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“Eighty years ago my mother was in grade school where schoolroom paste was made by mixing a little flour and water together. Memories of that simple glue came back to her when she and I recently stood in my kitchen, mixing two small batches of flour and water. First I mixed regular “better for bread” flour with water in a little dish, then I did the same with special test flour made from soft durum wheat. The first mixture was a pasty, lightest-of-light-tan color, the second had a pale but clearly evident yellow hue.

The simple experiment was inspired by the hardness of different types of wheat. Soft white wheat is the easiest of all types of wheat to mill, weighing in with a hardness rating of only 25-35 on the scale millers use to measure such things. Soft wheat generally goes into products like noodles, cakes and cookies. Hard red wheat has a hardness factor of about 60-75. It is used for bread.”

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