My girlfriend is gluten free. My friend mentioned using vodka while baking to kill the gluten protein in white flower. True or false? Any extended info?
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Mostly false. Wheat has gluten protein because it is, well, wheat. Vodka doesn't magically make the protein in white wheat flour disappear. What your friend is confusing is using vodka (instead of water) to moisten pie crust dough to prevent the formation of stretchy strings of wheat gluten proteins that can make the crust less tender than desired. When you add water to wheat flour and mix it, the proteins link together in strings that, for example, give wheat bread its texture; you don't want those links to form in pie crust, which you want to be flaky. Since vodka is (roughly) 40 percent alcohol and 60 percent water, it provides the moisture you need to mix and roll out the dough, but it evaporates in the heat of the oven. I am not a food scientist or dietitian, but I strongly suspect the protein allergens would remain. The magazine "Cook's Illustrated" has a discussion of using vodka in pie dough, but the intent is not to make the flour "gluten free."
It will not kill the gluten, but less will be formed while kneading/mixing.
Drink the vodka and use gluten free flours.
If someone is avoiding gluten because of allergies or health reasons, using vodka will not make wheat (or other) flour edible for that person because it cannot "kill" or otherwise remove the gluten. Also, some vodkas are not safe for people who are truly gluten-allergic because many vodkas are distilled from grains that have gluten in them.
And I agree with SKK.
So good, we're even fooling ourselves.
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