What is Turkey red wheat?

Turkey red wheat

It is widely known as the heritage grain meaning, it largely predates modern plant breeding. Looking back, turkey red wheat is reported to have first made its debut into the United States around the year 1873. It is during this time that it was first introduced to growers who interestingly and judging by their actions welcomed this fantastic seed. According to reports, shortly after the introduction of this cherished seed into the US, farmers are reported to have significantly increased their acreage. This seed thrived in Kansas to an extent that it became the primary wheat variety through the entire central plains. Keep in mind: it is the Russian Mennonites who brought in this cherished seed “the Russian red wheat” with them as they fled to Kansas from the Crimea. Over the years, this fantastic breed of wheat is reported to have done so well that it has since prompted several advancements in milling technology to date.

In the mid-1940s, the turkey red wheat seed was replaced by modernized high yielding cultivars. Take note, higher yield hybrids in most cases have been found to sacrifice flavor and compromise nutritional properties in order to increase productivity. In addition to all of the above, the changes that were made in the course of the hybridization are believed to have significantly contributed to the alteration of the protein and gluten structure of this cherished grain. As a result of all of this, the grain has since become extremely difficult to digest. In fact, it is considered to be the main cause of wheat intolerance experienced by many people.

Fast forward to the present day, you will be happy to learn that milling of whole wheat flour is being done from this heritage wheat. This is being done with hopes that even those who are intolerant to wheat should be able to enjoy bread that is made from this flour.  It is Significantly different from hard turkey Red Wheat in that the berries are lighter in color and smaller in terms of size. Also, when milled, the bran seems to appear to mill slightly finer than in the case of Hard red. In fact, even the smell produced during the milling is different too. The red hard is known to produce a very strong unappealing smell in the course of milling. The turkey red flour, on the other hand, seems not to have or produce any noticeable smell right until you place your nose close to it. In the past, it has continuously been described as smelling fresh like a garden or a clutch of tomatoes. It is equally worth noting that the gluten appears different as well. In fact, when it is being mixed, it tends to form a workable dough faster than in the case of hard red. The end result is bread which is lighter but still flavorful and characteristic of a rather moist and good crumb. 

3 Benefits of Turkey red wheat

Turkey red wheat has been found to have a variety of benefits in general. The merits of this strain of wheat trump those of the more traditional varieties.  Below is an overview just to give you have a clear idea of the benefits you stand to enjoy by simply going the turkey red wheat way. They include the fact that:

  1. During milling, the stone mill is employed. This is done to ensure that the final product is not only organic but more importantly to maintain the nutritional content of the turkey red wheat being processed. From this, you can expect to benefit from the grain’s actual nutritional benefits when you finally get a chance to consume the end product. In fact, you won’t have to worry about dealing with empty calories. 
  2. Turkey red wheat is also known to have a distinct appealing smell and taste. These two properties have been found to be responsible for the flavor in most freshly baked goods. This is also the reason why turkey red wheat is commonly being used in the production of artisan bread and several other bakery items. It is also safe to say it help with customer retention to a large extent as well.
  3. Turkey red wheat flour has also been found to be able to significantly promote enhanced enzymatic activity. Besides this, it is also reported to be able to encourage healthy gluten development. This, in turn, is responsible for making digestion much easier especially for people struggling with wheat intolerance.

In addition to all of the above, it has been established that baked goods more s bread made using turkey red wheat flour are relatively much easier to form particularly during the baking process. In fact, they even perform way much better when in the oven compared to other varieties of wheat flour. 

What is red wheat flour

whole wheat bread

It simply is flour which is milled from whole grain in a process that solely focusses on maintaining/retaining the grains Nutrients. On a more personal level, you can easily take advantage and realize the full potential of the turkey red wheat flour. This can be done by simply substituting it in almost all if not most of the all-purpose turkey red wheat flour required in any recipe.

One of the things that makes the turkey red wheat flour stand out is the fact that it is milled fresh to order. This is done in a medium grind and involves the use of hard turkey red wheat berries/ grains characteristic of a 12-13% protein content. Keep in mind, though it is slightly bitter it is known to have significant traces of floral tones. In addition to the above, the flour is also milled strictly in a medium grind with the sole intention of achieving a nutty crumb and granular texture. The good news is, it can easily be used in a similar manner as with turkey red wheat flour in breads. Simply put, you can expect to experience the difference of freshly milled flour in all of your freshly baked goods.   

Which wheat flour is the best?

