Durum Wheat

Durum wheat, or macaroni wheat (also spelled Durhum), was developed by artificial selection of the domesticated emmer wheat  strains formerly grown in Central Europe and Near East around 7000 B.C. (like emmer, durum wheat is awned).  This selection developed a naked, free-threshing form of wheat. Durum in Latin means “hard”, which is appropriate since this species is the hardest of all wheats. Its high protein content and strength make durum good for special uses. Durum wheat is used extensively in breadmaking, however, it is an unusual flour in that despite it’s very high protein content, it is low in desirable gluten needed to form a glutinous web necessary for bread to rise and have structure. As a result, only a few 100 percent durum wheat breads exist, one of which is Pagnotte di Enna from Sicily. Semolina is the same as durum but a much coarser grind.

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