The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hard Red Winter Wheat

deedee1's picture

Hard Red Winter Wheat

Hi, I am new to the Fresh Loaf. Just signed up.  My husband has purchased some Hard Red Winter Wheat and I was wondering if anyone could give me some bread recipes to use with this flour.  This will be my first time milling flour.  Have made bread before but with store bought flours.  Any help would be greatley apprecated.


Elagins's picture

hi deedee1,

First, it helps to know that the only difference between winter wheat and spring wheat is when they're planted: winter wheat is planted and sprouts in late summer and autumn, then overwinters in the field where it goes dormant until spring, while spring wheat is planted in the spring after the snows have melted and the ground has thawed.

Winter wheat is softer than spring wheat and generally lower in protein, which means it produces breads with a more tender crumb, and actually works very well in European-style breads, which originally were built on native European wheats, which are far softer than the hard red spring wheat that's the primary wheat crop in North America.

You can use the winter wheat in any application that calls for bread flour, i.e., baguettes, hearth breads, sandwich loaves, rolls, etc.  The only place I wouldn't use it is in products that call specifically for high-gluten flour, i.e., bagels.

Hope this helps,

Stan Ginsberg

Ford's picture
subfuscpersona's picture

TFL also has info on grain classifications. See this link - Major Wheat Growing Regions in the US - Reference Maps.

Here's a brief preview of the link

Maps of the US showing the major wheat growing regions. For those of us who must mail order, at least it can explain those shipping costs. Every map has a link immediately below if you need to see it in a larger size.
This is one of the maps from the link
There are also individual maps for Spring wheat, Winter wheat and Durum wheat.

Hope this helps.

nicodvb's picture

I have a curiosity. Is hard wheat native of North America or does it stem from european wheat? In the latter case, does Europe have native hard wheat or is it all of the soft kind that changed characteristics when grown in a totally different environment such as N.A.?

Crider's picture

There's evidence that both Canadian Red Fife wheat and Turkey Red (Kansas) originated from the Ukraine Mennonite farmers. Those two are the forerunners of modern wheat varieties.

Wheat originated in the Old World, Maize in the New World.

ngolovin's picture

What are the better sources for good quality whole wheat flour.  I am learning the whole grain thing, and I see a lot about the different grades, but not sources, other than King Arthur.  Surely there are other sources that are better than the store brand.


Thanks :)

SteveB's picture

In answer to the question deedee1 actually asked, the following recipe, although specifying white whole wheat, can use conventional whole wheat as well:


clazar123's picture

All flours have different characterisitcs and different techniques to get the best loaf for that particular flour. Read thru some past posts on whole wheat and the solutions/methods that are successful.

As a general rule, WW(specifically the bran) takes more time to absorb water/liquid. It is important to mix the dough with enough liquid to make it stickier than usual. Then let it sit for at least 30 minutes or even overnight (in the refrig for this length of time) ,covered, before shaping,rising and baking. At the end of this rest period the dough will not be as sticky and you will find you have a moister crumb in the finished loaf that is less likely to crumble. 

Use the search box for some delicious recipes. Check out the handbook (at the top of the page),videos and tools for some great info.

Have delicious fun!