The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Does hard wheat flour look yellowish?

nicodvb's picture

Does hard wheat flour look yellowish?


I bought a bag of 5 kg of flour supposedly milled from canadian wheat by an italian miller (the bag shows a big canadian flag and the miller in generally considered reliable, unlike most of the others).

What striked me at first sight was the color of the flour: it's creamy/yellowish, not as much as durum wheat flour but surely the difference with the usual white soft wheat flour is evident. Does hard wheat flour always look like that?

The flour doesn't absorb a lot of water (56%, a bit disappointing actually), but it bears very long fermentations without tearing and -especially- it ferments fast! much faster than white wheat. I guess it's corrected with a touch of malt.

dwcoleman's picture

Unbleached flour would look creamy/yellowish, bleached flour is white.

Think about bleaching your colored clothing, what happens?

If you overmix unbleached flour, you can oxidize it as well, causing it to lose color.

ananda's picture

Hi Nico,

and a Happy New Year to you!

It sounds like the flour you have bought is of quite high extraction.   Yellow colour and rapid fermentation are both good clues, although low water absorption doesn't fit the picture at all.

I think Franko may be the best adviser about Canadian Hard Wheat

Best wishes for 2012


nicodvb's picture

Hi Andy, very best wishes to you, too! Happy new year to you and to everybody.

Yes, this flour has quite contrasting characteristics. It behaves like a strong flour but absorbs too little water. I found a way to make it absorb much more water, but it's a totally different topic that I'm still experimenting :-)

subfuscpersona's picture
  • ? unbleached ("white") bread flour?
  • ? high extraction flour ?
  • ? 100% whole wheat flour ?
  • ? something else ?

What does the label say?

What's the brand?

Thx - SF

nicodvb's picture

Unfortunately the label doesn't read  anything useful at all. It reads "soft wheat flour type 0 [0.65% ashes] ideal for bread and bread machines, milled from soft wheat grown in the canadian region of Manitoba". Nothing else. It's produced in italy by a brand that probably no one knows here: Molino Rossetto. Don't be fooled by the translation (theirs, not mine), I believe that it's unlikely that the wheat used was soft wheat.

It's not whole wheat and it can hardly be classified as high-extraction, either. As far as I know bleaching is no more allowed in Europe, or at least chlorination. I don't know if there are other ways to bleach flour (curious...).

Franko's picture

Hi Nico,

This is interesting, "soft wheat grown in the Canadian region of Manitoba". To the best of my knowledge the majority of soft wheat grown in Canada is in the next Province over, Ontario. That's not to say it couldn't have come from Manitoba but the Prairie provinces typically produce hard spring wheat and durum. Regarding the yellowish colour, the bread  flour we use at work has what I would call an off-white colour to it, I suppose leaning more towards the yellow spectrum than white, but nothing I'd actually say was yellowish. Bread flour for home use among the major brands is all fairly white to one degree or another, even the unbleached organic types, but that might just be my less than 20/20 vision as well.  The water take-up of typical Cdn. bread flour (commercial or domestic) is considerably higher than what you note so I'm curious as to what you've actually got there. It makes me wonder if the grain was from a lot that would fetch a better price by exporting it than it could have domestically.

Happy New Year Nico!