There is hard turkey red wheat flour and then there is hard white wheat flour. It is important to understand the fact that: the phrase red and white as used above is simply in reference to the primary color of the kernel. More specifically hard red turkey red wheat is characteristic of an overwhelmingly reddish hue particularly to the exterior layer of its kernel. On the other hand, the hard-white wheat is characteristic of a sandy like beige color to the exterior layer of its kernel. Interestingly, even though the color of the kernels of both grains are different, the flour that is the end product from milling either is completely indistinguishable through color. 

Besides being of the opposite color, it is worth noting that the hard turkey red wheat flour is reported to have a slightly higher protein content. Hard white wheat flour, on the other hand, is known to have a fairly moderate protein content. It is also important to note that hard turkey red wheat flour and the hard-white wheat flour belong to the same species of wheat. They, however, are classified differently owing to the striking difference in color as well as the protein content.

 When it comes to baking, turkey red wheat flour is known to have a slightly high protein content. This, in turn, makes it more ideal for baking harder bread. The hard-white wheat flour on the other hand known for its moderate protein content is ideal for softer loaves of bread such as dinner rolls etc. in general hard white wheat flour seems most ideal for common baking processes. In fact, it is the one that is commonly used in bakeries.

Another important thing to note is that: one of the major differences between the hard turkey red wheat flour and the hard-white wheat flour is flavor. As a matter of fact, it is believed that the same exact genes which give hard turkey red wheat its dark bran is the also responsible for its nuttier flavor. It is the lighter colored bran of hard white wheat flour that has been found to be characteristic of a sweet and mild taste.

Does heirloom wheat contain Gluten?

Lately, there has been a lot of debate about gluten-free products. As a matter of fact, A lot of attention has been drawn towards heirlooms. They are a new category of grain that recently emerged and has become widely known for their low gluten content. In fact, when compared to the typical turkey red wheat they have significantly low gluten content. As a result, they have become a perfect alternative to bakers especially those who bring back customers who are increasingly wary of not only wheat but also its byproducts.

In case you are not aware, the protein that is present in turkey red wheat is believed to be largely responsible for the elasticity in the dough. In addition to the above, it has also been linked to celiac disease. This is an autoimmune disorder that is largely aggravated as a result of gluten consumption. As a matter of fact, according to reports, as much as 30 percent of Americans e actively looking for ways to cut down on gluten owing to health concerns. The good news is, there is a solution. The answer to wheat aversion has been found in heirlooms. You will be happy to learn that such grains have been proven to serve as a perfect alternative to cutting back on gluten. The best part is, this can be done while still feeding on bread and other products made using turkey red wheat.

For instance, we all know that anyone with celiac disease should never eat products with gluten. Recent studies have suggested that: modern wheat is directly linked to the steady rise of celiac disease at least in the past 30 years. This is having been mainly attributed to the specific type of gluten it is known to contain which is the primary stimulant for celiac disease. Alternative modern grains have been found to contain a rather small amount of the aggravating property in their gluten content. As a result, they are easier on the stomach which has made them the newly preferred choice. 

 For a while now, a lot of focus has been on developing heirloom grains. So far, there has been tremendous progress. In fact, most of the ongoing developments in this field have been largely supported by funds provided by the department of agriculture. And as expected it is fast yielding results. For instance, looking back to the past four years, the most significant breakthrough has been the development of heritage wheat varieties that have led to significantly higher yield compared to the more modern wheat in organic fields.

And now, to answer the question, does heirloom wheat contain gluten, well yes It does but to only to a small extent.  It is because of that it has become a perfect alternative for anyone who’s wary of gluten but still interested in eating turkey red wheat products.

Is red fife good for you?

A lot has lately been said about red fife grain. From all the ongoing talks, the focus has largely been on finding out exactly what is the story behind the emergence of red fife? Another key area of focus has been: whether it is more nutritious compared to other varieties of wheat?

Taking into consideration the fact that lately, anything associated to turkey red wheat has become buzz-worthy, all things old have suddenly become awesome. As a matter of fact, it is at the moment no surprise that: heritage grains are enjoying resurgence not only in the kitchen across the land but also in restaurants, etc. The grains in question mostly include locally grown varieties not only of wheat but of other grains as well particularly those which were popular prior to their commercialization in the mid-20th century. These grains just so you know are being sought after mainly because for a long time now they have been perceived as being not only healthier but also safer and most importantly tastier. Simply put, they seem to be much more interesting than many of the common grain varieties presently available in the market at the moment.

