastry tutorial, that there are many dough relaxation stages. Otherwise, it is really fun to experiment with different types of flours. taken under high magnification may help you envision the formation of gluten from flour and water. Share In cakes, you want a fine crumb, which means very tiny air holes. here to learn more about how gluten is formed. Click and glutenin, form gluten. away the starch in the dough. Remember that gluten forms once glutenin and gliadin are mixed with water. The gluten strands become stronger and more developed, the more the dough is mixed. That’s a food science term for ingredients that are chopped very finely. like pastries and pie crusts, it’s important to avoid Luckily, there are ways of controlling gluten to obtain the optimal amount of gluten development for the particular baked good you are working with. it with soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and seaweed. A strict gluten-free diet is absolutely necessary for some: people who suffer from celiac disease  are unable to process gluten properly, resulting in damage to the small intestine. Use flours with a low protein content. The cake baked with whole milk was slightly darker in color that the acid containing cakes and the milk cake had a coarse crumb. When the water no longer becomes milky, you know there’s It is made up of two different proteins called glutenin and gliadin. each bowl, and knead each mixture until it forms a soft, rubbery This happens to be the same percentage  as the Robin Hood Bread Flour.Weird. All Rights Reserved. It is a protein that is found in wheat and other grains and is responsible for the shape and texture of many baked goods. Think But flour also contains and protein. Understanding how gluten formation occurs and how it can be developed or kept under control is a foundational principle of baking. Brown sugar has more moisture than white sugar (which is why you have to pack it into the cup to measure it), so it makes the cake crumb more tender and moist. If you find a recipe that has a wonderful texture but the flavor isn’t quite there, try these tricks: Add fruit purées in place of some of the liquid. Strong flours such as those made from durum wheat are good for making pasta because of their high gluten content. You can easily make gluten-free cakes that are flavorful, light and fluffy, and with a soft and tiny crumb. product. around the ball and squeezing gently to remove the starch. This adds air to the batter. You’ll notice the water turning milky as it washes You’ll notice the water turning milky as it washes away the starch in the dough. This gluten-free trend has sparked some pretty heated debates; however, there isn’t enough evidence to conclude that gluten-free should be for everyone. Add more spices. Cake and pastry flours have lower protein contents because we don’t want too much gluten formation in these baked goods. Most cake recipes are designed to be full of flavor. I think a closer look into these flours deserves a separate post because it isn’t quite that simple, but for now, let’s just worry about protein content. Use another type of liquid instead of milk or water. does the texture of each one differ as you wash away the starch? Water is absolutely essential: no water means no gluten. Gluten and Pasta . ball of dough. Gluten has become a rather hot topic lately, as gluten-free diets are becoming increasingly popular. You get the idea! The Exploratorium is more than a museum. Bread dough relies on gluten to hold the itself together, which is why gluten-free bread tends to be crumbly. I’ve mentioned before that Canadian flour generally has higher protein content than most European flours. the more gas it can hold. 1. Keep pouring out the cloudy Use more sugar. Not surprisingly, baked goods that do not rely as heavily on gluten are easier to make gluten-free. © 2020 The Big Bake Theory. not to let the dough disintegrate; try cupping your hands because of its chewy texture, many people—especially Add some finely divided solids, such as ground chocolate or cocoa powder. When mixed with water, these two proteins combine to create gluten particles, which in turn come together to create gluten strands in the dough. How water (1/2 to 3/4 cup for each flour you’ll In the oven, the steam produced as the gluten heats and stews. Therefore, it makes sense that bread flour has a higher protein content than other flours: higher protein content = more gluten. In fact, double the vanilla extract in any cake recipe for fabulous flavor. you knead dough, you help two proteins in wheat flour, gliadin Here are several ways of getting a tender, fine crumb in gluten-free cakes: Add a little extra leavening. Let the dough balls sit for about 10 minutes. is gluten so important? And • This adds more air to the batter, which helps get the lift you want in any cake. With low-gluten cake or pastry flours, you may want to put The more the gluten is developed, the tougher and chewier the baked good. Take a minute to compare the differences between bread dough and pie dough. This is the whole reason why bread dough is kneaded and pie dough is mixed only to the point where it is just combined. Avoid tough and heavy gluten-free cakes by following these handy baking tips. A 50-50 split of flours and starches gives the cake enough structure but keeps the texture fine. You Know? flours that yield delicate, tender doughs. High-gluten flour, also called high-protein or strong flour, contains 13 to 14 g of protein per cup, making it 11.5 to 12.5 percent protein. Bread dough also relies on gluten to trap the gases that are produced by yeast during fermentation. Xanthan gum and guar gum are often used to make up for the lack of gluten and help hold the crumbs together. While bread has a high gluten content, other baked goods, such as pastries, should have relatively low amounts of gluten.