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All about Wheat Berries

There are so many types of wheat berries. I am going to break it down into 3 main categories and explore each one in depth. I will guide you as to which wheat berries work best for certain recipes. Let’s dive into this post All about wheat berries!

I have been grinding my own grain for years. I have used so many different wheat berries along the way and have found certain berries work better for certain applications.

In this post, I will break it down and simplify the choices for you so you can feel confident you are buying what you need.

Hard White Wheat

There are 3 main categories of wheat berries:

  1. Modern wheat.
  2. Heritage wheat.
  3. Ancient wheat.

Let’s start with modern wheat varieties:

Hard Wheat:

Hard wheat berries are used for bread products. It makes lofty loaves with great texture.

There are hard white and hard red. Let’s talk about hard red first.

When it comes to hard red wheat, it has so much flavor and makes bread taste amazing! It is also easy to work with. However, hard red is a bit heavy and will make a denser loaf if used alone.

The hard white wheat variety is much lighter than hard red. It’s also very easy to work with. However, it doesn’t lend that strong flavor of the hard red.

Soft wheat:

Soft wheat is best used for pastries and pie crusts and the like. It has a lower protein which makes for much softer baked goods. It’s not suited for sourdough or yeast breads.

Heritage wheat:

Heritage wheat varieties are those that have not been hybridized. Meaning, it’s in it’s original form and hasn’t been changed for growing purposes. This type of wheat can be easier to digest and often adds tremendous flavor to your baked goods.

Kamut Berries

The variety of heritage wheat I use in my kitchen is Turkey Red. The flavor profile is absolutely amazing! You will be amazed at just the smell as it is grinding in the grain mill. It is a heavier wheat and yields a denser product, but, it is well worth it with this one!

Ancient Wheat:

The 3 that I have used in my kitchen are: Einkorn, Kamut, and Spelt.

Einkorn is thought to be the oldest wheat variety known to exist. It is quite different from any other wheat I have used. It’s gluten structure is completely different from other varieties. This quality makes it easier to digest, but, also makes it harder to work with. However, once you get the basics on how to work with Einkorn, it is an amazing grain to incorporate in your baked goods!

Spelt is the easiest to work with of all the ancient wheat varieties I have worked with. It adds a nutty flavor to your bread and the rise is very good with Spelt. I use it the least in my kitchen, not because it’s not a great wheat variety, just that I prefer the other varieties.

Rising white wheat sandwich bread

Kamut is my favorite of the ancient wheat I have worked with. It grinds up into a golden flour and the flavor is unique and lovely. It’s yields light and lofty loaves of bread. I keep quite a bit on hand because it’s easy to work with and easy to digest if I am not long fermenting the dough.

Einkorn berries

I hope this helps clear some of the confusion when choosing wheat berries if you’re new to grinding your own grain. I will link the grain mill I use below. https://collabs.shop/rxide2

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One Comment

  1. Greetings Mary,
    Anna O’Donnell here from the PNW. I just want to give you a big thank you for all the information that you provide. I’m learning so much and I love it! I’m new-er to FMF and other homesteading practices and love it all. I came across your sharing’s through Kara with Grains in Small Places. When I first started, I went down a huge rabbit hole and then realized less is best. I love both of the resources I get with Rose Homesteading and GISP and once I master a few things then I may branch out. For now, you two are all I need. Gotta go, need to make a new batch of muffins-lol.

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