High gluten wheat is primarily used in the production of various baked goods, especially those that require a strong gluten structure and a chewy texture. Some major common uses of high gluten wheat include:
- Bread: High gluten wheat is a preferred choice for making bread, including artisan bread, bagels, and pizza dough. The strong gluten network developed from high gluten wheat flour helps trap gas bubbles during fermentation, resulting in bread with excellent rise, structure, and chewiness.
- Pasta: High gluten wheat varieties are commonly used in the production of pasta, such as spaghetti, macaroni, and lasagna. The elasticity provided by the high gluten content helps the pasta retain its shape during cooking and gives it a firm and al dente texture.
- Pizza crust: High gluten wheat flour is ideal for making pizza dough, as it contributes to a chewy and stretchy crust. The gluten structure helps the dough rise and provides a desirable texture that holds up well to toppings and baking.
- Bagels: Bagels require a dense and chewy texture, which is achieved by using high gluten wheat flour. The strong gluten network helps maintain the shape and texture of the bagels during boiling and baking, resulting in a characteristic chewiness.
- Pretzels: The distinctive chewy texture of pretzels is obtained by using high gluten wheat flour. The gluten structure gives pretzels their signature crust and contributes to their desirable bite.
- Specialty breads: High gluten wheat flour is commonly used in the production of specialty breads that require a dense and chewy texture, such as sourdough bread, whole wheat bread, and multigrain bread.
- Seitan: Seitan, also known as wheat meat or wheat gluten, is a popular plant-based protein source made from high gluten wheat flour. It is used as a meat substitute in various vegetarian and vegan dishes due to its meat-like texture and high protein content.
It’s worth noting that while high gluten wheat is essential for achieving specific textures and structures in baked goods, individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should avoid consuming products made from high gluten wheat.