hard or soft, red or white, winter or spring?
After eons of farmers and then scientists isolating and encouraging the genetic development of more “user friendly” characteristics, there are over 30,000 varieties of wheat today, each with its own merits. Most simply, we can classify current wheat varieties as some combination of each of the following: hard or soft, red or white, winter or spring.
The color of wheat relates to pigments found primarily in the bran. Both hard and soft wheat can be either red or white. White wheat varieties simply lack the pigment that gives red wheat its dark color.
Our white flours are milled from the innermost heart of the wheat berry, avoiding the dark mineral particles near the bran (outer layer of the wheat kernel) and germ. The heart of the berry contains the lightest color and the richest, gluten-producing protein.
Some flour producers mill closer to the bran so they can get more flour out of a bushel of wheat. Then they bleach the flour to eliminate the darker flecks of bran left in their flour, giving it the appearance of pure white flour. Yet bran left in white flour affects baking performance because its hard, sharp edges cut through gluten strands, making it more difficult to develop good structure in your baked goods.
By avoiding the outer layers of the wheat berry, we both ensure there are no particles of bran to reduce the rising performance of our white flours, and eliminate the need to bleach the flour to mask darker flecks.
We believe that providing organic products not only gives our consumers greater choice, it is also good for our environment. Supporting organic farming means embracing biodiversity, and greatly reducing or eliminating chemical toxins and environmental harm. King Arthur Flour is a leading voice in the industry in support of organic farming.
King Arthur Flour is the leading grocery organic flour brand in the United States. While not all of our flours are organic, we believe consumers should have the option to choose organic products when they are commercially available. Our organic flours and mixes are growing in number as more ingredients become available and as more consumers discover their benefits.