Food Chemistry

I have a degree in Chemistry so I am a fan of experimentation.

My post about whole wheat bread is quite popular in the google searches. It appears more people than myself are on the quest for the perfect loaf.

I decided I was pretty much obligated to do a little bit of experimenting to see how necessary the “extras” in the recipe are (the dough conditioner and wheat gluten).

So… today? I made a loaf without added gluten to see what would happen.

I wasn’t super picky with the measurements (I don’t have a food scale so I just used measuring cups like I normally do). The loaf without the added gluten was predictably shorter and heavier.

I actually made two loaves with added gluten, and one didn’t have the same beautiful top, but it did have a nice high rise.

In keeping with good scientific practices ( šŸ˜‰ ) I thought it best I show a photo of that loaf as well:

So there you have it. Don’t add extra gluten to your bread if you don’t mind it a bit dense. Do add gluten if you like a lighter bread with a better structure. I buy my gluten here.

As unscientific as this “experiment” was, I have to say that the definitive perfect loaf of bread is even less quantifiable than this little test would imply. In short, you have to TASTE it. And everyone’s idea of the perfect loaf is different. So if you live in Columbus (and I know you)… and you’d like to give the recipe a taste-test before deciding whether to invest in a bread machine/gluten/ etc. … leave me a comment and I’ll make you a loaf so you can see if it’s something you like. How’s that for incentive to leave a comment?

Of course, if you’re a determined lurker, you can shoot me an email instead and I’ll still make you a loaf. But only because I love making bread for people and NOT because I support your refusal to comment. šŸ˜‰


About beanland

Scott is a family practice doctor and Anne is a full-time mother and teacher to three beautiful girls and one boy.
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11 Responses to Food Chemistry

  1. Maya says:

    i would *love* to try your bread! i have a bread machine that we got for the wedding i haven’t used yet. i’ve just been waiting for the right recipe to try it out (well, and time, haha).


  2. If that’s not an incentive to leave a comment, I don’t know what is! Could I maybe try a date nut ball? I’d like to try the improved version… :0) (You really don’t need to make me a whole loaf of bread–I just thought I’d make a comment!) Thanks for the good lab research!


  3. Elizabeth says:

    I got here from an internet search for ww bread. I’m excited to try it out, but I’m still waiting for my ascorbic acid to show up on my doorstep. My question was about the protein in the gluten. The ones I see in the store only have about 6 g of gluten but I noticed the one you linked to had 12. Does it make a huge difference? Thanks, Elizabeth


  4. Jennifer says:

    Question about gluten. My sister has Celiac disease & can not eat bread because it has gluten. How does the bread taste when you didn’t add gluten to it?


  5. Anne says:

    Jennifer: Wheat itself has gluten in it, even without the added gluten my recipe calls for. Your sister will need to buy/make bread using gluten-free grains such as oats and buckwheat. I haven’t done much gluten-free backing, myself, but I’m sure there are good resources online. Good luck!


  6. Lee says:

    Thanks for the receipe! How long will the bread keep after it’s made? Homemade ww bread I have bought in the past seems to go moldly quickly.


  7. Anne says:

    It keeps at least a week just fine, though it rarely goes uneaten longer than a day or two here. šŸ™‚


  8. Tereza says:

    I found you by googling bread machine bread recipes:) Thanks for all your tips. will be trying your bread tomorrow!


  9. lori says:

    Can’t wait to try your recipe. We just bought our first bread machine & I’m disappointed in the whole wheat brad recipe that came with it….it had NO oil. WHAT? In the old days I had a fantastic knead for 15 min. honey whole Wheat recipe (w/ eggs). Thanks for your post.


  10. Gwen says:

    Thanks for the tip on Wheat Gluten; I’ve been keeping mine in the refrigerator, because I was afraid it might spoil. And, it cost about $5 for 8 oz, so I will be using your source in the future!


  11. Thank you so much. The bread is wonderful.


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