What Is High Gluten Flour

Did you know the protein content in gluten flour is greater than in all-purpose or regular flour?

Baked items from all-purpose flour come out soft and spongy. But, the addition of gluten adds more elasticity to the baked products, making them chewy and lightweight.

This article will focus on high-gluten flour, its nutritional value and health benefits.

Understanding high-gluten flour

High-gluten flour is a type of flour with a high protein content that allows elasticity and enhances the chewiness in various forms of dough. The high amount of gluten helps to produce a better texture in your desired baked products. The elastic property of the gluten works like a binder that holds the dough together and helps it to stretch. For example, when stretching the dough for making a pizza, bread, etc.

Gluten is found in wheat, rye, and barley, while high-gluten flour is milled from hard wheat. The gluten content in high-gluten flour or bread flour is much higher than in all-purpose bread flour or regular flour.1

Nutrients we can get from high-gluten flour

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the nutrients in 1 cup (192g) of hard red spring include:2

  • Water- 24.6g
  • Energy- 632 kcal
  • Protein- 29.6 g
  • Total fat- 3.69 g
  • Total dietary fibre- 23.4 g
  • Calcium- 48 mg
  • Iron- 6.91 mg
  • Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated- 1.47 g

It also contains many vitamins and minerals like Magnesium, Zinc, Niacin, Riboflavin, etc.

Health benefits of high-gluten flour

  • High-gluten flour in your daily diet maintains a healthy food pattern. The recent trends might be confusing as people are switching from bread flour and gluten to a whole-wheat or gluten-free diet
  • But research has something else to offer. A cohort study in 2017 showed that over 100,000 participants who do not have coeliac disease and avoided gluten, were more prone to develop cardiovascular disease and lack nutritional balance. The study does not support a gluten-free diet to reduce cardiovascular disease risk3
  • Gluten acts as a prebiotic. It feeds the good bacteria like bifidobacteria present in the colon, thus improving the gut environment
  • Helps regulate bowel movement- high gluten flour contains a good amount of dietary fibre that aids digestion and helps in clearing bowel movement
  • Maintain muscle strength- the high protein content helps build and maintain strong muscles
  • Keeps you recharged- the gluten in bread flour is much higher than in all-purpose flour. Bread flour also contains niacin, which can keep you energised to perform your daily chores. Niacin, known as vitamin B3, is known to improve skin and keep the digestive system healthy
  • Contains folic acid- high gluten flour or bread flour contains folic acid which helps in energy production, supports nervous function and helps build our body’s genetic blocks of DNA or RNA. Bread flour fortified with folic acid and vitamin B12 helps in folate and vitamin B12 deficiency in older people4

Examples of high-gluten flour

High-gluten flour is present in:

  • Bread
  • Baked goods like pizza
  • Pasta
  • Cereals and sauces
  • Roux (thickening agent)
  • Malt (malted barley flour, malted milk and milkshakes, malt extract, malt syrup)5
  • Food colouring
  • Beer
  • Brewer’s Yeast
  • Pumpernickel

How and when to use high-gluten flour

Baked products like cookies, cakes, and waffles, are made with all-purpose flour or lower protein flour which have the tendency to spread outwards; whereas, products made from high-gluten flour generally spread upwards since the presence of gluten holds and gives a desired shape to your product, like pizza bread or bread buns. The high-gluten content traps the carbon dioxide during baking, causing the dough to rise and create the desired product. The elasticity present in the flour gives a brown-coloured, chewy, stable structure to the baked items.

Vital wheat gluten flour is very popular and is used in pizza and bread dough. Gliadin and glutenin are the two long-stranded proteins that form the gluten once mixed. Vital-gluten flour is an excellent choice for bread making, as it produces a strong dough that can be kneaded, shaped and baked into tasty loaves. High-gluten flour is great for pizza crusts, giving them a crunchy texture. Additionally, it can be used in baking applications such as cakes and muffins, as it provides more structure than regular whole-wheat flour or all-purpose flour.

High-gluten flour is not commonly found in commercial stores. You can order them online or prepare them yourself by adding vital wheat gluten to all-purpose flour, regular flour or whole-wheat flour to maximise the gluten content of the flour. The proportion should be well calculated to avoid overmixing the flour. It is recommended to mix 1-2 teaspoons of the vital wheat gluten with all-purpose flour or whole-wheat flour.


High-gluten flour contains a high amount of protein compared to all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour. Its elastic property makes the bread more stretchy while kneading and helps retain moisture in baked products. It can be made by adding 1-2 teaspoons of vital gluten flour to all-purpose flour or whole-wheat flour. However, people with Coeliac disease or gluten intolerance should consider opting for a gluten-free diet or choose other products like oats, rice flour etc.


  1. Boston 677 Huntington Avenue, Ma 02115 +1495‑1000. Gluten: a benefit or harm to the body? [Internet]. The Nutrition Source. 2017 [cited 2023 Jan 20]. Available from: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/gluten/
  2. Fooddata central [Internet]. [cited 2023 Jan 20]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168889/nutrients
  3. Lebwohl B, Cao Y, Zong G, Hu FB, Green PHR, Neugut AI, et al. Long term gluten consumption in adults without celiac disease and risk of coronary heart disease: prospective cohort study. BMJ [Internet]. 2017 May 2 [cited 2023 Jan 20];357:j1892. Available from: https://www.bmj.com/content/357/bmj.j1892
  4. Winkels RM, Brouwer IA, Clarke R, Katan MB, Verhoef P. Bread cofortified with folic acid and vitamin B-12 improves the folate and vitamin B-12 status of healthy older people: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Aug;88(2):348–55.
  5. What is Gluten? [Internet]. Celiac Disease Foundation. [cited 2023 Jan 20]. Available from: https://celiac.org/gluten-free-living/what-is-gluten/
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Bhashwati Deb Barma

Bachelor of Physiotherapy,M.S., Ramaiah Medical College, India

Bhashwati is a Physiotherapist with a firm grasp of Paediatric physiotherapy and is currently working with special children in the community.

She has 6 years of experience working in hospitals and non-profit organizations set up. As a writer by passion, she is putting up her practical and academic knowledge into her articles.

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