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Wheat Berries -> Hard vs. Soft - Red vs. White?

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by DoctaGlockta, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. Finally bought a grain mill.

    Now need to purchase something to grind in it.

    I usually make an Artisan type bread - no knead method which is pretty simple to make and delicious. I use an all purpose white for that.

    Wondering what some of you who actually bake bread use in your mill?
  2. Hard red or white for bread, soft white for pastries. We do 3-5 loaves a week of bread, usually some biscuits or fried pies most weekends. All ground by hand. We have not had store bought bread in the house in a decade.

    What mill did you get? Many of the cheaper ones will not grind a good fine bread flour, or won't do it in one pass anyways..

  3. LongGun1

    LongGun1 StraightShooter

    Personally...for breads I like Organic Hard White Winter Wheat..

    ...but have other types of wheat & grain also.

    I am also curious about your mill..

    ..I have a Country Living Mill with extension handle & variable speed motor attachment..

    ..and an pre-99 Whisper Mill.

    Both will make fine 'single pass' flours from grain.
  4. Family grain mill. Will most likely get the electric motor at some time. German made unit with a good reputation. From what I can gather a good value.


    I'm going to order some Hard White to start. I can get 50lbs of Soft White for $20 locally from a restaurant supplier but it sounds like for bread I'm better off with hard.

    Thanks for the responses Gentlemen.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
  5. bdcochran


    Sep 23, 2005
    Los Angeles
    In the United States, there are six predominate types of wheat.

    Hard winter red wheat: This wheat is mostly grown in the Plains states as well as the northern states and Canada. It is a versatile wheat with excellent baking characteristics for pan bread. It is also used for Asian noodles, hard rolls, flat breads, general purpose flour and as an improver for blending. It is moderately high in protein (about 10.5%) which makes it good as an all-purpose or bread flour. About 40% of all of the wheat grown in the United States is hard winter red wheat.

    Hard spring red wheat: This wheat is mostly grown in the northern states and Canada. It is considered the aristocrat of wheat when it comes to "designer" wheat foods like hearth breads, rolls, croissants, bagels and pizza crusts. It is also used as an improver in flour blends. It is one of the hardest wheats and therefore has one of the highest protein counts (13.5%). About 24% of the wheat grown in the United States is hard spring red wheat.

    Soft winter red wheat: This wheat is mainly grown in the eastern states. It is a low protein wheat with excellent milling and baking characteristics for pan breads, general purpose flour and as an improver for blending. About 25% of the wheat grown in the United States is soft winter red wheat.

    Hard winter white wheat: This is the newest class of U.S. wheat. It is sweeter and lighter in color that red wheat, with a protein profile similar to hard winter red wheat. It is great for making Asian noodles, whole wheat, pan breads and flat breads. Only about 1% of the wheat grown in the United States is hard winter white wheat, but it is gaining in popularity.

    Soft spring white wheat: This type of wheat is generally grown in a few eastern states and in the Pacific Northwest and California. It is a low moisture wheat with high extraction rates that provides a whiter product for cakes and pastries. This variety is similar to soft winter red wheat with a slightly sweeter flavor. About 7% of the wheat grown in the United States is soft spring white wheat.

    Durum wheat: This is the hardest of all wheats and has a rich amber color and high gluten content. The protein content ranges from 12.5 to as high as 17%. It sets the "gold standard" for premium pasta products, couscous and some Mediterranean breads. About 5% of the wheat grown worldwide is durum, but only about 3% of U.S. wheat is durum, mostly grown in North Dakota.

    Within these different types of wheat, there are many varieties and substrains that offer an array of possibilities for millers as well as bakers. Bakers can choose between soft, low-protein cake and pastry flours, medium-protein all-purpose flours, and various degrees of hard, higher-protein bread flours.

    There are different degrees of grind as well, such as coarse, medium, and fine. Other terms used to describe coarseness include: grits, groats, chops, cracked and meal. You can find more information about these terms under baking terms.
  6. bdcochran


    Sep 23, 2005
    Los Angeles
    I use King Arthur flour for bread making. It is milled at the oldest mill in the US. I believe that the wheat type came from France. I make one or two loads of baguettes a day. In fact, my girlfriend exchanges the bread with her physical therapist and receives homegrown tomatoes in return.

