# using vital wheat gluten instead of flour?

I want to make Naan, but I am on the Keto diet and traditional wheat flour has too many carbohydrates. Can I make it with vital wheat gluten instead of flour? Do I have to add anything else?

• If you don't want carbs don't eat carbs, and naan is just a form of carbs. You can't expect something with that sort of mass to have no substance to it. – GdD May 9 '19 at 9:29
• @GdD I've been on a low-carb keto diet for 6 years, and have lost 80 lbs (and kept it off), lowered my blood pressure and cholesterol, reversed my fatty liver disease, and staved off type 2 diabetes which runs in my family. I eat low-carb versions of muffins, breads, and pizzas (the latter two of which contain VWG). A keto way of eating is as valid for us as a gluten-free diet is for those w/ celiac. If the OP had celiac and their request involved a desire for gluten-free naan, would you be equally dismissive? Please try to keep an open mind. – NSGod May 11 '19 at 21:52
• I suggest aiming for a completely flat flatbread instead. I've successfully made chapatis with chickpea flour. That's still over 50% carbohydrate (hence why I don't propose it as an answer), but it demonstrates that these are rather forgiving – Chris H May 12 '19 at 16:06

"High" gluten flour has, at most 15% gluten. "Indian" white flour, or maida has 7.5%.

If you manage to pull it off, you basically end up with what's essentially a pan fried slab of mock meat, rather than a bread - basically seitan.

You typically add gluten to flour to modify its characteristics - the only way you're going to be able to make naan that approximates a real naan in any way is, well, adding flour.

No, I don't believe vital wheat gluten will work in this way for your recipe. When hydrated, vital wheat gluten is very sticky, and you can't roll or flatten it out very easily like you would need for naan -- and I'm not even sure it would cook and rise the same way as regular flour. There are gluten-free all-purpose flour that are made for baking. I would recommend using that instead of the flour called for in your recipe.

• Gluten-free flours tend to have a starch content equivalent to regular wheat flours, making them too high in net carbohydrates to be acceptable on a ketogenic/low-carb diet. Vital Wheat Gluten can often be combined with other "flour" type ingredients (possibly including a small portion of whole wheat flour) to produce a low-carb alternative to a traditional bread. See my answer for for more info. – NSGod May 11 '19 at 23:02

You couldn't use only vital wheat gluten, as that would produce a rubbery mass, that would be too elastic to stretch out to a flat shape (and stay there). Though it can still be tasty, it wouldn't really resemble naan or any other flatbread.

While I don't have an exact naan recipe, I do have a pizza recipe — which uses a large portion of Vital Wheat Gluten as part of its "flour" — that would serve as a very good starting point. It does require some special ingredients that may be harder to get where you're located, though I'm not sure. Even if you can't make it yourself, I hope this will prove that it is certainly possible.

While this pizza recipe is yeast-risen, it could likely be converted to just use baking powder as a leavener to simplify things.

Flour:
golden flaxseed meal (aka linseed)     24%       42.0 g
oat fiber                              24%       42.0 g
vital wheat gluten                     46%       80.0 g
raw wheat germ                          6%        9.0 g
1/8 tsp xanthan gum                   0.2%        0.4 g
¾ tsp Diamond Crystal Kosher salt     1.2%        2.1 g
1 ½ tsp instant dry yeast             2.7%        4.7 g
¾ tsp honey*                           3.0%        5.2 g
water                                  80%        138 g
1 ½ tsp olive oil                     3.9%          7 g

Total Yield: 331 g
Total Flour: 173 g


* while the honey does contains carbs from sugar, it is serving as the sole source of food for the yeast (since none of the other ingredients are fermentable), and most of it will be consumed during fermentation. As such, it isn't counted when calculating the net carbs.

Dry ingredients added to food processor and mixed well. Heat water to around 125º F. Dissolve the honey in the water and with food processor on low speed, add the water slowly until a dough forms. Knead (mix) in the food processor for 1 - 2 minutes until dough is smooth and resists tearing when stretched. Allow to ferment at room temperature till doubled in size. Then comes the hard part of stretching it out. Do so gradually, in stages, allowing it to rest for 15 minutes in between stretching outwards.

To adapt this for a flat bread like naan would be difficult, but should certainly be possible (I'm currently adapting this to a low-carb tortilla recipe which might be a step in that direction).

Nutrition Info

Calories: 620
Total Fat: 27 g
Total Carbs: 71 g
Fiber:     56 g
Protein: 70 g


Net carbs = 71 - 56 == 15 net carbs.

Try this recipe⁠—I’ve played around and this works the best. Makes about 5 naans:

1/4 cup coconut flour
1 cup vital wheat gluten
2 Tbsp psyllium (or 1 tsp xanthan gum)
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1 Tbsp oil/ghee
1 cup warm water