My Thoughts About Wheat:
For a long time I didn’t even know there were two different types of wheat. I had only red wheat and I struggled to use it. Then, a few years ago, I found out about Whole White Wheat and I fell in love!
I now grind my own wheat flour from the whole white wheat using my WonderMill Grain Mill (or you can find a fabulous hand grinder herein case the power is out). I use Whole White Wheat flour in most everything and I LOVE it! It is fabulous: tastes great, easy to work with, healthy, and my breads etc look much closer to “white bread” (which is good since I’ve got 4 kids) and don’t have that bitter taste that many have come to associate with red wheat.
A Few Facts:
Hard White Winter Wheat was introduced to the US Agricultural system in 1990. So, there are many people who are unfamiliar with it. If you have only made homemade breads with hard red wheat, I highly recommend you try the white version. I absolutely love it. Hard white wheat and hard red wheat are equal nutritionally. But they do have some key differences.
Hard Red Wheat
This is what most people think of when they think of wheat. It is dark brown in color and very high in protein. It has a rather bitter taste and works best in rustic, artisan or other hard bread. Recipes that call for hard red wheat flour typically call for more sugar to help mask the bitter taste. Finished breads look like what most people think of when they think “wheat bread.”
Hard White Wheat
It is golden in color b/c it has no genes for bran color. It is also very high in protein, though slightly less than the red variety. Because it is missing the bran color that is found in red wheat it is sweeter and less bitter. It works best in pan loaves, rolls, and other soft breads. Recipes that call for hard white wheat flour typically call for less sugar. Finished breads look similar to 100% white bread but still have all the nutritional content of red wheat breads.
I’ve found it to be easier to use the hard white wheat when baking for my family as the breads made from it turn out more like those made from all-purpose white flour: both in color and in taste.
That’s it! The differences are simple, but many people are unaware of them! Leave a comment below and let us know which wheat you prefer!