Home Bread-Bakers v098.n021.4

RE: For what it's worth. . .

Mitch Smith <smithm@mvp.net>
Wed, 4 Mar 1998 20:36:12 -0600
>Farnes_Quinn[SMTP:Farnes_Quinn@Allergan.com] wrote:

>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...

Thanks for the correction. You're right that the amino acid is glutamic
acid, the various amino acids being the building blocks for proteins
and other polypeptides. It is always a mistake to breeze through
a reference too quickly when composing a detailed message! 

>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 substance.  

>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.

I also posted the message on making vital gluten by isolating
it from a yeastless, well kneaded dough. Thanks for clarifying/
reinforcing that the use of vital gluten in a dough does require
vigorous kneading to fully re-develop. Personally, not being
a chemist, I didn't mentally picture any chemical transformation 
when I see the word "develop" in reference to gluten in dough,
though your further thoughs will help anyone who did think that.

Thanks again!

- Mitch