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 ( 😉 ) 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. 😉