The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Is Manitoba flour obtained from hard red spring wheat?

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nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Is Manitoba flour obtained from hard red spring wheat?

Hi,


here in Italy flours with a very high amount of gluten are sold under the generic name "Manitoba", although they don't necessarily stem from Manitoba wheats (there's only a requisite on the strength of the flour).


I'd like to know what kind of wheat they were traditionally milled from: hard red spring? or something else?


Is it that kind of wheat that yealds a very dark bread (almost black) when milled in its entirety, including bran and germ?


Thanks.

apprentice's picture
apprentice

Canadian Western Red Spring (CWRS) is the major hard wheat in Canada. The US equivalents are Hard Red Winter (HRW) and Hard Red Spring (HRS). These wheats contain more gluten-producing proteins than soft wheat, and are used for making bread flours and all-purpose flours.


The all-purpose or home use flours are usually a blend of hard spring wheats with a protein content around 12%.  Bread flours are milled from blends of hard spring and hard winter wheats that average about 13% protein.


Whole wheat flours produce heavier products because of the bran particles, and darker but not black without some other coloring agent. In my experience, the very dark (almost black) breads are made entirely or partly with rye. Presume you're thinking of something like Russian Black Bread, German pumpernickel and the like?

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

No, I was considering this bread, where the percentage of rye is far too small to make a difference:


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/4737/finally-100-whole-grain-hearth-bread-i039m-proud


 


What's the color of CWRS, HRW and HRS flours when they are bleached? Hard wheats that I know have an amber-yellow color.

apprentice's picture
apprentice

Glad you asked JMonkey about that particular bread in the original thread. He's the only one who can really say how dark it was and what contributed to the colour. I haven't seen him around lately, but it's impossible to read all the posts. I do note that his last blog entry was in February. Meanwhile, my hunch is that like most whole wheat breads, his was a little dark from the wheat bran plus the use of some spelt and rye flour. But the photo -- maybe taken at night? -- makes the bread seem darker than it is. Like I said, just a hunch.


About flour colours, I'm no expert. My earlier post simply quoted text book information. Another bit of info is that when wheat is classified according to its colour, they mean the colour of the kernel. Once milled, all hard wheat is creamy or creamy white in colour. Hard white wheat once milled is the whitest of all, due to a recessive gene for colour in the bran.


As for bleaching, it is used to give "green flour" (meaning young, not the colour) the handling characteristics of naturally aged flour. Some industrial-sized operations are compelled to use artificially matured flour. But unbleached flour that has aged naturally is the preferred choice for anyone who opts for bread quality.

JeremyCherfas's picture
JeremyCherfas

so I can't check on the Country of Origin of my Manitoba flour (bought at a GS in Rome) But I have baked a lot with it and the colour is no different from other white (bleached) 00 flours. I don't know what kind of wheat it is from.


Jeremy