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Sunday School: Milling Your Own Wheat – Explaining Types of Wheat

sunday school

After reading last week’s post: Wheat: A Nutritional Powerhouse, a few readers reached out asking me about the wheat that I buy.

If you’ve ever looked into milling your own wheat and purchasing wheat “berries” you know that wheat doesn’t just come in one variety.  So, in this post I am going to explain the differences and then explain how I am using them so far.  I am by no means an expert!   I am just getting started myself.  But, I’ve gotten my information from a real savvy lady, Sue Becker from Bread Beckers, Inc. who knows her stuff.   Bread Becker’s store is located in Woodstock, Georgia and that is where I am buying my wheat for those of you who were asking last week.  Look at the bottom of this post for more information on their store.


Two Primary Types of Wheat

There are two primary types of wheat grown for use in baking: hard wheat and soft wheat.

Soft wheat is a high moisture, low gluten wheat.  Gluten is necessary to get a good rise out of bread.  So, soft wheat shouldn’t be used for yeast bread.  It is more suited to cookies, cakes, pastries, pancakes, waffles – anything that doesn’t require yeast.  Soft wheat is often referred to as ” whole wheat pastry flour.”

Hard wheat is a low moisture, high gluten wheat.  So, that makes it the right choice for yeast breads.

Hard Wheat comes in Two Varieties

Hard wheat can be found in two varieties: red and white.  The biggest difference between the two is flavor.  So, when choosing which you want to use, it is really a matter of taste and preference.

Hard Red Wheat has a rich, nutty flavor – the flavor most people associate with whole wheat bread.

Hard White Wheat is very mild in flavor and light in color.

What Do I Use?

I purchase soft wheat for all my baking needs that don’t require yeast and for yeast breads I use hard white.  Again, it is a matter of preference, but my family enjoys the mild flavor {it still tastes very “wheaty” but isn’t overpowering}.

We’ve been very happy with the taste and consistency so far.  The biggest difference we’ve noticed from switching from unbleached, all purpose flour {in a bag, purchased from the grocery store} to all freshly milled wheat {milled at home, minutes before using it} is that the freshly milled wheat flour is very light and fluffy.  So, when converting recipes that once called for all purpose flour we have had to add 1/4 to 1/2 cup more flour per cup.  So if a recipe called for 2 cups of flour, it will likely take 2 1/2 cups of freshly milled wheat to get the right consistency.

I mill all my wheat using the WonderMill Grain Mill.  I highly recommend it.  It works SUPER fast, is easy to clean, easy to operate, and will last!  Those are all major selling points for me!  It came highly recommended to me from someone who mills their own wheat often.

I’ll be sharing some of my recipes here, so stay tuned!

If you are looking for a good company to purchase wheat from {and other bread baking gear}, I highly recommend the Christian people from Bread Beckers.   Here is their contact information:

Bread Beckers Webpage  and Bread Beckers Facebook Page

Photo credit: Bern@t

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  1. Denise I also purchase my grains from Breadbeckers ! I have been buying grains from them for almost two years . The one thing you must watch when milling your own grain is that it must be clean in order to not damage your mill. I have never had to worry about this when buying from this source. I also buy my beans from them because I occasionally mill them they are the same , very clean. For my wheat bread I use two parts red and one part hard white.

  2. Thanks for sharing Glenda! I was hoping some other folks would weigh in on their processes and recipes!

  3. Very interesting! I’m going to use whole wheat pastry flour for all of my ‘non-bread’ baking from now on-had no idea it had a lower gluten content!!

  4. Hi Everyone,

    I am wondering about the older wheat strains. I don’t have a gluten tolerance problem but I would like to source some of the older strains of wheat grains. Any idea how? Just wondering.


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