Science: What is Gluten? Here’s How to See and Feel Gluten




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What is gluten, and what does it mean to be cooking with gluten? See and feel gluten with this simple kitchen experiment.

GLUTEN FACTS: Gluten—an elastic protein that has the ability to trap air, much like a balloon—is formed when two important proteins in wheat flour, glutenin and gliadin, bond together in the presence of water. Whether we are trying to create more of it in rustic bread or pizza dough or working to limit its development for tender baked goods like cakes and muffins, there’s no denying gluten’s importance. But beyond our conceptual understanding of it, is there a more tangible way to see and feel gluten? We ran a simple experiment to find out.

We made two basic doughs by mixing flour and water in a food processor until a smooth ball formed. For one dough we used cake flour, which contains between 6 and 8 percent protein, and for the other one we used bread flour, which usually runs from 12 to 14 percent protein. After making the doughs, we placed each in a mesh strainer and massaged them under running water to wash away all of the starch. Once the water ran clear (a sign that the starch was gone), we were left with two piles of essentially pure gluten. The differences in the appearance and texture of the two doughs were a dramatic confirmation of the profound impact of gluten.

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31 thoughts on “Science: What is Gluten? Here’s How to See and Feel Gluten”

  1. omg it's really weird to know what we're eating nowadays,thanks a lot for making us to know what actually gluten was.

  2. From reading the comments: why do you care what people eat damn. Everyone makes their own choices. If they don’t eat gluten and don’t have celiac disease so? It’s their choice. Why are people so concerned with OTHER PEOPLES CHOICES.

  3. I did some test a few years ago and I was diagnosed with a Gluten-sensitivity and as soon as I eat Gluten content foods, I get severely bloated to the point that I have to rely on antacids to be able to breathe. My stomach gets like a 9-months pregnant lady and I have to yell 🙀 due to all the bloated associated pains. It's a horrible experience and sadly, Gluten-free restaurants are rare to find or none existent so it's hard to eat take-out foods when your options are limited.

    Due to this reason, I have decided to buy gluten-free hamburger 🍔 buns whenever I'm craving a cheeseburger so I can take the bun with me and ask the waitress to make me a special order. This way I can enjoy a gluten-free takeout cheeseburger in the palm of my hand.

    Life is too short to be miserable and not enjoy eating the food you love. 🧸💕

  4. SORRY!!
    Bread flour DOES NOT contain the most protein. OMG!!
    High-Gluten flour contains the most protein. (And it's imperative for pizza dough.) And the King Arthur website says their unbleached bread flour has 12.7% protein, NOT up to 14%.)
    HE SHOULD KNOW ALL THIS. EVERY PRO BAKER AND PIZZA-MAKER KNOWS THIS.
    Here's the high-gluten flour that I use (13.8% – 14.6% protein):
    https://shop.honeyville.com/xl-high-gluten-flour-50lb.html

    And check this out:
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/0692975624/

  5. I love Gluten it saved the human race about 7,500 years ago and has been feeding the world ever since. Thank God for Gluten.

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