What’s the difference between hard wheat and soft wheat?

Hard red wheat flour and soft white wheat flour packages

Find both hard and soft wheat flours at Nash’s, in two-pound and four-pound bags.

Hard wheat is a bronze-colored wheat and has a higher gluten content. It is typically used to make breads. The gluten is found in the starchy center—the endosperm—of the grain (the only component that remains after the refining process). The bran of the whole wheat flour cuts those gluten strands and creates a denser and heartier bread product. Soft wheat is a light golden color and is often called “white wheat.” It has more starch and less gluten than hard wheat, and it is a good choice for cakes, pastries, desserts, and sauces. Both hard and soft wheats can be either a winter or spring variety, depending on when they are planted. Winter varieties are normally higher in minerals because of the longer growing season and more extensive root systems that have developed. You can find both wheats (locally grown and locally stone-ground) at Nash’s.