What is a Wheat Berry?
A wheat berry is the entire wheat kernel, consisting of three main parts: the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. These components contain essential nutrients, making wheat berries a nutritious whole grain. Here's a brief overview of each part:
Bran: The outermost layer of the wheat kernel is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It provides most of the dietary fiber and is particularly beneficial for digestive health.
Germ: The germ is the embryo of the wheat plant. It contains healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This part of the wheat kernel is often removed during the milling process to extend the shelf life of wheat products, but it is retained in whole wheat products like wheat berries.
Endosperm: The endosperm makes up the largest portion of the wheat kernel and contains starchy carbohydrates, proteins, and some vitamins and minerals. It is the part used to make white flour when the bran and germ are removed.
Wheat berries are often used in cooking and baking, and they have a nutty flavor and a chewy texture when cooked. They are commonly used in salads, soups, and as a side dish, and they can also be ground into flour to make whole wheat bread and other baked goods. Due to their nutritional benefits and versatility, wheat berries are considered a healthy whole grain choice.
Varieties of Wheat Berries
Hard White Wheat
Palouse Brand Hard White Wheat Berries are great for for grinding into White Bread Flour and best leavened with yeast. It's important to note that this white bread flour is still a whole wheat flour and bread made from Hard White Wheat Flour will not be like store bought white bread and will instead have a much more whole grain taste and texture. These wheat berries have a high protein content of 12% the daily value. With their mild and sweet taste, they are perfect for a variety of recipes from sandwich breads to sweet pastries.
Soft White Wheat
Our Soft White Wheat Berries have a mild, sweet taste, and are the best option for milling into a whole wheat, Multi-Purpose Flour. Flour from these wheat berries are great for baking pastries or sweeter treats and can be leavened with either baking powder or baking soda. Soft White Wheat Berries have a moderate protein content at 9-10% the daily value, and will create a much lighter textured flour than hard wheat varieties. These wheat berries are also perfect for adding a bit of crunch and sweetness to salads.
Hard Red Winter Wheat
All Palouse Brand Wheat Berries will sprout, however, we recommend our Hard Red Winter Wheat Berries for growing wheatgrass most often. The superfood, wheatgrass is packed with vitamins and minerals and can be used in smoothies or to make wheatgrass juice and shots. Hard Red Winter Wheat has a higher protein content and is best used for yeast risen breads. They have a bold, nutty taste that is a great addition in salads and to be ground into a Whole Wheat Flour.
Hard Red Spring Wheat
Palouse Brand Hard Red Spring Wheat Berries have a bold, robust, nutty taste and have a higher protein content at around 13-14% the daily value. Their bold flavoring makes these wheat berries great for salads as well as whole wheat breads like sourdoughs. Flour milled from Hard Red Spring Wheat Berries is a Whole Wheat Bread Flour and is best used to create amazing sourdough starters and sourdough breads. These wheat berries will also sprout and can be used to grow into wheatgrass.
Wheat Berry Storage
Storing fresh wheat berries correctly doesn't have to be complicated. Palouse Band Wheat Berries in all varieties are best when stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry area like a cupboard or pantry. Great solutions for wheat berry storage include: mason jars, any airtight food storage container, or buckets with gamma lids. As long as your fresh wheat berries are stored correctly, you can continue to enjoy them for at least three years.
Cooking with whole wheat berries could not be any easier and we highly recommend it as they add a wonderful taste and texture to many recipes. We love to cook our wheat berries and add them to salads and soups. Remember that for grinding wheat berries into flour, they don't require any cooking and can be milled raw.
What you'll need
- 1 Cup Dry Wheat Berries
- 3 Cups Water*
How to Cook Wheat Berries
- In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil.
- Add wheat berries, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the wheat berries have reached the desired tenderness - usually about 30-40 minutes.
*Water can be replaced with different types of broth depending on the recipe
Fresh Flour Know-How
Palouse Brand Wheat Berries will grind into 100% whole wheat flour. All three layers - the bran, germ, and endosperm - are ground into a rich whole wheat flour with a bold and nutty flavoring. Most often, store-bought flours have had at least one if not all of these layer removed and had preservatives added as well.
Fresh ground flour does tend to produce a denser loaf because all the layers remain in the flour and nothing is added either. In order to work easily with fresh whole wheat flour, there are a couple things you can do to make your favorite recipes. For starters, adding more liquid or more leavening power are a couple ways that will keep all the nutritious benefits of the flour. Sifting is another option, however this can cause you to lose nutritional benefits of the bran and other layers of the wheat berries. When using fresh ground flour it's also important to use weight as measurements instead of cup measurements for better accuracy.
To store fresh ground flour, we recommend using an airtight container and storing in a cool, dry place just like your raw wheat berries. Since our flour is milled from whole wheat berries and contains all the components of the wheat berry, it is high in nutrients and oils which then shortens the shelf life, compared to that of store-bought flour that is full of preservatives. Because of the lack of preservatives in our stone ground flour, we recommend using whole wheat flour within six months to ensure freshness.
Wheat Berries can easily be milled into fresh flour and don't need to be cooked at all before milling into flour. We have used a variety of mills here at Palouse Brand and have recently teamed up with our friends at NutriMill, where they offer a couple different options including their beautiful NutriMill Harvest Grain Mill. When grinding our wheat berries in a NutriMill, 1 cup of wheat berries will equal 1 cup of fresh ground whole wheat flour. NutriMill Classic Grain Mill also has settings that will allow you to mill flours of different textures, from coarse to fine depending on your preference.