November 16th, 2009

Identifying mystery flours: is this vital wheat gluten?

So here's a question: I always buy flours from bulk bins at Whole Foods or the local co-op... and I have recently discovered when I cleaned the pantry that I have a couple bags of flour that I can't identify. I oh-so-brilliantly labeled them with some kind of bin number rather than with what they are. I have reason to suspect at least one of these is vital wheat gluten....but it's possible both are, or maybe one is bread flour, or oat flour, or who knows what. I was dating a gluten-free fella so who knows what random flours I may have purchased during that time... it could also be chickpea flour.

Is there any way to tell these apart?? I thought maybe vital wheat gluten would be more... sticky or have that weird texture if I moistened a bit of it, but when I did that it didn't seem all that different than when I added a bit of water to some (clearly labeled) regular white flour. Maybe that means it's just plain old bread flour and not vital wheat gluten?

I hate to make a recipe of sausages or something assuming this is vital wheat gluten and then have it all not turn out... and if I try to make pizza crust with it and it turns out to be vital wheat gluten...gah. I just don't want to waste it. And they are rather large bags.

Ideas? How can I tell flours apart?

Julie Hasson's Spicy Italian Sausages

I cannot express how good this recipe for Spicy Italian Sausages is. And adaptable - I'm thinking tomato and garlic, apple and sage, leek and faux cheese, etc. So incredibly easy (measure ingredients, chuck 'em in, stir for about a minute, make into links or patties). And when they've been refrigerated, the texture's just brilliant. Other Half just cycled in from work, tried one straight from the fridge and said, "Hey, this means we never have to buy sausages again!" And the recipe says it makes 8, but it makes 18 fair sized sausages. Prep time... under 10 minutes; cooking time 30 minutes steaming.

I am so impressed. Full (vegan) English breakfast tomorrow morning.

Recipe under the cut, my comments in italics:

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