    King Arthur bread flour is available cheaply at some Target stores and some Walmarts at 1/2 the price of conventional grocery stores.

    Remember, milled flour is good only for about three months.:wavey:
  7. UneasyRider

    UneasyRider C.D.B.

    Dec 1, 2005
    Good post. I am interested in your mill type too.
  8. We have a Country Living Grain Mill. We bought just the mill "several" years ago. I made a "power bar" (handle extension) myself, along with a couple hopper lids and custom handles to match. We bought replacement bearings and woodruff keys locally, and will eventually buy a set of spare plates.. but so far the ones it came with look/work fine.





    and this is the wheat we use almost exclusively:


    A couple of those show the mill before the power bar, lid(s) and custom handles.. and I don't think I have ever taken a picture with the clear handle and lid mounted..

    As you can imagine, we hang out with other people who do some home milling and baking, and the mills I know to be bulletproof through family or friends include the CLGM, the Grain Maker, and the Diamant. I am sure there are others that are good-to-great, but those are the ones I KNOW.

    My parents have a "real" Corona mill, bought from/through the LDS about 40 years ago, it has held up very well, but takes two passes, and the newer ones are junk.
  9. quake

    quake Millennium Member

    Aug 4, 1999
    Arkansas, USA
    Wonder Mill for primary, old corona (genuine, supposedly) and a couple other cheapies for backup-backups. Mostly hard wheat for use.

    Also use a good bit of plain old bulk popcorn (something like $18 for 50lbs at Sam's), ground coarse into meal for cornbread.
  10. We get dent corn from TSC, $6 for 50lbs. (but we did bucket #200 of the Sam's popcorn) The TSC corn is "livestock" feed, and does have some occasional cobb bits to pull out, but is good to go otherwise. We bucketed quite a bit a few years ago, so far no problems found when rotating..

    Edited to add.. since PB was still open..

    This is a picture I took for someone over on frugal's.. the corn on the left is TSC dent corn, and on the right.. well.. you can see what it is..LOL

    But this is some of each, ground, and in a bin, just as it came from the bag..


    Both make fine corn bread, tortillas, and grits.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
  11. Good info thank you. Which is easier to grind? I noticed my mill is not rated for popcorn grinding. Wondering if Dent corn would be ok.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
  12. Please don't take this wrong,(really, it's just an FYI/IMHO thing..) but if you have to grind it twice, at 10 minutes a cup the first pass and 5 minutes a cup the second.. I doubt you will get much use out of it. Just to much time and effort.. Store bought will be easier..

    BUT, if you find you like the benefits of DIY bread, you now have a back up, or loner, and can in the future, get a faster/finer mill. Our CLGM will make bread flour fine flour in a single pass, and at about 3 minutes a cup production rate.
    Cream of wheat grind takes about 1 minute or less a cup. We eat a lot of that. Maybe 5 mornings a week during winter. Cooked on top the wood stove.

    One other "BTW".. :whistling:

    Find a copy of "The Amazing Wheat Book".. worth every penny.

  13. We have never noticed a difference in effort.. but honestly, the popcorn is "noisier" in the mill for some reason.. We initialy didn't "put up" popcorn, because the moisture content is a bit high, but LOTS of people have put it up for long term and had no problems with it, so we put it up a couple years ago. We only normally grind the dent, and pop the pop.. so haven't started to rotate the popcorn yet. Will be soon, I think. We got kind of hooked on "mushroom" popcorn for popping, so the regular has been slow to go through the last year or so..
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
  14. lots of good info here. i too am going to be adding a mill in the near future. looking at the monder mill jr, iirc.

    i was told that dent corn has a much different taste than the corn we are used to eating. i kind of assume that that was meant as a comparison towards sweet corn on the cob or canned sweet corn but do you notice a difference between your home ground dent corn meal vs jiffy mix or any other regular corn meal?

  15. Yes, dent corn and sweet corn taste different. That I do know.

    But, I honestly have no point of reference on the jiffy mix. I would say the last time we bought corn meal was about '97. No one has EVER complained about our tortillas or corn bread.
  16. kirgi08

    kirgi08 Watcher. Silver Member

    Jun 4, 2007
    Acme proving grounds.
    Get a grinder and store wheat as whole as you can.You can grind "whole" kernel "popping" corn inta corn meal/flour.'08.