'bakers' on Serious Eats

Are Heirloom Wheat Varieties the Next Big Baking Trend?

"You could give me dog-shit wheat, and I could still make it taste great." —Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery [Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt] Just as tomatoes have spent the last few hundred years getting the flavor slowly sucked out of them, in favor of more convenient attributes like uniformity in size and color and resistance to the rigors of transcontinental shipping, wheat has undergone a similar process. Unlike tomatoes, which, discounting any Native American influence, have been bred for a mere few hundred years, wheat, a staple grain since the earliest civilizations of ancient Mesopotamia, has had a 10,000-year breeding program. Modern wheat is designed for high yields, and to produce flours with consistently high protein contents. In the meantime,... More

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