There has been an ongoing debate as to whether grains are helpful or harmful when it comes to our overall health and well-being. At the same time, the focus has been on the merits and demerits of eating whole grains. Alongside this debate has been the effects of grains versus the effects of refined grains. In order to put the debate to rest, here is a more in-depth analysis of the role different varieties of grains have in the quest to cut down on weight loss. Speaking of weight loss, it is important to note that gluten-free diets have become such a craze. Even though there are claims that gluten is largely responsible for promoting weight gain, so far, no clinicals have been published to support this claim. More specifically, there hasn’t been any comparison of gluten-containing diets versus gluten-free diets in regards to weight loss.

Amongst the well-known heritage grains, Red fife has emerged with considerable attention. This is in part mainly because of its long and rather interesting Canadian past. It is also in part because of its link with the slow foods. Lastly, perhaps the most appealing fact about it is the fact that when used, the final product is considered to be the softest and tastiest bread. Generally speaking, for the best-baked goods, it is the most preferred.

 Another subject of debate has been whether red fife is more nutritious than other common varieties of bread? Well to answer that requires reference to a recent report. A while ago there was an in-depth report that touched widely on the nutrient content of the red fife. You will be happy to learn that it is characteristic of a few extremely appealing tidbits. For instance, red fife stands out for the simple fact that it is prepared in a similar manner to stone-milled whole wheat. What this means is the nutrients rich endosperm common in the refined grain is retained. In addition to this, also retained is the germ and bran which are known to be rich in fiber, minerals, and phytochemicals. All of these collectively believed to possess disease-fighting properties hence their relevance. 

 Over and above, red fife has been found to attract a considerable amount of attention for the simple fact that it is characteristic of a fairly low gluten content compared to many other modern varieties of wheat including the turkey red wheat. Gluten is a storage protein that is commonly found in turkey red wheat and any of its derivative products. As such anyone with a history of celiac disease should avoid taking in gluten in this form. Refraining from taking in gluten is key to maintaining perfect health. This is because of the possibility of triggering any form of fatigue or digestive related complications especially if you have a history of non-celiac gluten sensitivity. 

In the event you are amongst those who are most sensitive to gluten know now that it is strongly advised that you have a blood test carried out. In fact, if possible, arrange for even biopsies. Taking such a thorough approach will serve as a guarantee to completely exclude the possibility of celiac disease. Afterward, proceed to get rid of gluten from the diet and then closely watch out for any symptoms.

And so, to answer the question is red fife good for you, well the answer is yes. As a matter of fact, it has been established that heritage grains such as red fife can easily be tolerated by the body in comparison to traditionally made or baked goods. That said, the next time you are faced with a choice, make an informed decision taking into serious consideration any preexisting medical conditions.

What is heirloom wheat flour?

As strange as it may sound, for a while now, chefs have continued to extoll heirloom vegetables and even heirloom pork, however, when it comes to flour it has since just remained flour. The good news is, there is a group of small-scale farmers in rural America who have realized this and have taken it up upon themselves to grow ancient wheat varieties. As a matter of fact, they have placed a lot of emphasis on the varieties that are characteristic of low gluten content particularly in comparison to modern varieties of grains. Millers too haven’t been left behind as they too are now open to crushing wheat the old-fashioned way. The revival of such old wheat crushing techniques is mainly attributed to the quest to have the final end product healthier.

Is durum wheat a hybrid?

Durum is a Latin word to mean “Hard” durum wheat, therefore, is by far the hardest species of all wheat varieties. It is a tetraploid species of wheat commonly referred to as pasta wheat. Reports indicate that it is by far the second most cultivated specie of wheat coming second only to common wheat. Interesting thing is, in spite of all that it only represents a mere 8% of the global production of wheat. It is also worth noting that durum wheat was developed by artificial selection of a variety of domesticated wheat strains back in central Europe. Durum wheat is known for its strong resistance to milling. This only goes ahead to support the narrative that dough made from the resulting flour is soft/weak.

More specifically, durum wheat first originated from the intergeneric hybridization as well as subsequent polyploidization that involved a couple of diploid grass species. Amber durum is what is presently being grown widely. In fact, the grains are amber-colored and large compared to those of other wheat varieties. One thing which makes durum wheat stand out I the fact that it is characteristic of a yellow endosperm. This is also what is responsible for its pasta color. In addition to the above, when milled the endosperm is usually ground into semolina which is then used in the production of premium bread and pasta. Red durum is also available only that it’s mostly preferred to feature in livestock feeds.

