Home Bread-Bakers v098.n020.4

For what it's worth. . .

Farnes_Quinn <Farnes_Quinn@Allergan.com>
Mon, 2 Mar 1998 08:03:57 -0800
Mitch, forgive my nitpicking; it's a small point, and not really
important to the subject of bread baking, but I'd like to offer a little
addendum, and a slight correction, to the information you offered about
the subject of gluten.  

You are correct in pointing out that there is no single substance
"Gluten," per se.  Gluten is actually a mixture of the two *proteins*
(not amino acids), glutelin and gliadin, derived from the starchy
endosperm of cereal grains.  Glutelin and gliadin, in turn, consist from
12 to 24% of the amino acid glutamine, hence the name Gluten, as well as
leucine, proline, and arginine, in lesser quantities.  Since gluten is
not a single substance, some authors more correctly, IMHO, refer to them
as "glutens."  

As was mentioned recently in response to someone's question of how one
might prepare gluten, it is commercially prepared by washing the starch
out of wheat flour.  Gluten is left behind as a sticky brownish-gray

Since gluten is practically insoluble in water, though it is more so in
alcohol, alkalies and dilute acids, it will not readily combine with the
ingredients found in ordinary bread dough, hence it must be thoroughly
mixed into the dough by the action of kneading.  Bread books frequently
talk about the importance of kneading in "developing" gluten.  Actually,
it is more a matter of ensuring that the gluten is thoroughly mixed with
the dough, rather than making some sort of chemical transformation that
term implies.

Hope this helps,

Irvine, CA 
(Chemists bake bread, too!)