Gluten is a protein found in grains including wheat, barley and rye. It acts as a binder, holding food together, giving them shape.
When flour is moistened, the protein of gluten are stretched to form a long elastic chain.
This is why when you stretch out a piece of dough it does not break or tear. Without gluten, baked goods won’t hold its shape. Since gluten is a protein, it hardens when it’s heated and this is what allows it to hold shape and texture.
Imagine what a baguette would taste like without gluten. Probably similar to a rock! Now imagine a croissant sans gluten?
It couldn’t even be called a croissant!
Since gluten is a natural protein, the human body is capable of reading and digesting it. There are enzymes that help this process!
The wheat plant is highly nutritious, providing protein, soluble fibre and nutrients.
We as humans, have been consuming gluten for as long we’ve been making bread. Gluten contained in whole grains are good and necessary part of a balanced diet!
In conclusion, gluten is the reason behind why we love and crave the taste, textures and smell of freshly baked breads and croissants.
We hope you have found a better appreciation for the delicious, nutritious and powerful wheat plant, gluten.