Red Wheat vs. Hard White Wheat for Home Storage

For a long time, I didn’t even know there were two different types of wheat. I had only known about red wheat and I struggled to use it. Then, I found out about Whole White Wheat and I fell in love!

Check out these red wheat and hard white wheat ideas.

Red Wheat vs. Hard White Wheat (Home Storing)

I grind my own wheat flour from the whole white wheat using my WonderMill Grain Mill.  I use Whole White Wheat flour in almost everything and I LOVE it!

It is fabulous: tastes great, is easy to work with and is healthy, and my bread looks much closer to “white bread”. That is good since I’ve got 4 kids and don’t have that bitter taste that many have come to associate with red wheat.

Make sure also that you really know how to use your wheat.

The Difference Between Red Wheat and Hard White Wheat

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 bread 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 white wheat is golden in color because 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 types of bread. Recipes that call for hard white wheat flour typically call for less sugar. The finished bread looks similar to 100% white bread but still has all the nutritional content of red wheat bread. I’m actually thinking of trying this one if I make my own mini german pancakes by grinding them.

I’ve found it to be easier to use the hard white wheat when baking for my family as the bread made from it turns 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!

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What's the Difference Between Red Wheat and Hard White Wheat?

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Becky is a wildlife enthusiast and pet and livestock care expert with a diploma in canine nutrition. With over a decade of experience in animal welfare, Becky lends her expertise to Simple Family Preparedness through insightful info about pets, livestock, bee keeping, and the practicalities of homesteading.

28 thoughts on “Red Wheat vs. Hard White Wheat for Home Storage”

  1. Thanks for the post. I usually grind my own white winter wheat but wanted to try a wheat flour store bought…bought King Arthur and didn’t bother to study what type of wheat they used…got home and made a loaf of bread for the wife….YUK!!!!
    Don’t get me wrong, King Arthur is normally a great brand and I do use some of the I unbleached to give me some gluten when I make my loaves.
    From my perspective White beats Red hands down….regardless of the health benefits…can you tell I’m a guy? 🙂

    • Hard red wheat is dark brown in color, and very high in protein. It has a rather bitter taste and works best in rustic, artisian or other hard breads. 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 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.

      Here is another article on wheat.

    • The soft wheats are just that – not quite so hard. If you want to roll your own wheat, you should buy soft wheat. The hard wheats tend to crack and break in the flaking machine. Containing less protein and gluten, soft wheat flour is ideally suited for making biscuits, pastries and quick breads. Typical protein levels for the soft wheats are 9-11%. Flour made from the soft wheats can also be used for cake flours. If you want a really low gluten cake flour, mix your soft wheat flour with other low gluten flours such as oat flour, barley flour of buckwheat flour. Soft white wheat is a lower protein wheat with a higher moisture content. Flour from organic soft white wheat is a better choice for things like muffins, crackers, cereals, cakes, cookies and pastries. Soft White Wheat has a naturally sweet flavor, so recipes using soft white wheat flour can use a little less sugar.
      Hard white wheat is a spring wheat and what Misty said….

    • I do mention that red wheat has slightly more protein that white in the article Liz. Everything I’ve studied or read says that this difference is very small and I have not found any other information that mentions other nutrient differences. Do you have a source you could link us to?

  2. My biggest question is if someone is allergic to wheat would it matter if it is red or white? If one is better, or less allergenic, than the othe I would like to know so I could use it for my son.

      • Try soaking the wheat grains with an acidic like lemon juice or a bit of apple cider vinegar to remove the phytic acid. Soak overnight. Rinse well. Dehydrate and then grind into flour. OR, after rinsing sprout the grain, then dehydrate. Sprout just until the root emerges. This increases the nutritional value immensely. In making breads for my senior neighbors, they’ve told me they don’t have any digestive or insulin issues with my breads. I use 50/50 red & white wheat. Good luck!

    • I am a professional baker and teach bread and muffin classes. I just wanted to let you know that there is a difference in white versus red. Red wheat is very acidic to the body and that is why people have a hard time digesting it, especially children and there can be allergic reactions. There is also conflicting data that white is nutritionally better, I will stick with the white just because it is more alkaline to the body and makes wonderful breads and muffins

      I watch for non-Brominated & GMO free wheat and flours, my favorites are King Arthur and Wheat Montana.

  3. Thank you I have wondered about the red vs white wheat and knew there must be a better way. I have also heard about Eikorn wheat. Do you know anything about it/ Thanks again.

  4. Is the white wheat considered a GMO product since it doesn’t contain the bran gene? I’m just getting started on eating more whole foods and hear that GMO products are bad for us. I’ve also heard that not all GMO foods are bad. Any clarification you can provide would be appreciated. Thank you!

    • I am also confused on this point. If it was recently introduced and cultivated without a certain gene, isn’t that the same as gmo, even if it isn’t called gmo?

      • It was recently introduced into the US Agriculture system – not into the entire world. And no one removed the gene – it simply doesn’t occur naturally. Does that help?

        • The way I understand it is that white wheat was genetically modified throughout time from red wheat by selective breeding, but it is not genetically engineered by removing a part of the genes in a lab. Genetic modification is a tool that has been used as long as farming has existed, and is not inherently good or bad.

      • No, different plants can be bred by cross pollinating to attain an ending result with pleasing factors from both plants, or in some cases, it can be a micro evolutionary change brought about. Gmo means they genetically spliced the genes of the plant and attached other genes of other plants and grew them with a patent. GMO’s aren’t good bc the splicing is a very unnatural way of attaching and combining the genes.
        You can absolutely have naturally occurring hybrids or newer versions of plants without gmo modification.
        Hope that helps.


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