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Vital Wheat Gluten


Vital Wheat Gluten is gluten that has been extracted from wheat.  It is pure gluten.  In our glutenphobic age, you might be wondering why anyone one want or use such a thing.  There are a number of reasons...

Vital wheat gluten helps breads, especially whole grains, rise better.  We talk about that a bit in the 5 Flours, 10 Breads - a Flour Test article.  We find that using more than 5 or 6% vital wheat gluten tends to give the bread a gummy texture.  However, it really helps bread rise, even breads made with bread flour.

But wait!  There's more.  Many vegetarians and vegans use vital wheat gluten to make fake meat.  In fact, the first commercial version of the Impossible Burger was wheat based.  Once you have gluten, you can turn it into Seitan which you can, I'm told, use for many different dishes.  We found an article (and there are LOTS of similar articles) on how to extract gluten and make seitan from whole wheat.

If, like me, you aren't inclined to extract gluten from your flour you can find it in most grocery stores and just about all health food stores.  Look in the baking supplies aisle, and if it isn't there look wherever they have the Bob's Red Mill goods.  If you are adding a bit to breads, it's not very expensive.  As you can guess, Bob's Red Mill sells some, as does Arrowhead Mills among other grain mills.


2 thoughts on “Vital Wheat Gluten”

  1. Is it possible for those of us who can’t use any gluten at all (due to Celiac disease) to do sourdoughs successfully?

    1. Hi Joan,
      If you are trying for a gluten free bread, you definitely don’t want to add vital wheat gluten.

      I looked at gluten free baking a few years ago and decided that it was more trouble than it was worth to me. If I had a gluten sensitivity, I’d reconsider.

      There are web pages, blogs, Facebook groups and books dedicated to gluten free baking and sourdough baking. You might want to check them out.

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