Ok- so I got more grain today by UPS!
I like to buy my grain whole so I can grind it myself. Because grains contain volatile oils, they start to go rancid soon after being ground into flour.
If you grind your own wheat, you can be sure to get the freshest tasting and most nutritious baked goods possible. Not to mention it is so much cheaper than buying pre-ground flour (their goes that frugal thing again).
I buy grain from Pleasant Hill Grain and also Honeyville Grain. Honeyville has a broader selection and it generally cheaper for the grain itself. Pleasant Hill is a great choice for longer term storage as it is pre-packed into buckets that are sealed and will keep forever. I also chose Pleasant Hill to get my grain mills (yes, more than one- post to follow) and Gamma Bucket Lids to make it easy to get in and out of my grain storage buckets.
Pleasant Hill is David’s first stop when surprising me with practical kitchen items like fantastic tomato strainer and corn sheller that make my life easier.
(Hint: I sure would like one of those bread slicer gadgets so I can cut your sandwich bread a little straighter.)
OK- so back to business. I now have a great grain selection including but not limited to Hard Red Wheat, Hard White Wheat and Spring Wheat. How am I going to decide which to use?
Here is one article from The Fresh Loaf:
Wheat: Red v White, Spring v Winter that goes into detail with great pictures. Some of the post is a little too over the headish, but it is greatly informative.
Here is what the people at Honeyville say about:
Spring Wheat- “Honeyville Grain’s Spring Wheat is top quality, high protein (15 to 16 percent) wheat. Spring Wheat is also referred to as Dark Northern Spring Wheat and is sourced from the region of Montana and the Dakotas, where the summers are mild and not too hot for young, tender plants. Spring Wheat can be ground into flour for use in baking hearth style breads that require a stronger flour that holds its form. Spring Wheat is excellent for baking Italian breads, French breads, and Russian breads. Spring Wheat is used mainly for the milling of High Gluten White Flours. It is also used to raise the protein level of breads and patent flours.”
Hard Red Wheat- “Honeyville’s Hard Red Winter Wheat comes from specially selected varieties of winter wheat known for its storage and baking qualities. Low in moisture, high in protein, Honeyville Grain, Inc. guarantees our Hard Red Wheat to be below 10% in moisture and higher than 12% protein. Ideal for long-term storage, Honeyville’s special triple cleaning process produces the highest quality Hard Red Wheat available to consumers for long-term storage. Our wheat products are milled and processed exclusively at our Honeyville milling facilities to the “Table-Grade” quality standards established by the state of Utah.”
Hard White Wheat- “Honeyville’s Hard White Wheat developed from specifically selected varieties of wheat known for its storage and unique flavor and baking qualities. Low in moisture, high in protein, Honeyville Grain, Inc. guarantees our Hard White Wheat to be below 10% in moisture and 12% protein or higher. Ideal for long term storage, Honeyville’s special triple cleaning process produces the highest quality Hard White Wheat available to consumers for long term storage. Our wheat products are milled and processed exclusively at our Honeyville milling facilities to the “Table-Grade” quality standards established by the state of Utah.”
Another excerpt, this time from: Bread Experience:
“Types of Wheat
In the United States, there are six predominate types of wheat.
Hard winter red wheat: This wheat is mostly grown in the Plains states as well as the northern states and Canada. It is a versatile wheat with excellent baking characteristics for pan bread. It is also used for Asian noodles, hard rolls, flat breads, general purpose flour and as an improver for blending. It is moderately high in protein (about 10.5%) which makes it good as an all-purpose or bread flour. About 40% of all of the wheat grown in the United States is hard winter red wheat.
Hard spring red wheat: This wheat is mostly grown in the northern states and Canada. It is considered the aristocrat of wheat when it comes to “designer” wheat foods like hearth breads, rolls, croissants, bagels and pizza crusts. It is also used as an improver in flour blends. It is one of the hardest wheats and therefore has one of the highest protein counts (13.5%). About 24% of the wheat grown in the United States is hard spring red wheat.
Soft winter red wheat: This wheat is mainly grown in the eastern states. It is a low protein wheat with excellent milling and baking characteristics for pan breads, general purpose flour and as an improver for blending. About 25% of the wheat grown in the United States is soft winter red wheat.
Hard winter white wheat: This is the newest class of U.S. wheat. It is sweeter and lighter in color that red wheat, with a protein profile similar to hard winter red wheat. It is great for making Asian noodles, whole wheat, pan breads and flat breads. Only about 1% of the wheat grown in the United States is hard winter white wheat, but it is gaining in popularity.
Soft spring white wheat: This type of wheat is generally grown in a few eastern states and in the Pacific Northwest and California. It is a low moisture wheat with high extraction rates that provides a whiter product for cakes and pastries. This variety is similar to soft winter red wheat with a slightly sweeter flavor. About 7% of the wheat grown in the United States is soft spring white wheat.”
So, I will have to bake up more bread and pastries to figure out what is best for me, I have been using the Hard White Wheat so far, but I think I will try the hard winter white wheat for my breakfast bread to get a lighter loaf. I will also try it for my pie crusts to see how I like it.
For my cakes I will try the spring wheat. For the barley bread I will continue to use the Hard Red Wheat.
I will be sure to post an update later in the year with my results!