What is Vital Wheat Gluten?
Vital wheat gluten is basically a natural protein that is found in wheat. It is made up of two proteins glutenin and gliadin. A small amount of it is added to the yeast bread recipe for the improvement of texture and the elasticity of the dough. It is an essential ingredient in the baking process as a thickener and adds structure to baking goods as well. Without it, many baked goods would be dense and heavy. It works. flour of vital wheat gluten can also be used to make vegetarian meat substitutes known as seiten. In this article, I explained in detail about Vital Wheat Gluten Substitutes.
How Do You Use Vital Wheat Gluten?
Vital wheat gluten is mainly used to make the meat alternative seitan for vegans. It is also used in various baking recipes. While making seitan, the vital wheat gluten powder is mixed with spices and water to form a dough. When the dough is baked, boiled, or cooked in any other form, the dough becomes chewy in texture like meat. This is due to the high amount of gluten in vital wheat flour. It gives a product that has a similar texture and taste to the meat.
Moreover, it is added to various bread recipes, especially flour with lower gluten content. The addition of vital wheat gluten gives the bread a better crumb and chewy texture. It can also be used as a binding agent in various recipes.
The recommended ratio for the use of vital wheat gluten is one tablespoon of vital wheat gluten per two cups of flour.
12 Common Substitutes for Vital Wheat Gluten
1. Protein Powder:
Protein powder can be used as a substitute for vital wheat gluten to add more flavour to your recipe.
There are a few factors why you would want to use protein powder as a substitute for gluten powder.
- The first factor is gluten sensitivity.
- Second is if you trying to cut off on carbs, protein powder is considered an excellent practice for adding some additional protein to your diet without extra cabs.
There are different types of protein powder available in the market so you can choose the one which is suitable for you.
If you’re looking for a vegan-friendly protein powder, I recommend using pea protein powder. It’s a plant-based protein that is high in protein and low in carbs and fat.
When you are using protein powder as the replacement for gluten powder, you’ll use a little more than the amount of wheat gluten called in for the recipe.
For example, if a recipe calls for 1/2 cup of wheat gluten, you’ll need to use ¾ cup of protein powder.be sure to blend the protein powder in some water or any other liquid like milk, Before adding it to the recipe otherwise, it will be so thick.
- Xanthan Gum:
It is also a good alternative to vital wheat gluten. like vital wheat gluten xanthan gum has also natural ingredients in it which helps to improve the texture and elasticity of the dough.
When you are using xanthan gum as the substitute for vital wheat gluten for every cup 1/4 of vital wheat gluten and now use 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum in your recipe.
If you are unsure about the use of xanthan gum to use, take your start-up with a smaller amount and add more as you need.
Adding too much xanthan gum result can be a sticky or gummy texture so it is important to use it as per need.
- High Gluten Flour:
High gluten flour is a protein-condensed flour made with hard wheat like red Winter or red spring. One of these high-gluten flours is used as a substitute for vital wheat gluten.
One cup of high-gluten flour can be substituted for one tablespoon of vital wheat gluten. if you use more than one tablespoon of gluten in a recipe it increases the amount of high gluten flour accordingly. Keep in mind that using high-gluten flour will add starchness to the final products so adjust the other ingredients in the recipe.
High-gluten flour contains equal parts of gluten and flour, making it more glutinous than regular flour. If you use high-gluten flour, you will not need to use vital wheat gluten, so this is the best substitute for vital wheat gluten. You can also it use for baking making vegan meats etc. when adding it to your recipe, you should use double the amount that you would for vital wheat gluten.
- Bread flour:
Bread flour is also more glutinous than regular flour and it is perfect for making bread. bread flour is also used as a substitute for vital wheat gluten. It’s used most commonly and traditionally to bake bread and many other products. Bread flour works great in baking, bread-making recipes, making doughs such as sweet yeast doughs, and even flakey croissants.
Bread flour contains higher amounts of protein and fiber and is available bleached or unbleached. When using bread flour to substitute vital wheat gluten, substitute the amounts of the flour and wheat gluten for the bread flour.
- Whey Protein:
Whey protein is used as a substitute for vital wheat gluten and it provides structure to your recipe but will not add elasticity. It is the best source of protein and also essential for amino acids. whey protein contains a small amount of calcium and it is low in lactose. Whey protein can use as it is the same amount of vital wheat gluten. But make sure you add Xanthan gum in a recipe to calling thickness for the improvement of elasticity.
If you are looking for protein powder it helps you to build muscles whey protein is a great option. It’s derived from milk, so it’s rich in all of the essential amino acids your body needs to perform at its best.
It’s easily digested and absorbed, so your muscles can get the nutrients they need quickly. Whey protein comes in a variety of flavors, so you can find one that you enjoy. It also has a smooth, creamy texture that makes it easy to mix into shakes and other recipes.
If you’re trying to cut back on gluten, you can even use whey protein as a substitute for vital wheat gluten. Add a little water to form a dough, and you’re good to go.
