Dr. Steve Johnston


I want to increase the gluten in my homemade bread as much as possible to increase the protein levels in the bread. I am doing this in an attempt to get as much protein as possible out of the bread for a vegan diet.  

I have no problem with a firmer chewier bread or digesting gluten. I have some 80% gluten flour that I want to mix with whole wheat flour.  

I was thinking of using a "No Knead Bread Recipe" and using cold water to keep the level of long strings of gluten down but still keep the protein.  

How much is the maximum I can probably add of the high gluten flour with the whole wheat flour and still get a decently edible result? Any other things I can alter in the recipe to help or other suggestions you can make??


Vital wheat gluten is the dried insoluble gluten protein of wheat flour from which the starch and soluble components have been removed by a washing process and which, upon drying, has been reduced to a free-flowing, cream-colored powder. Vital wheat gluten normally contains 70 to 80% active gluten. General use levels of vital wheat gluten: Hard rolls, French and Italian-type breads 2-3% (% Flour basis); dark breads, including rye 1 – 3%; Raisin and related heavy breads 2-3%. The dry vital wheat gluten is usually added with other dry ingredients, prior to water addition. 

You will need to experiment starting with around 6% addition of vital wheat gluten to increase the protein content of the flour and get your desired results. 

Another suggestion is to experiment with 100 percent gluten flour. (Gluten flour is made from white flour that has had the starch removed in order to concentrate the gluten from fifty to seventy-five percent, depending on the brand of gluten flour.) The flour is more expensive than regular flour and absorbs and holds more water or other liquid than does regular flour. A high-gluten white flour will require more mix time than a white flour with a lower gluten content, because it takes longer to develop the gluten in high-gluten flour. Also, the dough will stiffen even after it is mixed and as it rises. 

I will be interested in hearing back from you about your successful trials to increase the protein levels in your homemade bread.