I want my dough to have minimal gluten formation. For that I will be adding boiling water to my flour. Also I am curious that does adding any acid such as lemon juice/vinegar will inhibit gluten formation or increase formation of gluten?


3 Answers 3


No, it will not inhibit gluten formation. On the contrary, it will make much stronger gluten strands. In fact, if you want the strongest gluten, you have to go either quite sour (pH 3.5) or quite alkalic (I don't remember the exact number). Working on the alkalic side of things is impractical in the kitchen, so there are very few applications (kansui or pretzels are the only examples I can think of spontaneously), but making bread more sour for stronger gluten is a very common thing. It can be done by different methods, for example through using sourdough, or adding orange juice, or using commercial dough improvers based on ascorbic acid.

If you want to inhibit gluten formation, stay neutral (pH 7). Or just shorten your dough with a fat, it is the easiest and most common solution that has been practiced for thousands of years and works great.

  • Thanks for the right answer. I will be using fat and boiling water. Will it work? Oct 6, 2021 at 15:01
  • "Will it work" is a bit difficult to answer. The gluten formation won't be zero, but it will be less than if you use room temperature water and no fat. Exactly how much you get will depend on the exact method. Usually, it is best to find an existing recipe. For example, if you are making a pie crust, there are methods to make them with boiling water - you can produce even flaky crusts with them, with some experience.
    – rumtscho
    Oct 6, 2021 at 15:05
  • Actually I am trying to make the most possible soft momo/dumpling wrappers such that after steaming it doesn't become chewy and rubbery. I have learnt that using flour with less protein content will work. But I am also researching about these methods. Could you suggest some possible techniques and methods? Oct 6, 2021 at 15:09
  • @soumyadip_poddar I never made dumplings, sorry. I think they are a very popular food, so it should be possible to find information on different methods on the Internet.
    – rumtscho
    Oct 6, 2021 at 15:33

Acid actually weakens gluten...makes it easier to stretch. This explanation indicates that pH of 5 to 6 is ideal for gluten development (7 is neutral). A pH above or below that range will make gluten more extensible, not necessarily stronger.

See also this for more information on additives to dough.


Yes, adding acid shortens gluten strands. If you try making Naan, for example, with too much yoghurt, the dough doesn't form quite as well. However the biggest way to inhibit gluten development is with using the correct flour and the correct techniques.

  • Does your last sentence communicate what you intended?
    – moscafj
    Oct 6, 2021 at 14:18
  • @soumyadip_poddar making sure to work the dough minimally as possible for example Oct 6, 2021 at 14:52
  • @soumyadip_poddar the technique part does depend on what you're trying to make exactly Oct 6, 2021 at 14:54
  • 1
    Downvoted, because acid makes stronger gluten.
    – rumtscho
    Oct 6, 2021 at 15:05
  • @rumtscho in my personal experience it doesn't make stronger gluten. And your answer about strengthening it is wrong. Gluten only works between 3 - 11 pH, and as far as i know acidic additives are for flavor and/or fermentation properties not for gluten development. You are 100 percent correct as to using shortening though, which is why i specified that it depends on the technique. Oct 6, 2021 at 16:45

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