Great Balls Of Gluten


These are pictures of gluten. This experiment is at the website of the Exploratorium in San Francisco. A famous physicist named Paul Hewitt worked at the Exploratorium. Using the books of Paul Hewitt to study physics makes gastronomy more exciting. His approach encourages people to think about something using examples that enable a person to use ideas from physics to understand that physics is obviously true. This may enable a person to be more exciting and creative (because people may be encouraged to reason using ideas from physics). This experiment makes understanding gluten very simple.

According to the information at this website, which seems consistent with other information that I have read, gluten is the combination of two proteins, gliadin and glutenin [1][2]. This experiment removes the starch, sugars, and other things in bread. Once all these things are removed from the dough, only the gluten remains.  The dough becomes a “gummy, slimy network of gluten strands.” The baked gluten is chewy. Gluten makes bread chewy. The smell from the oven while baking the gluten was sweet. The smell was very different than the smell from baked bread. The website explains that the rubbery gluten traps the gas from fermenting yeast to make leavened bread. This was very exciting. Natural laws are working all around us!


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