Wednesday, September 15, 2010

We posted this article a few years ago and it's on our information page about wheat.  I'm re-posting it here today so you can all get an idea of different wheat terms.  Next week I'll be posting an article about wheat storage, and I'll also try to answer any questions you might have, so leave comments if you do have some questions!

I don't know about you, but wheat used to really confuse me. There are so many terms (wheat berries, bulgar, red, white, etc) and I just can't keep it all straight. Plus, I figured that until I buy a wheat grinder, it was pointless for me to have any wheat. That's not the case, though! Wheat is very useful in many different ways. Here's a little breakdown of what wheat can do for you:First of all, the most common types of wheat are red and white. They can both be used in breads, and are very similar when it comes to cooking them in water, etc.

Sprouted wheat: There is a soaking method where you can cause your wheat kernels to sprout. People use these raw in salads, sandwiches, or you can steam them and served as a vegetable.  Click on the link to read our post about how to sprout wheat.
Bulgar: Bulgar is wheat that has been soaked and then baked to speed up the cooking time. It's very versatile. Some people serve this like rice. You can freeze cooked bulgar.
Wheat berries: This term refers to wheat that has just been cooked in water (2-1 like rice). Like bulgar, it is very versatile.

Cracked wheat: Cracked wheat is a wheat berry that's been broken down into small pieces. To crack your own wheat, place whole (uncooked) wheat berries into a grinder or food processor for a few seconds.

If you ever grind or crack your own wheat, use only as much as you need. If you end up with extra, place it in a sealed container and store it in the freezer.
Gluten: You can make your own gluten from hard red wheat. Raw gluten can be made into flour.

And of course, you can grind your own wheat to make flour.  You should grind only as much as you need, because it doesn't have any of the preservatives to stay fresh.  If you do have extra wheat flour left over, keep it in the freezer.  Click on the link to read our post about how to grind wheat.I hope this little rundown of wheat terms has helped you a little bit. If you are still feeling overwhelmed about wheat, don't worry.  We'll be covering some more basics next week.