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  Gluten in baking
  <p>You will often hear bakers and food teachers talking about gluten, so what exactly is gluten And where is it found?&nbsp;</p><table border="0" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" style="width:100%"> <tbody> <tr> <td><img alt="" src="/uploads/images-2020/gluten.JPG" style="height:320px; margin-bottom:10px; margin-top:10px; width:600px" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Gluten is a protein formed when water is added to wheat flour to make a dough. It is actually formed from glutenin and gliadin the two proteins in wheat flour. It is needed in many ways in baking.&nbsp; In the most part it is the reason that mixtures with wheat flour such as cakes and pastries hold their shapes.&nbsp; A raw mixture of dough is pliable but when it is cooked becomes rigid. The gluten in the dough, being a protein, sets once the temperature rises to over 60⁰C - 65⁰C.&nbsp; This is also known as denaturation of protein because it is non reversible.&nbsp; Once the dough is set it remains so. Gluten is responsible for a flour dough holding its cooked shape.</td> </tr> <tr> <td><img alt="" src="/uploads/images-2020/gluten2.JPG" style="height:308px; margin-bottom:10px; margin-top:10px; width:600px" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Starch, the other main component of wheat flour dextrinises on cooking and provides the characteristic golden colour of bakes goods.&nbsp; When sugar is also present in the mixture such as in cakes the golden tones are deeper and richer due to caramelisation.</p> Have a look at gluten, Where can we actually see it? &nbsp;If you mix Strong flour with water and &lsquo;knead&rsquo; it the proteins in the wheat flour will form gluten.&nbsp; Strong flour (Bread flour) &nbsp;can contain up to 14g or 15g protein per 100g as opposed to around 9g per 100g in white cake flour.</td> </tr> <tr> <td><img alt="" src="/images/blog/gluten strands.jpg" style="float:left; margin:10px; opacity:0.9; width:640px" /><br /> &nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>The dough formed can be &lsquo;washed&rsquo; in cold water to remove the starch.&nbsp;&nbsp; The starch grains are suspended in the water and wash away as white milky water.&nbsp; Gradually the gluten can be seen as a grey, stretchy mass.&nbsp; The more starch is removed the stronger and more elastic the remaining gluten.&nbsp; You can cook small portions of the gluten.&nbsp; On heating any remaining water turns to steam and puffs up the gluten.&nbsp; The outer crust of gluten sets as the proteins are denatured by the heat.&nbsp; It takes longer for the inside to set.&nbsp; The structure will collapse after cooking as steam softens the crust.</p> <p>The picture below shows uncooked gluten:</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td><img alt="" src="/images/blog/tiny gluten uncooked.jpg" style="float:left; margin:10px; opacity:0.9; width:640px" /><br /> &nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>The picture below shows cooked gluten.</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td><img alt="" src="/images/blog/tiny gluten cooked.jpg" style="float:left; margin:10px; opacity:0.9; width:640px" /><br /> &nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Where might you see gluten when you are cooking?</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td><img alt="" src="/uploads/images-2020/gluten3.JPG" style="height:343px; margin-bottom:10px; margin-top:10px; width:600px" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>When you make more advanced pastries such as puff pastry, or Danish pastry dough you will see how gluten can help form layers that give the characteristic flaky light pastry</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td><img alt="" src="/uploads/images-2020/gluten4.JPG" style="height:297px; margin-bottom:10px; margin-top:10px; width:600px" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>When you make bread the kneading action used during preparation is responsible for developing gluten in the dough.&nbsp; Gluten is &lsquo;developed&rsquo; during this important stage.</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td><img alt="" src="/uploads/images-2020/gluten5.JPG" style="height:353px; margin-bottom:10px; margin-top:10px; width:600px" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>When you prepare shortcrust pastry or shortbread the reverse is seen.&nbsp; The gluten is not required to be &lsquo;developed&rsquo;, in fact it is the action of rubbing in fat that prevents water long strands of gluten forming and keeps the pastry or biscuits crumbly and light in texture.</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td><img alt="" src="/uploads/images-2020/gluten6.JPG" style="height:343px; margin-bottom:10px; margin-top:10px; width:600px" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>How ingredients work is part of food science.&nbsp; I hope you found it helpful to read about the role of gluten when cooking.</p> </td> </tr> </tbody></table>
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