July 20, 2010

Red or White Hard Wheat? Which should I put in my food storage?

Letter from reader: "My wife and I recently went to our local LDS Bishop's storehouse and bought/canned hard red and hard white wheat. I want to learn to cook with wheat, and have several LDS related books on "Cooking with Food Storage." The recipes for breads, muffins and cakes say to use "ground wheat", but it does not tell which kind (hard red or white). So my "question" is this. What type of these (two) wheats do you use for the different breads, muffins, cookie recipes when it only says in the recipe "ground wheat?" When you make "wheat bread" is it from Hard red or Hard white? What is the difference?" Bill, New York

Dear Bill:

Though I am not an expert on wheat, Chef Brad is. I've attended one of his cooking demonstration classes at BYU Education Week in Provo, Utah a few years ago, and he is wonderful! He lives in Arizona. He will be doing cooking classes again this year and they fill up quickly. However, if you can't attend a class, then check out his website below.

Chef Brad says "There are four major types of wheat available today: hard red, hard white, soft, and durum.

Hard red wheat is high in protein (10 to 14 percent) and can be sprouted. Although it is great for breadmaking, it is heavy and, as an acid-based grain, causes many people digestion problems.

Hard white wheat is also high in protein. A cross between hard red wheat and soft white wheat, it reatins the good qualities of both. Since it is an alkaline based grain hard white wheat is easier for most people to digest. It makes a very light loaf of bread.

Soft wheat is low in protein and low in gluten (6 to 10 percent). Soft wheat is used in makeing biscuits, cakes, pastries, cookies, and pancakes.

Durum wheat, the hardest wheat, is high in gluten and protein. Its hard starch granules hold pasta together in boiling water. Durum wheat is used for pastas and noodles.

Cracked wheat is whole wheat berries that have been cracked into small pieces between steel rollers, which reduces cooking time. Cracked wheat contains all the nutrients of the whole grain."

Personally I have hard red and white wheat in storage, though I have many friends who prefer hard white wheat for bread. I already had hard red wheat in storage before hard white wheat became popular. I use both for pancakes, waffles and bread and have had no digestion problems. Best wishes!

Check out ChefBrad.com for grain education, recipes, and cookbooks to purchase.

Chef Brad - Various types of wheat

Chef Brad - Grain Usage Chart


  1. I agree what you are doing is the best option. A mix of red and white makes it easy to get the nutrients you need without having to sacrifice too much taste.

  2. Just as an FYI, hard white wheat doesn't sprout (I was told it was GMO by someone at the cannery, but it's probably just b/c it's a cross of the two varieties?!) Hard red wheat does sprout (but don't let it grow longer than the grain or it tastes pretty bad). Something to consider when planning food storage.

    1. I know this is a very old post, but I have hard white wheat, and it does sprout. I bought it from store.lds.org within the past month.

  3. I canned wheat back in 1999 from our Bishops storehouse. Do you think it's probably red wheat...it doesn't specify.

    1. Hi Kathy. Hard to know. My white wheat is from 2004. You could call where you got it and find out when the Church started carrying white wheat. Or open a can, grind it and bake with it. It's hard to tell from the grain. Easier to tell when you bake with it. Here is a picture of the two http://honeyvillefarms.blogspot.com/2010/09/grinding-wheat.html#.UPsMvifkquI

  4. I agree. My hard white wheat sprouts also. (Bought in a bucket from Walmart)

  5. Does anyone know how long white wheat stores? I hear 30 years+for red wheat, anybody know if it is the same for white wheat?

    1. If it's hard white wheat and stored properly, it is the same.


Thanks for your comments and suggestions!


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