How to cook wheat
Heat a pot over medium heat. Add wheat berries and toast until fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Add in a large pinch of salt and enough water to cover the grains by a couple of inches. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let cook until the middle is tender but chewy, 60 minutes or more. Add more water if needed towards the end. The longer the cook time, the more tender the wheat will be.
How to buy wheat
Use wheat berries in salads, grain bowls, and stews. They can also be a replacement for spelt or emmer recipes. As a flour, wheat is the basis for most of my pastry and dough recipes.
How to store wheat
Wheat, whether the whole grain or flour, is best stored in airtight containers in a cool place. Whole wheat can be stored up to a year in the freezer or 6 months in the pantry. Wheat flour is best stored in the freezer and will last up to 6 months. If the grains or flour have a rancid smell when you open the bag, toss and buy fresh.
With all the exciting whole grains and ancient wheat varieties on the market, it can be hard to think of wheat berries as something you should stock. While they work well as the whole berry, I typically keep a couple different varieties of wheat berries on hand to make homemade flour. Most wheat flour you buy at the store has had some processing, so by milling at home, you keep all the nutrients lost during the commercial milling process.
There are two overall types of wheat berries: hard and soft. The soft tend to be a little more friendly when cooked, whereas the hard never lose their chewy texture. Both hard and soft wheat berries come in red and white varieties. I find the hard red varieties to be the strongest in taste and texture, while the soft white wheat is a bit more delicate.
Flour: Hard wheat berries are great for your regular wheat flour, while soft wheat berries are perfect for a whole wheat pastry flour. I’ve learned to experiment with different wheat berries to find which ones I like best for my flour, and also according to what I’m making.
Purchase Wheat Berries/Flour