Blue Beard Durum (whole grain)
Use for slow-rise breads, pasta, rustic baking. We recommend the flour be kept in a sealed bag in the freezer if stored for more than 2 weeks, and be used within 3 months of milling date on label.
Durum Wheat is a tetraploid wheat, genetically distinct from modern hexaploid bread wheat. Related to “ancient grains” such as emmer and spelt, ‘durum’ means “hard” in Latin, and yields a high protein, rich golden flour ideal for pasta and bread-making. The rich golden color typical of durum flour correlates with a particularly rich flavor compared to lighter-colored wheat, that shines in breads
as much as pasta.
Despite its high protein, durum gluten is not necessarily as elastic as gluten from bread wheat, but the grain’s hardness is what makes for pasta’s toothy bite when cooked (‘al dente’ literally means ‘to the tooth’). In Southern Italy, durum wheat is traditionally crafted into incredibly flavorful and iconic breads such as Altamura and Matera.
Our Blue Beard durum is a landrace (heirloom) variety believed native to Iran. It’s a tough grain, providing generous crops in desert conditions. As it matures, the heads of Blue Beard durum turn a dark purple, making a spectacular display in the field. In fact, we have to compete with florists for our grain, since it commands top dollar for its looks as much for its flavor.
Our neighbors Ken and Susan Muller at Pasture 42 Farm in Guinda (Capay Valley) grew a precious few acres of Blue Beard following sustainable, organic methods that we’re fortunate to be able to mill. Quantities are extremely limited, as we’re saving seed to plant more acreage in 2016.
Try Blue Beard Durum for rustic breads, rich whole-grain short pastry and crusts. When mixed 50/50 with coarser semolina, our Blue Beard semolina makes fantastic fresh pasta.