Gluten Bread
February 25, 2012

by stacy
Published on: February 25, 2012
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Comments: 3 Comments

“Making [Gluten Bread] is a fascinating lesson in what gluten does: the dough will resist you when you knead, will try to contract when you spread it out, but the resulting loaf is worth the battle.”
-James Beard, Beard on Bread

On Wednesday, I made Gluten Bread, which will go the list of bizarre bread recipes along with English Muffin Bread for Microwave Oven.  The unique thing about Gluten Bread is that it uses gluten flour, which is typically added to whole-grain breads in small quantities to improve the texture.

Here are the ingredients:

Gluten Bread Ingredients

I mixed my ingredients together and then attempted to knead the dough.  Since the dough, quite literally, had the same texture as well-chewed gum, this proved to be a near impossible undertaking.  It also had an unpleasant brown color that made it look dirty, and I think I would have had more success shaping a rubber tire into a loaf of bread than this dough.

Anyway, I finally formed what is most definitely the ugliest loaf that I have ever made, and let it rise for about an hour and a half.

Gluten Bread After Rising

See?  I wasn’t kidding about the ugly thing.

The recipe instructed me to bake the bread at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes.  After 25 minutes, I noticed a burning smell and checked on the bread to find this:

Gluten Bread in Oven

I poked the bread with a knife to deflate some of air (at this point remembering that I was supposed to slash the top of the loaf before baking–oops) and used a heat resistant spatula to detach the dough from the broiler.

Gluten Bread

Before investing more effort into a loaf that was shaping up to be a disaster, I sampled a slice of gluten bread off of the end.  It had the texture of a popover, assuming said popover is made of rubber.  The taste wasn’t much better, and in fact was reminiscent of an eraser I ate as a child.  Mike described it as tasting like “a cooked rubber band with a hint of industrial chemicals.”

Gluten Bread

Needless to say, I didn’t finish baking my loaf and tossed it in the garbage.  I hate wasting food, but I honestly would not classify this bread as food.  James Beard let me down with this one.


3 Comments - Leave a comment
  1. Rachel says:

    Ha Ha Ha!!! It does look pretty bad….

  2. Leisa says:

    I think the problem (at least from your picture of ingredients) is that you used wheat gluten which is an additive instead of regular flour. Regular flour is bread with gluten. Vital wheat gluten from bob’s red mill,,,,

    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 known as seitan.

    Why not give it another go with flour!

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