Vital wheat gluten is the natural protein found in wheat. A small amount added to yeast bread recipes improves the texture and elasticity of the dough. Vital wheat gluten can also be used to make a vegetarian meat substitute called seitan.
Bob's Red Mill Vital Wheat Gluten is made from the protein found in the endosperm of the wheat berry, containing 75% to 80% protein. When combined with water, it becomes very elastic. A small amount added to yeast bread recipes improves the texture and elasticity of the dough, helps retain gas and steam from baking, and gives baked bread more volume. This can be especially useful for baking breads made with whole grain flour and coarse grains. Vital wheat gluten is often used by commercial bakeries to produce light-textured breads and can easily put the home baker on a par with the pros.
Vital wheat gluten is also a basic ingredient for meat and its alternatives. It acts as a binder for meatballs, meatloaf, veggie burgers, and tofu. Vital wheat gluten is the main ingredient in the meat substitute, seitan. To make seitan, mix vital wheat gluten with spices, then add water to form a paste. When gluten dough is steamed, baked, boiled or otherwise baked, it becomes chewy with a very meaty texture. Check out our package for a simple and delicious basic seitan recipe, plus instructions for making a classic, hearty honey oatmeal bread.