“Gluten-free bakery products have increased in popularity, but many of these products have low levels of total protein and lower-quality protein,” said Sharon Gerdes, senior account manager, US Dairy Export Council, Arlington, VA. “Dairy proteins not only boost protein quality but also mimic the structure and gas-entrapping properties of gluten and so can be used in a variety of gluten-free bakery products.”

For artisan bread and its long fermentation process, she recommended the use of a lower-protein dairy ingredient such as 34%-protein whey protein concentrate (WPC34). “Adding WPC34 to the formula produces a more relaxed dough with improved machinability,” she said.

WPC34 also increases shelf life and allows a cleaner label by replacing chemical dough conditioners. Addition of 1 to 4% (flour weight basis) WPC34 can promote browning because lactose is not digested by bakers yeast. The water-binding properties of whey protein can also help reduce staling.