Wheat by color, hardness and growing season
Soft red winter
Soft red winter wheat has low protein (8.5 - 10.5%), soft endosperm, red bran and weak gluten. It is used to make cookies, crackers, pretzels and cakes. Plants require vernalization in order to flower and produce grain. This is the wheat market class grown in Missouri.
Hard red winter
Hard red winter wheat has medium to high protein (10.0 to 14.0%), hard endosperm, red bran and strong gluten. It is used to make pan breads, Asian noodles, hard rolls, flatbreads and general purpose flour. Plants require vernalization in order to flower and produce grain. This is the dominant market class in Kansas.
Hard red spring
Hard red spring wheat has high protein (12.0 to 15.0%), hard endosperm, red bran and strong gluten. It is used for pan breads, rolls, croissants, bagels, hamburger buns and pizza crust. Because of its high protein content, it is blended with other flours. Plants do not need vernalization in order to flower. This is the dominant market class in North and South Dakota.
Soft white wheat has low protein (8.5 to 10.5%), soft endosperm and white bran. It used to make Asian-style noodles, crackers, cakes and pastries and other confectionery products.
Hard white wheat is the newest market class. It has hard endosperm, white bran and a medium to high protein content (10.0 to 14.0%). It is used for ramen noodles, pan breads, tortillas and flatbreads. It is the wheat of choice for the brewing industry.
Durum wheat is the hardest of all wheats. It has a high protein content (12.0 to 15.0%), yellow endosperm and white bran. Although gluten content is high, it is of poor quality. It is used to make pasta, bulgur, couscous and some Mediterranean breads. Its flour is often called semolina. Plants do not need vernalization in order to flower. Production of this market class is mostly in North Dakota.
Spelt is not a market class of wheat. Instead, it possesses a gene that keeps the husks (lemma and palea) attached during harvest. Flour made from spelt has much higher fiber content than flour from any other wheat.