Over the years, the cultivation of durum wheat has been found to generate a significantly higher yield compared to other varieties of wheat especially from areas of low precipitation. The good news is, high yields can easily be achieved through irrigation even though this is rarely done. For instance, during the first quarter of the 20th century, durum was largely being grown in Russia. Today, durum has grown to emerge as one of the key food crops in west Asia in spite of the fact that the variety of wheat there is extremely diverse.

In terms of processing of durum wheat, the grains are generally subjected to 4 key processes. These include:

  1.     Cleaning
  2.     Tempering
  3.     Milling
  4.     Purification

The first step which largely involves the cleaning is meant to help get rid of any foreign materials as well as shrunken kernels if any. The second step which is tempering is meant to toughen the seed coat of the grains. This process is what sets precedence for the subsequent separation of bran and the endosperm in readiness for milling. Speaking of milling, when the process starts the grains are subjected to continuous grinding and repetitive sieving. Purification which is the last step is responsible for maximum semolina yield while at the same time seriously limiting the amount of bran powder.

In order to produce bread using durum wheat, it is first properly ground into flour. Afterward, the flour is mixed together with water for a dough taking into consideration the measurements and quantities of the various mixtures used. Once this is done, the resultant dough is mixed with yeast and lukewarm water and then left to ferment for a couple of hours.

And so, to answer the question is durum wheat hybrid? Well, yes, it is and it is fast rising as one of the most preferred options for use at home and away.

Is US wheat different from European wheat?

According to reports, the European Union is on record for producing an average of 5 billion bushels of wheat annually. The united states on the other hand is reported to produce an average of 2 billion bushels annually. Going by this report, unless you are a master baker you might be mistaken to think that the wheat from these two regions are the same. Well, that is not the case, in fact, these two regions actually produce two complete opposite varieties of the same crop.

More specifically, close to 60% of the united states total wheat production is the hard turkey red wheat variety. An estimated 23% is what constitutes soft wheat. When you cross over into Europe, the most dominant strain of wheat is the soft variety. This in turn begs the question, wheat exactly is the difference between the dominant wheat grains from both regions? Well, there is no denying there is some significant difference between the two. This difference is mainly attributed to the variation in gluten content. Gluten simply refers to a protein blend which is commonly present in wheat and other grains. Hard wheat grains have been found to have more gluten compared to soft wheat. In fact, the gluten it contains is stronger than gluten that is present in soft wheat. Keep in mind, this seemingly tough gluten is what has been found to be ideal in making of soft bread which many people I the united states have become accustomed to consuming.

Soft wheat, on the other hand, is mostly known for its rathe different consistency. For starters, it is characteristic of less gluten. It is also characteristic of less protein in general compared to hard wheat. Simply put, it is the soft wheat that is most preferred for use in making pastries, cookies, cakes alongside several other non-bread baking products. It has emerged that: as a result of the variations in the soil and general growing conditions, the differences between the European wheat and the US wheat extend slightly further than in the Gluten content.  This is clearly evident and is supported by the fact that American wheat contains approximately 10 times more selenium compared to European wheat varieties.

When comparison is done based on the protein content, then European wheat comes out as having low protein content compared to the American varieties. Interesting thing is, more and more growers are working round the clock to raise the level of proteins. All this is being done with the sole intention of making the wheat most attractive to prospective buyers. Take note, this does not expressly mean that all American wheat is characteristic of high gluten content while all European wheat is characteristic of low gluten content.

Good news is producers from both regions have adopted a rather unique approach that involves the planting of different varieties of wheat. This way, getting hold of a blend that would suit any purpose is never a problem regardless of where you reside. Reports also indicate that as much as the US imports rather small amount of wheat, Europe imports over a million tons of American wheat on an annual basis. This means you can easily get hold of plenty American wheat within Europe’ boarders.

To crown it all up, the answer to the question is US wheat different from European wheat is yes, these two grains are different. Gluten content has been pointed as the main differentiating feature. At the same time, it is also important to note that the rates of celiac disease between both regions is almost similar.


From the above, we can draw the conclusion that there is an increasing number of comparative studies touching on the relationship between modern and ancient wheat varieties. At the same time, there are still not enough reliable research groups that are active in this field. As a result, many of the studies especially those touching on dietary interventions have notably used similar materials. 

We can therefore safely deduce that more studies are urgently called for. These should specifically come from a wider range of research groups. The same should be extended to a wider range of genotypes especially those of both past and present wheat species.

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