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Vital Wheat Gluten (VWG)

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What Is Vital Wheat Gluten

Vital wheat gluten (VWG) is a cream-colored powder that contains approximately 75% of the “vital” proteins (glutenin and gliadin) needed for gluten formation. The production of VWG involves mixing a dough until it reaches full gluten development, followed by a process known as “gluten washing” to separate the gluten from the remaining dough (mostly starch). Afterward, the resulting gluten is dried and ground into a powder, so what is obtained is a powder that contains gluten-forming proteins that have retained their ability to produce gluten and can effectively “recreate” it.

Vital Wheat Gluten (VWG) is an excellent option for strengthening weaker flours, especially when strong flour is not available or when you want to further strengthen a specific flour.

It is important to note that different types of wheat have varying gluten properties, and the same applies to vital wheat gluten – the quality and properties of the gluten in VWG depend on the wheat from which it is ground.

How To Use Vital Wheat Gluten

In general, adding 1% of VWG to the dough will increase its protein content by 0.6%. For example, if the flour has a protein content of 10%, adding 1% VWG will result in a final protein content of 10.6%.

Additionally, the high water absorption capacity of VWG proteins means that adding 1% VWG will increase the dough’s water absorption capacity by 1.5%. This means that if we want to maintain the same dough consistency, we should add water to the dough in a ratio of 1.5 times the amount of VWG added. For example, if we add 10 grams of VWG, we need to add 15 grams of water to achieve the same dough consistency.
Of course, the above is not mandatory – but it is worth knowing.

VWG should always be added to the flour, not directly to the water! VWG absorbs water quickly and clumps easily; Adding VWG directly to the water will create “gluten lumps” that will not be properly incorporated into the dough. Therefore, it is always advisable to add VWG on top of the flour.

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