Gluten formation lab | Chemistry homework help

This lab will require a write-up which highlights your observations and answers some questions where you can apply what you learned from your readings.

 The instructions and questions are here for your convenience and will also be in the assignment drop box.

The chart for noting your observations (sentence fragments are fine) and answering the written questions (well written paragraphs that make a connection to the readings) can be downloaded by clicking on the link.

Materials and Equipment 

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2  cup water
  • Mixing bowls
  • Plastic wrap

 

Procedure

  1. Place 1 1/2 cups of flour in a large mixing bowl and slowly add 1/2 cup of water while mixing with a fork. The goal is to have the dough completely damp (no dry flour in the bottom of the bowl) and slightly sticky. It might take slightly more or slightly less water but be careful not to use too much as wet dough is difficult to knead.
  2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead with lightly floured hands for one minute.
  3. Divide dough into 3 equal parts  and wrap one part (1/3) with plastic.
  4. Recombine the two remaining thirds and knead for 5 more minutes then divide dough in half, wrapping one part ( the second third) in plastic wrap.
  5. Knead the remaining third for five more minutes then wrap in plastic.
  6. Unwrap the balls of dough and examine them. Record your observations of their appearance and elasticity. Gently stretch the dough until breaking and note your observations. How do the treatments differ?
  7. Take the first treatment and gentle wash the starch out with running water kneading the ball of dough gently in your hands. When the water runs clear, place the remaining gluten on paper towels to dry.
  8. Repeat above step with the two remaining kneaded samples.

 

Questions

  1. How did the physical properties (stickiness, elasticity, appearance) of the kneaded dough change over time? Do you feel maximum gluten formation was achieved with any of the samples? How much kneaded time do you feel would be appropriate?
  2. Describe the appearance of the  washed product. Is it stringy or smooth and capable of being stretched into a sheet? Relate the properties of the washed gluten to the characteristics of the kneaded dough samples.
  3. If you were to propose a forth treatment designed to maximize gluten formation, what techniques and materials would you use? Please go beyond just proposing additional kneading time and explain the science behind your choices.
  4. What are some other ingredients  that could be used to replace the structure of gluten ? What chemicals or characteristics do these gluten replacements contribute that make them suitable replacements?
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