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What Is High Gluten Flour?

author image Virginia Van Vynckt
From 1978 until 1995, Virginia Van Vynckt worked as a writer and editor at The Chicago Sun-Times. She has written extensively about food and nutrition, having co-authored seven cookbooks. She also published "Our Own," a book about older-child adoption. Van Vynckt holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Indiana University.
What Is High Gluten Flour?
High gluten flour is used in chewy baked goods such as bagels. Photo Credit: svetlana foote/iStock/Getty Images

Gluten, a combination of proteins in wheat flour, absorbs liquid to form elastic strands that capture steam and the carbon dioxide created by the yeast, helping baked goods to rise. It also makes baked products chewier. High gluten flour contains more protein than most other wheat flours.

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How It's Used

High gluten flour, made from hard spring wheat, averages 13 to 14.5 percent protein by weight, compared with 10 to 11 percent for all-purpose flour. Commercial bakeries use high-gluten flour to create chewy baked goods such as hearty artisan breads, pizza crusts and bagels. They also combine it with lower gluten flours to make products such as rye bread lighter.

Where to Get It

Because most home bakers don’t use flour specifically designated as high gluten flour, you’ll rarely find it in a regular grocery store. You can special-order it from some stores that sell baking ingredients. Or just use bread flour, which is widely available. It is made from hard, high-protein wheat, too, and has a protein content that averages 12 to 13 percent.

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