Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Comparison, Older Winter White Wheat vs Montana Winter White Wheat

I know that they say that hard winter wheat can last a long time, but I didn't believe it till I opened up some stored wheat that I have had since 1999. Near as I can tell from reading online, it says that as long as the wheat doesn't taste bad and has been stored correctly it should have retained it';s good quality. My husband picked up a bag of Montana Winter White wheat in Boise a few weeks ago, and I decided to compare loaves of bread side by side using as close to precise measurements as I could. One loaf would be from the wheat I had stored and the other would be from the fresh wheat he picked up from Walmart.

From MontanaVsGotInCali

This is where I first noticed a difference, the loaf on the left is the newer wheat.  I made sure that I wasn't even a gram off in my measurements, yet it appeared to be a higher hydration dough then the one on the right.  The weight of the dough was exactly the same when I weighted it after fermentation and before shaping.  These are each exactly 2 lb loafs of bread.

Color differences were due to temperature difference, between the loaves and the rolls.  The loaves were baked together at the same temp.  One on the left is the newer wheat.  Hard to tell here, but the one on the right is actually a bigger looking loaf.

I accidentally switched the position of the cut slices, so the one on the left is the older wheat.  I cut both loaves at what I perceived to be the tallest part of the loaf.  The newer wheat had a slightly denser crumb.  The taste in both was very good, really couldn't tell much of difference there.  The only noticeable difference was that the newer wheat had a higher moisture content possibly and caused the dough to be at a higher hydration even though they had exactly the same ingredients.  For some reason even though it appear to have a higher hydration, the older wheat had a better crumb and a taller loaf. 


  1. $12.68 is a steal if that is a 50# bag!

    I love Montanna Wheat and there is a special going on this weekend, $16.99 for a 50# bag of Hard White Spring wheat.

    The source says that spring wheat seems to have more protein that winter (not sure how much). You want your wheat to be at 15% or higher in protein and 10% or less in moisture.

    Grinding your own wheat naturally adds moisture in the process, and was probably what you noticed in your loaves.

    Interesting post!

  2. It was actually both fresh ground, the difference was simply the age of the wheat that I had stored.

    I have thought also of trying some of the spring wheat, but the cost seems quite high right now. Particularly the shipping costs to where I live, right now I am lucky enough to have enough stored up to not have to buy any for quite a while.

    Only thing I might buy is some rye and some soft wheat for other baking. Oh, that bag of wheat was for 25 lbs, which is actually a good price in my area.