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True North Whole Wheat Bread Flour

True North Whole Wheat Bread Flour

Michigan bread flour.

Kind of like how grapes can be green or red, wheats come in two major variations, too: there are hard wheats and soft wheats. The hard/soft differentiation typically has to do with the protein content in the grain. Hard wheats have more protein; soft wheats have less.

By the time the wheats are milled into flour, the names "hard" and "soft" get dropped, and the flours are named for what you'd make with them. The highest protein flours—made from hard wheats—are generally bread flours, because all that protein makes for great gluten development and structure. The lowest protein flours—made from soft wheats—are cake or pastry flours. They're great for the fluffiest, most tender recipes. Right in the middle of the protein spectrum is all purpose flour, the switch hitter that can be used for breads or pastries.

So if you want to bake bread with your own wheat, you just plant your own hard wheat, right? Not necessarily. What wheat you can grow depends on your local climate: humidity, rainfall, winter freezes, and more all have an impact. If you look at a map of what wheats grow where in the US, you'll quickly notice that while hard wheat grows in abundance in a band stretching from Texas to Montana, practically no one grows it on a big scale east of the Mississippi.

But that's not to say it's impossible. There are a few farms in Michigan growing hard wheats. Our True North flour begins with hard red spring wheat grown in northern Michigan. It's ground into flour on a stone mill by Grand Traverse Culinary Flours in Traverse City. The stone milling is key, because it keeps more of the flavor of the wheat intact. It's a high extraction flour, which means 80% of the whole wheat berry is kept in the flour, with only the roughest chaff (in other words, the bran) being separated out. And because it's made from a hard wheat, it's excellent for breads. At Zingerman's Bakehouse, this flour is used in our State Street Wheat Bread. We also use the same source of wheat in a whole grain format (meaning 100% of the grain is in the mix, including the bran) in our Farm Bread, Parmesan Pepper Bread, and 8-Grain 3-Seed Bread, among others.

In your home baking, this is an excellent flour to use for whole wheat breads, or breads where you want a mix of white and whole wheat flour. It adds a depth of flavor that's hard to get anywhere else.

True North Whole Wheat Bread Flour

P-ZFL-TN 2.5 lb bag

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