Known for their distinct characteristics and flavors and for their unique climatic and cultural adaptations, many heritage grains have been grown for centuries. “Heirloom” and “ancient” are also terms that are used to describe these grains.
White Sonora Wheat – A heritage grain brought to the southwestern United States by Father Kino in the late 1600s. White Sonora is a soft, low protein wheat that is excellent for pastries, cakes, and pie crust.
Khorasan Wheat – An ancient grain type; Khorasan refers to a historical region in modern-day Afghanistan and the northeast of Iran. This grain is twice the size of modern-day wheat and is known for its rich nutty flavor.
The research and development initiatives of the Green Revolution (1930s–1960s) led to the creation of high-yield grain varieties that reflect the changes in agricultural practices, economics, and world food needs.
Durum Wheat – Durum is favored for pasta and semolina. Most Durum grown today is amber durum; the grains are amber-colored and larger than most other types of wheat. Durum has a yellow endosperm which gives pasta its color.
Hard Red Wheat – Hard, reddish, high-protein wheat used for bread and baked goods. Bread flour and high-gluten flours are commonly made from Hard Red Wheat which is also known as Bread Wheat.
Conlon Barley – Conlon is a two-row malting barley listed on the American Malting Barley Association’s list of approved barleys. It has large kernels and low protein, high malt extract and good enzymatic activity.
Things to Know about White Sonora Wheat
Introduced to the American Southwest in the mid-1600s by missionaries, this heritage grain had almost gone out of production by the 1960s. Today, it is once again recognized for its superior culinary qualities. Higher in fiber than many modern grains, White Sonora adds a golden color to baked goods and cooking broth. It has become highly prized by bakers and brewers for its sweet, earthy flavor, the nutty texture of its flour, and its fermentation and malting properties. Recipes created for use with modern wheat varieties or refined flour may require modification to achieve the desired qualities.
Ways to Use White Sonora Wheat
- Add cooked wheat berries to soups and stews just before serving
- Use cooked wheat berries instead of pasta or quinoa in salads
- Serve cooked wheat berries topped with marinara or alfredo sauce
- Eat cooked wheat berries as hot cereal with milk and honey
- Mill uncooked wheat berries into flour
White Sonora Wheat Cooking Instructions
- Rinse. Rinse 1 cup of dry wheat berries in cold water several times to remove grit and chaff.
- Cook on the stovetop. Transfer the wheat berries into a sauce pan and add 3 cups of liquid (water and/or broth) and a big pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cover the pan. Add more hot water as needed.
- Check for doneness. After about 30 minutes, the berries should be chewy, but not tough. If not quite done, continue cooking and check the berries every 5 minutes.
- Drain. Drain the berries and transfer to a bowl. Toss with a splash of olive oil and a pinch of salt.
- Store in refrigerator. Cooked wheat berries can be refrigerated in a tightly covered container for up to a week.
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