Gluten is “Wheat Protein.” It is what gives dough its elasticity. Low-carb baking recipes use soya flour, whey powder and ground nuts as their main “flour” ingredients, and none of these have any Gluten in them. Hence, breads do not rise as like when strong bread flour is used, pastry is damn near impossible (I know, I’ve tried!), pasta does not roll through the machine properly… The list goes on.
It is funny old stuff, Gluten. It is also the cause of quite a few peoples food intolerances, as Gluten clogs up the action of the Villi on the stomach wall in a lot of people. These little finger-like things wave the food down through your stomach, aiding Peristalsis. They also absorb some nutrients out of your food as well.So, if they get clogged up, they cannot wave about, or absorb things, and so your digestion is impaired.
In the UK it is a job and a half finding anyone that sells Gluten, but in the desperate search for edible, enjoyable bread, I had to find it! Importing Vital Wheat Gluten Flour from Bob’s Red Mill would have nearly tripled the price of the Flour!
It took me three months dedicated looking, before a local baker suggested asking the local Weigh and Save! I found another supplier in my local Herb and Spice stall and Lakeland also sell it, as “Dough Enhancer” in tiny tins, for £7.00 a pop.
However, the best national place to get it is from BuyWholefoodsOnLine.co.uk. Last time I checked (23/02/2016), it was ££4.28p for 1Kg. These people sell lots of other baking sundries, apart from flour… Nuts and Nut flours (ground nuts) Vegetable gums for thickening things, herbs and spices… the list goes on. Amazon also offer various brands, but the prices are generally much less competitive.
The obvious application for Gluten is in bread and pastry making, but you can use it to dust down rolling out boards as well, or use it where a *dusting* of flour is required. However, be aware that if you use too much, you may end up with a very rubbery product! I did that with a set of pasta I made.. it took 50 minutes of boiling to get it to “al dente”! lol!
Oh, and if you want something to do with that Gluten once you have it… Check out the best bread recipe on the planet! 😉