- Guar Gum:
Guar gum is also a substitute for vital wheat gluten. it has a slightly sweet taste. Guar gum is a plant base and is also thick. which helps to give structure and elasticity to the dough. Guar gum is also available in a processed form, which is made from guar beans that have been milled and then chemically treated.
This form of guar gum is a white, powdery substance that is a little bit more processed than the natural form. When using guar gum in gluten-free baking, it is essential to use the correct amount. If too much guar gum is used, the dough will be heavy and dense.
If too little guar gum is used, the dough will not have enough structure and will be challenging to work with.
A general rule of thumb is to utilize 1/4 teaspoon of guar gum for every cup of flour in the recipe. This will aid in ensuring that the dough has the proper structure and elasticity.
Eggs can be used in sweet and spicy dishes.
These are the best source of protein. Eggs have a rich fatty taste that is described as “egg”
- High protein and fats are in the white and yolk of the egg
- Yolk of the egg provides a creamy texture to the dishes.
- It provides a creamy texture to dishes like custards and mayonnaise which is desired.
- Eggs can also be used as a substitute for vital wheat gluten for making dishes
- When it is added to a dish with the combination of water it creates the sticky substance that is used to bind ingredients together.
- It helps to make perfect vegan and gluten-free baking recipes.
- Simply add some water in some eggs and blend it you will able to create delicious cakes, cookies and bread with the addition of any gluten powder.
- Pregel Starch:
Pregel starch is used as a substitute for vital wheat gluten. Pregel starch is basically a starch that has been made ready and dehydrated. it helps to enhance its thickness and water absorption capacity at a lower temperature. Pregel starch helps maintain structure and elasticity, especially in baked goods. This makes it a great substitute for vital wheat gluten. It also works well in making faux meats. You can use 1 teaspoon of Pregel starch for every one cup of flour.
- Seiten Vital Wheat Gluten:
Seiten is a substitute of vital wheat gluten. Seiten is a vegan meat substitute made from vital wheat gluten. Seiten is often sold in slices, cubes, or strips. But it can also be easily made at home. You may use seiten in many different dishes like beef in chines restaurants. Seiten is basically vital wheat gluten and provide sensitivity and elasticity in your food.
Protein & Nutrition:
- Seiten is one of the most protein-dense plant foods available.
- Protein content varies a bit, but an average serving has about 21 grams.
- Basically Seiten can make easily with the help of two ingredients gluten and water.
- Potato Starch Vital Wheat Gluten:
Potato starch is gluten-free flour that can be used as a vital wheat gluten substitute in baking recipes. You have accommodated for potato starch’s instability when using it as a thickener which means adding it at the very end of cooking. It’s light and fluffy, making it an excellent choice for cakes and other delicate baked goods.
How to Use it?
To use potato starch as a wheat gluten substitute, replace up to 25% of the wheat flour in your recipe with potato starch. Add 1 tablespoon of potato starch and mix it with 1 tablespoon of cold water for every cup of soup or sauce and blend it as well then cook it for about five minutes without letting it reach a boil.
Potato starch doesn’t differ much from gluten starches when it comes to nutrition. One ounce of potato starch has 100 calories, 23.3 grams of carbs and 1.9 grams of protein; the most common gluten thickener, all-purpose flour, has 102 calories, 21.4 grams of carbs and 2.9 grams of protein. Although you miss out on 1 gram of protein per ounce when you use gluten-free potato starch as opposed to flour, potato starch is still a better choice because it thickens liquids in the absence of fat.
- Almond flour
Almond flour comes from ground almonds. It has a number of health benefits and contains lots of nutrients and vitamins, including vitamin E. Almond flour features in many baking and cooking recipes and is a popular gluten-free alternative to wheat flour.
Steps Involved in Making Almond Flour:
- Blanch the almonds in boiling water.
- Remove the skins from the almonds.
- Grind the peeled almonds until they become a fine powder.
- Sift the almond flour to remove any lumps or large pieces.
03 Uses for Almond Flour
Almond flour is versatile flour that has many uses.
- Gluten-free baking
A person can use almond flour in gluten-free baking as a replacement for wheat flour. When baking, a person can simply substitute wheat flour for almond flour. Almond flour can cause baked goods to become denser. This is because the gluten in wheat flour helps trap air within the dough, which allows the baked goods to rise. Almond flour works well when making gluten-free brownies, macaronis, cookies, and desserts.
- Regular Baking
A person can also use almond flour in regular baking, alongside wheat flour. If doing so, they can substitute a quarter of the wheat flour with almond flour. This gives bakes a slightly nutty flavor. This method works well when baking scones and cookies or making pancakes.
Almond flour even works as a replacement for breadcrumbs or wheat flour when coating food before frying. A person can coat meat or fish with almond flour, then fry it in oil to get a crispy coating. For an even crunchier coating, a person may wish to use almond flour with chopped almonds.
