What is hard and soft red winter wheat?

Monday, 24-Oct-2022 |

What is hard and soft red winter wheat

Wheat is a useful and highly nutritious grain grown all around the world. Along with rice and corn, wheat is among the top three crops produced in the world. It has been cultivated for centuries along with other staple crops. There are different types of wheat and a wide range of products are produced from them, including flour.

What is hard and soft red winter wheat?

Hard red winter wheat is milled to produce hard wheat flour. Hard red wheat flour, also known as whole wheat flour, is perfect for making bread. Generally, the protein and gluten content of hard wheat are higher.

On the other hand, soft wheat flour is high in starch and lower in gluten. Typically, hard wheat is used to make bread flour, while soft wheat is used to make cake flour. Other baked products are a combination of flours.

Humans have used wheat as a staple food for centuries now. The cultivation of wheat by ancient man is attributed to being a major factor in mankind’s transition from a nomadic hunter or gatherer to a communal dweller. Whole wheat flour has far more nutrients than white flour because it contains fiber, enzymes, vitamins, and proteins.

However, this cannot be compared to the flour you get when you mill your hard red winter wheat berries. Producers of large-scale commercial flour who separate the germ and the bran from the endosperm in their production process blend back some of the germ and bran. They call this whole wheat flour.

The oils are extracted from the germs, but the heat generated in the milling process destroys most of the nutrients and vitamins in the wheat. In contrast, freshly milled whole wheat flour yields better-baked products as well as retains most of the nutrients present in the wheat kernel.

1. Hard red winter wheat

1. Hard Red Winter Wheat

The most widely cultivated type of wheat in the US is hard red winter wheat. Most of it is being cultivated in the Midwest Plains states. Just like every other winter wheat, the hard red winter wheat is planted in the fall. It grows a few inches until it goes dormant because of winter.

The flavor of hard red winter wheat is much stronger than that of white wheat alternatives, which is why it is commonly used by home-flour millers. Its reddish-hued husk is the reason why it is also known as red wheat.

Compared to most whites, its berries appear to be darker. It is a general-purpose flour, and its versatility is because of its 10.5% protein content. Depending on when they are sown, winter wheat frequently yields more berries. Hard winter wheat could also contain more gluten than spring varieties.


The protein content in hard red winter wheat is high. This correlates with its enhanced levels of gluten. In addition to its high protein content, it is a good source of manganese, selenium, and dietary fiber.

These are all necessary for overall health and proper metabolism. Additionally, the hard red winter wheat is ideal for use in baking bread because of its low sodium content, low cholesterol, and low saturated fat.

Gluten content and allergen information

If you are gluten sensitive or allergic, you should avoid flour made from hard red winter wheat. Even though they are frequently confused, gluten and wheat allergies have distinct side effects.

Wheat allergies cause the body to produce antibodies against wheat proteins, whereas gluten causes inflammation of the small intestine. Both of these conditions have the potential to be severe enough to necessitate medical attention. If you have a peanut allergy, make sure to read the labels on each product.

2. Soft red winter wheat

2. Soft Red Winter Wheat

The protein content of soft red winter wheat is comparatively lower than the hard red varieties of wheat. For this reason, it is the wheat of choice for bakers who want pan bread and soft pastries. Soft red winter wheat is used to make cereals and pasta when in a more coarsely ground form.

Compared to hard wheat, this wheat variety grinds more readily because it is softer. Fall is the season for winter wheat planting, and spring or early summer is the time for harvest. Winter wheat is grown and harvested much more frequently than spring varieties in the US.


Soft red winter wheat, just like all red wheat, is a good source of protein. You can find about 17 grams of protein in each cup.

With less than 1 gram of saturated fat per serving size, soft red winter wheat is low in cholesterol and sodium. It is also a perfect source of manganese, phosphorous, and dietary fiber.

Gluten content and allergen information

Despite typically having less gluten than other types of wheat, soft red winter wheat flour still contains gluten. Additionally, this flour contains wheat, so anyone who has a wheat allergy should avoid it. Reactions to it can range from immune system reactions to minor skin irritation.

In some cases, reactions even require medical attention. If you are allergic to peanuts (or other nuts), please check the individual labels on each product to ensure that none of them were packaged in a location that also housed nuts that could cause an allergic reaction.

Substitutes for red winter wheat flour

If you want flour with the same characteristics as the soft red winter wheat for baking, then use soft white winter. Excellent gluten-free alternatives also include amaranth, millet flour, and quinoa flour.
Any type of all-purpose flour, such as hard red winter, can also be a substitute for soft red winter wheat with gluten.


Wheat is a plant that has been cultivated for thousands of years. There are several varieties, including hard and soft red winter wheat. Both contain gluten and have distinct characteristics, so you can use either depending on your needs.