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Gluten is a glue-like protein composite found naturally in grains like wheat, rye, and barley. Although synonymous with grain, gluten is not the grain itself. Gluten is what gives bread dough its elasticity, helping it to rise and keep its shape, and gives bread products a bendy, chewy, fluffy texture. It is also what makes bread go stale. Gluten upsets the digestive function of some people, including those with celiac disease.