The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

red fife

autopi's picture

red fife

We just moved to Toront from the US, and have been noticing the use of Red Fife flour at a number of bakeries around town, and saw some milled red fife flour for sale at a farmer's market. I asked around and got some inconsistent answers as to its gluten content, and how to use it in bread baking. I am used to using KAF AP and bread flours for my breads. Should I treat red fife as like whole wheat, or can I substitute it 100% for AP and/or bread flour, e.g. in a baguette or pizza or pain au levain recipe?

jcking's picture

Red Fife;
Red Fife came to David and Jane Fife near Peterborough Ontario in 1842. The wheat originated in Poland and is beleived to be a decendant of the Ukrainian Halychanka Wheat. The Red Fife boasted exceptional flavor and was hardy and resistent to plant diseases of the time. It was the most widely used wheat in Canada and the U.S for about a decade until it was replaced by Marquis Wheat in the early 1900's.. Red Fife wheat only surived because of a few seed savers.

autopi's picture

thanks for the pointer. from the looks of it, it looks like i should treat red fife as i would a regular whole wheat flour -- which is what i was beginning to suspect. (some folks suggested i simply treat it as interchangeable with AP or bread flour ... but i had my suspicions about that.) i like whole wheat when it's a relatively modest proportion of my dough, but i've never met a 100% whole wheat loaf that i cared for. which raises the question -- since red fife refers to the grain, and not the flour, is there any reason they couldn't make a normal white flour out of it?

Frequent Flyer's picture
Frequent Flyer

I purchased some red fife from Anson Mills last year and while I don't know the gluten content, I was very pleased with its performance in 100% whole wheat recipes using Anson Mills' instructions which are similar to Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads biga and soaker or epoxy method.


ananda's picture

Hi autopi,

out of interest, I would take a look through Franko's great post here:

Best wishes