High gluten wheat flour is used for artisan breads to achieve the desired crustiness and chewiness of hearth breads.

High Gluten Wheat Flour

Also known as high-protein wheat flour

What is High Gluten Wheat Flour?

High gluten wheat flour is made from grinding U.S. hard red winter (HRW) and hard red spring (HRS) wheats to produce a finished product with 13.0–15.0% protein. This flour may also be produced from Canadian wheat, such as Canadian Western Red Spring (CWRS). It is made up of almost pure endosperm and is best suited for the production of baked goods which require high strength and structure.

Distinct properties of high gluten wheat flour include:

  • High protein content
  • Superior baking quality
  • Great for artisan, sourdough and breads made with preferments


Wheats used in the production of high gluten flours are cultivated in many areas of the world.  Currently, high gluten wheat varieties are grown in the majority of the continental U.S. Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota are major producers of hard wheat varieties that are well suited for production of high gluten flour.


Due to its high protein content, high gluten flour is characterized by:

  • Ability to form strong gluten structure essential for artisan, sourdough and hearth breads with desirable crustiness and chewiness.
  • Participation in Maillard browning reactions and subsequent crust color. High protein flours contain high levels of amino acids that react with sugars to form brown crust during baking and can participate in Maillard browning reactions during baking.

Nutrition and health

Typical composition of high gluten flours:

  • Moisture: 12.0–14.0%
  • Protein: 13.0–15.0%
  • Fat: 0.7–1.0%
  • Carbohydrates: 70.0%
  • Ash: 0.30–0.40%

High levels of B-vitamins mainly niacin and folic acid are characteristics of high gluten flours.

Commercial production

High gluten flour is usually a short patent flour from hard wheat that has been selectively milled. Its  production follows the same principles of standard wheat milling operations. The main difference here is that the blending of milled wheat fractions and streams is more selective to ensure that lower levels of shorts and bran end up in the finished product.1

Post-milling treatments

High gluten flours are often treated with potassium bromate and bleached with benzoyl peroxide. The FDA requires that all flours be enriched with thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid and iron. High gluten wheat flour may not undergo post-milling treatment in order to comply with today’s clean label...

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