- Buckwheat Flour
It is a fruit seed that is closely related to Chitral in the Gilgit region and spar in the Chitral valley. These grain-like seeds have a unique triangular shape and have the same size as wheat kernels. To make them edible, their outer hull has to be removed with the help of special milling equipment. Its color varies from tannish pink to brown. Buckwheat Flour is also used for diabetes treatment.
Health Benefits of Buckwheat
Buckwheat is a powerhouse of nutrients. Being gluten-free, it can be an excellent substitute for wheat, rye, barley, and oats.
It is thus considered suitable for those who are allergic to wheat and celiac patients. It has a high content of fiber and protein and significant amounts of iron and magnesium. Besides, it contains all the eight essential amino acids. Buckwheat is also packed with nutritionists, which are fantastic disease-fighting organic components.
Helps in Weight Loss
Whole-grain buckwheat can be beneficial in weight loss. Buckwheat has fewer calories in comparison to wheat or barley. It is free of saturated fat and cholesterol and rich in dietary fiber and protein. This combination plays a vital role in suppressing appetite, controlling blood sugar, facilitating proper digestion, and building lean muscle mass. Buckwheat Flour is also used for diabetes treatment.
- Sago Flour
Sago is a type of starch that’s commonly extracted from a palm called Metroxylon sago. It’s mainly composed of carbs and is low in protein, fat, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. However, sago is naturally grain- and gluten-free, making it suitable for those following restricted diets. In many countries including Australia, Brazil, and India, made from cassava roots are also referred to as sago, sago, sabudana, etc. It’s versatile and a primary source of carbs in some parts of the world. Sago contains antioxidants and resistant starch and has been linked to many benefits, including improving risk factors for heart disease and enhancing exercise performance
- Tapioca Flour
Tapioca starch is an essential ingredient in gluten-free baking and a favorite among those following a paleo diet. Naturally gluten-free, tapioca flour can serve as a wheat substitute in a variety of gluten-free recipes. it makes it easy to add to any recipe without changing the flavor of the recipe itself. When added to baked goods, tapioca starch helps the ingredients properly bind together.
There are a few differences between tapioca flour and other starches. One of the most notable differences is that tapioca flour retains its texture even after it’s been frozen. This means that when using tapioca starch, you no longer have to worry about freezing the leftover soup you’ve made. Simply place it in the freezer, let it thaw once you’re ready to eat, and enjoy! It will still have the same thick and creamy texture that it had before.
- Glutinous Rice Flour
Glutinous Rice Flour is also known as sweet rice flour or sweet rice powder, this flour is made from short-grain rice that becomes moist, firm and sticky when cooked, a result of its higher proportion of waxy starch molecules. Best glutinous rice flour alternative. Furthermore, most rice flour substitutes, such as potato starch, cornstarch, and tapioca starch, will also serve as sweet rice flour substitutes.
How to Make Glutinous Rice Flour?
- Wash the rice. Put it in a bowl of water and scrub it by hand for a full 10 seconds.
- Soak in clean water overnight, or for 8 to 12 hours.
- Strain the rice.
- Grind the rice finely with a coffee grinder or food processor.
- Sift the ground rice flour into a bowl.
- You’ll end up with about 4 cups of rice flour.
What are the Benefits of Vital Wheat Gluten Substitutes?
People believe that vital wheat gluten is bad for the body. But now is the ideal time to dispel this misunderstanding. One of the most significant wheat proteins is vital wheat gluten. For obvious reasons, these proteins are applicable in the baking sector. But for a long time, because of undiscovered or unexplored information about this beneficial wheat protein, emphasis has not been paid to the significance of essential wheat gluten.
Can You Make Your Own Vital Wheat Gluten Substitutes?
Yes, vital wheat gluten can make your own by adding the following ingredients.
The things you need to make vital wheat gluten:
- Flour: You can use any flour with a high protein like whole wheat, bread flour etc.
- Water: filtered or tap water can use for it.
Steps for making vital wheat gluten:
1) Create a dough:
Combine flour and water into a dough with the help of a hand or with a mixer, until its rigid dough. allow the dough to rest for 30-60 minutes for the standard development of gluten. the dough will be sticky and it’s normal.
2) wash the dough:
Fill a large container 2/3 ways with cold water and add the dough to it. Work the dough, stretching, folding, and squeezing it to release as much of the starch from the dough as possible. During this time, the water will become white as the starch leaches into it. the starch releases, the amount of dough will reduce and go through several changes: becoming spongy and stringy, falling apart, before eventually coming back together as a single mass. The water will become a very dim white, too, as the starches release into the water.
3) Dehydrated Vital Wheat Gluten:
Cut the dough into smaller slices and put them with a single layer in a dehydrating tray. Dehydrate the dough at 125ºF/50ºC until the vital wheat gluten is completely dry. During this time, it will darken. The time it will take to fully dry the gluten will totally depend on the size and thickness of your dough pieces.
4) Grind the gluten into a powder:
Once dried, add the pieces of dried vital wheat gluten to a coffee/spice grinder or a high-powered blender/food processor. Grind into a powder, filter it into a bowl, and re-grind the more prominent pieces until you have a uniform powder.