What Is Gluten, Why Does It Matter to Baking, and Where Does It Lurk?
Part of the Gluten-Free Baking For Dummies Cheat Sheet
Gluten is a molecule unique to certain plants, and it is a key component of traditional baking. Gluten consists of two smaller proteins called glutenin and gliadin. When mixed with water, these two proteins combine to form gluten. Gluten is a stretchy substance that holds carbon dioxide in baked goods and gives these goods their texture and structure. Gluten is found in these products:
Einkorn (a wild wheat species)
Kamut (an ancient relative of wheat)
Spelt (an ancient species of wheat)
Triticale (a hybrid of wheat and rye)