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gluten question


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3 replies to this topic

#1 mklynch

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Posted 09 October 2004 - 01:25 PM

Hi Peter,

I happened to pick up BBA last week not knowing this Q&A was coming, what luck! I'm really enjoying the book and have a couple questions.

I came into a large amount of AP flour and happen to have some Bob's Red Mill gluten. What do you think about adding a bit to the AP so I can make chewy bagels? Any idea on ratio?

Also avoiding trans fat laden shortening and wondering about replacing it with butter in bread recipes. Butter has more liquid than shortening, but it's held in suspension in the butter and I wonder if the dough would let on that it's there. Should the butter be clarifyed first?

Thanks for all the great info! MK Lynch

#2 Peter Reinhart

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Posted 09 October 2004 - 03:06 PM

Hi Peter,

  I happened to pick up BBA last week not knowing this Q&A was coming, what luck! I'm really enjoying the book and have a couple questions.

  I came into a large amount of AP flour and happen to have some Bob's Red Mill gluten. What do you think about adding a bit to the AP so I can make chewy bagels? Any idea on ratio?

  Also avoiding trans fat laden shortening and wondering about replacing it with butter in bread recipes. Butter has more liquid than shortening, but it's held in suspension in the butter and I wonder if the dough would let on that it's there. Should the butter be clarifyed first?

  Thanks for all the great info!  MK Lynch

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You can try it, but it's difficult to get a true match so I'm making guarantees. If you do want to try, add 2% of vital wheat gluten to the AP flour (ie, 2 oz. of gluten for every 100 oz. flour). See how it goes and do let me know what you think. OR, you can save the AP for baguettes (AP flour makes great baguettes; many bakers prefer to bread flour) and buy some bread flour or high gluten flour (from a bagel shop--if you grovel enough they might sell you some from their stock). That would probably get you a closer match to bagel shop quality.
As for the butter, yes you can make that substitute though you can also use unsaturated veg. oil, which is healthier and much cheaper than butter (but butter does taste better). The water adjustment can only be determined on a batch by basis since every brand and type of flour absorbs differently. So let your dough dictate to you what it needs and adjust accordingly.
BTW, I love the bagel recipe in BBA (many people have said it's the closest to their childhood memory of "true" NY quality (if such a thing is actually possible--recreating childhood memories, that is)), so please let me know how you like them.

#3 Peter Reinhart

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Posted 09 October 2004 - 03:11 PM

You can try it, but it's difficult to get a true match so I'm making guarantees. If you do want to try, add 2% of vital wheat gluten to the AP flour (ie, 2 oz. of gluten for every 100 oz. flour). See how it goes and do let me know what you think. OR, you can save the AP for baguettes (AP flour makes great baguettes; many bakers prefer to bread flour) and buy some bread flour or high gluten flour (from a bagel shop--if you grovel enough they might sell you some from their stock). That would probably get you a closer match to bagel shop quality.
    As for the butter, yes you can make that substitute though you can also use unsaturated veg. oil, which is healthier and much cheaper than butter (but butter does taste better). The water adjustment can only be determined on a batch by basis since every brand and type of flour absorbs differently. So let your dough dictate to you what it needs and adjust accordingly.
    BTW, I love the bagel recipe in BBA (many people have said it's the closest to their childhood memory of "true" NY quality (if such a thing is actually possible--recreating childhood memories, that is)), so please let me know how you like them.

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Oops, I found in a typo in my previous post. I meant to say, I'm making NO guarantees <regarding the quality of the bagels by the addition of vital wheat gluten to AP flour>.

#4 Robert Schonfeld

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 12:17 PM

Hello, Mr. Reinhart. My question concerning gluten is this: if I choose a flour with a relatively low protein number, and then add vital wheat gluten, do I stand a better chance of producing a very wet dough that can be aggressively developed into loaves that will retain their form and also have a very open crumb, as opposed to simply using a strong flour at a high hydration which, in my experience as a home baker, does not yield the large holes one looks for in such a loaf?

edit: I am familiar with turning techniques, and I have produced good flattish loaves with a variable crumb. What I am curious about is a loaf I once saw that was very high - nearly round - but also with very large holes. I have seen flour offered that gives both protein and vital gluten specifications, which is what gives rise to my question.

Edited by Robert Schonfeld, 20 October 2004 - 04:38 PM.

Who said "There are no three star restaurants, only three star meals"?