The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Grain hardness

sonika's picture

Grain hardness

How would you rate these grains from the hardest to least hard, in regards to grinding:

Spelt, quinoa, emmer, amaranth, einkorn, chickpeas, buckwheat, kamut, oats and rye.

Janetcook's picture

I don't grind quinoa, emmer, amaranth, or buckwheat but  with the remaining grains from softest to hardest my guess is:

oats, spelt, rye, einkorn, kamut and then chickpeas.

I know a bit about the ones I don't grind.  My guess for those from softest to harder would be:

quinoa, amaranth, emmer, and then buckwheat.

While I am guessing if I were to combine the 2 groups I have come up with from softest to hardest I would list them this way:

quinoa, amaranth, oats, spelt, rye, einkorn, emmer, kamut, buckwheat and finally chickpeas.


DoubleMerlin's picture

Maybe it's only because I've only ever ground hull-less buckwheat, but the buckwheat I've ground falls apart practically before it hits the blades. It's so soft I can crush it with my fingers. I haven't seen hulled buckwheat in any of the stores I go to. I know there's something missing, because the buckwheat flour I make is light grey, whereas what I can buy of Bob's Red Mill is dark dark brown.

Also, hardness depends a lot of moisture content. If you soak/sprout the kamut or einkorn, it can be softer than very dry hard red winter wheat. I haven't ground kamut or einkorn unsprouted. I ground spelt when it was dry and I could tell it was harder than the hard red wheat I have in bulk.

Millet, quinoa, and amaranth all seem equally hard. They never really got to a floury consistency, more just fine chunks.

Rye and oats seem consistently softer than any of the wheat family, except for possibly emmer.

Durum wheat is supposed to be called "durum" (latin for durable, hard) because it's so difficult to grind, although I haven't attempted.

sonika's picture

Thank you very much to both of you!