Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Plant and Soil Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. David Van Sanford


The demand by artisan bread bakers across the United States for local wheat varieties has increased in recent years. The southeast is traditionally a soft winter wheat (SWW) region, producing low gluten flours more suitable for biscuits and cookies. Recently, hard winter wheat (HWW) varieties have been bred to produce acceptable yields in the high humidity environment of the southeastern United States. Artisan bread bakers in Kentucky would like to create a niche food value chain benefitting farmers, small-scale millers, bakers, consumers, and their local and regional food systems (LRFS). The increased demand and the availability of adapted hard wheat cultivars has led to the “Baguette Project,” which is tasked with the evaluation of wheat grown in Kentucky to produce artisan hearth bread. Agronomic traits, bread baking quality measurements, and sensory attributes of 4 modern bread wheat varieties and 4 landrace varieties were evaluated under organic and conventional nitrogen management in 2 locations over 2 years. Significantly higher yields were achieved by the modern varieties (57.9% > landraces) and conventional nitrogen management outyielded organic nitrogen management by 16.2%. Bread baking quality measurements for the modern varieties were significantly superior in all categories except flour protein concentration. Surprisingly, there were no significant differences amongst the varieties by management type. Lactic acid solvent retention capacity (SRC), an indicator of protein quality and gluten strength, was significantly higher in the modern varieties and the greatest source of variation (P < 0.0001) in resulting baguette loaf form ratio (height/diameter). This establishes lactic acid SRC as a powerful selection tool for breeders when evaluating wheat cultivars for hearth bread quality. In subsequent sensory triangle tests varieties and variety type were indistinguishable, likely due to the use of highly refined flour to produce the baguettes. The results of this study suggest that modern HWW varieties can produce acceptable yields, bread baking quality measurements, and hearth breads when grown, milled, and baked in Kentucky.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)