Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Major cultivated species of wheat

 Bread wheat – A hexaploid species that is the most widely cultivated in the world.

Durum – The only tetraploid form of wheat widely used today, and the second most widely cultivated wheat.

Einkorn – A diploid species with wild and cultivated variants. Domesticated at the same time as emmer wheat, but never reached the same importance

Emmer  – A tetraploid species, cultivated in ancient times but no longer in widespread use.

Spelt  – Another hexaploid species cultivated in limited quantities.
Classes used in the United States are
  • Durum – Very hard, translucent, light-colored grain used to make semolina flour for pasta.
  • Hard Red Spring – Hard, brownish, high-protein wheat used for bread and hard baked goods. Bread Flour and high-gluten flours are commonly made from hard red spring wheat.

  • Hard Red Winter – Hard, brownish, mellow high-protein wheat used for bread, hard baked goods and as an adjunct in other flours to increase protein in pastry flour for pie crusts. Some brands of unbleached all-purpose flours are commonly made from hard red winter wheat alone.  One variety is known as "turkey red wheat", and was brought to Kansas by menonite immigrants from Russia.

  • Soft Red Winter – Soft, low-protein wheat used for cakes, pie crusts, biscuits, and muffins. Cake flour, pastry flour, and some self-rising flours with backing powder and salt added, for example, are made from soft red winter wheat.

  • Hard White – Hard, light-colored, opaque, chalky, medium-protein wheat planted in dry, temperate areas. Used for bread and brewing.
  • Soft White – Soft, light-colored, very low protein wheat grown in temperate moist areas. Used for pie crusts and pastry. Pastry flour, for example, is sometimes made from soft white winter wheat.

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