Khorasan (Kamut) vs Durum

Is there a difference between Khorasan and Durum with respect to bread baking as they are closely related? On Breadtopia’s Store there isn’t much said about bread baking with the Khorasan specifically. Durum on the other hand says high protein, poor gluten development.

I recently have been experimenting with my milk bread using organic white & Durum 50/50 with exceptional rise. I changed my pizza dough recipe to 40% whole grain organic white and 60% Whole grain Durum for an exceptional crust and crumb with large holes in the pizza bone like you would find in dough made with bread flour. I did add 1% barley malt to the mix so it may have had a bit to do with the crust though. Afraid to make without the malt as now it comes out so good.

So back to my question: is there much of a difference between them? And am I experiencing such good results even though the small amount of white flour? Most recipes I have seen use about 25% Durum to the mix.

Any thoughts?

In my experience Durum and Kamut have very similar qualities. They both ferment quickly, are less extensible, have high protein but poor gluten development and can be used in very much the same way especially when only using them as a percentage of a dough.

However, even when using the very same flour the experience might differ somewhat when it comes to things like hydration depending on certain factors you should always bear this in mind especially when using essentially different types of wheat (although related). What i’m saying is they do share more qualities than say Red Fife wheat and Durum or Khorasan but you might experience some slight variations here and there when it comes to baking with them.

In fact the main difference, I find, is the taste. Durum flour is quite plain with a hint of sweetness and only shines when eaten with foods that match, e.g. olive oil. Whereas Khorasan has more flavour coming through when not pared with anything. The crumb is similar but the Khorasan is a bit more cake like. I find that Durum is somewhat less thirsty than Khorasan maybe because Durum flour is mainly white (or in Durum’s case yellow) and Khorasan is wholegrain (I believe that you can find “white” flour Khorasan but where I live only wholegrain is sold).

P.s. oh yes… and I can get a better rise from 100% durum than 100% khorasan.

Thanks for the reply Abe, trying to wrap my pea brain around what I am seeing. My example here below is my pizza dough.

If a particular grain lets say Durum has high protein but poor gluten development or structure how does it become so elastic? I do autolyse the flour for about an hour before adding the balance of the ingredients AND NOW use the mixer to mix until the gluten stands start to develop.

My first dough was made with whole grain Einkorn, high protein, develops gluten very different. WAS A DISASTER. Then I went to a 50/50 mix of whole white and whole Turkey Red and the resultant dough was very extensible (and was easy to tear if not careful.) The dough when baked had a crust what I consider to be “heavy.” To get the bottom to bake properly it almost had to be over-baked.

My 40% whole wheat white organic and 60% whole wheat Durum is slightly more elastic than what I remember the dough made in the pizzerias using bread flour. To shape it was necessary to let it rest a few times but once in shape I let it rise again for a bit on the pan and it puffed up beautifully. The dough when stretched could be transferred easily without coming apart. Crumb very tender (not tight and heavy like so many pizza crusts), very light crispy bottom and the pizza bone had the proverbial large holes in it with an exterior crispy light layer. Adding 1% Barley malt added nice coloring also.

With all this said the Durum is less extensible but I ask myself why if it does this if not developing tight gluten bonds?

Maybe I am over analyzing again and maybe I should just go to a 50/50 blend using the same technique and see what happens. Maybe up my hydration from 71% to 73% might do it also.


My pleasure Dennis.

I think we should take a step back and clarify some terms because from what I have just read I think a common mistake has been made. So first let’s see if we’re on the same page…

1: Elastic - the ability to return to the orginal shape
2: Extensibility - the ability to be stretched without breaking

So your comment

** Then I went to a 50/50 mix of whole white and whole Turkey Red and the resultant dough was very extensible (and was easy to tear if not careful.)**

Should be - it wasn’t very extensible! and was easy to tear.

I think extensibility is more important when it comes to pizza dough. You want the dough to relax and stretch and not to “bounce” back and return to the original shape.

There can be a few factors involved such as gluten, hydration, types of flour used, giving it enough time to rest before shaping into a base etc.

I think go simple and not to over think a pizza dough. You want a high enough hydration to help with extensibility, a good gluten flour which has enough extensibility and of course the ferment can be used to obtain this good extensibility as we aren’t looking for a tall loaf.

Spelt is a good grain to use as it’s properties are less elasticity and more extensbility. You can use it to your advantage. Durum flour (or khorasan) is delicious with olive oil and pizza flavourings, a good gluten (medium gluten not too strong) bread flour for the bulk of the pizza dough recipe at a nice hydration of 70-75% as a good range.

Basically as long as you’ve got a good dough that stretches well you’ve got a nice dough for pizza.

I believe I had the terminology correct. The comment regarding the 50/50 mix was correct. It was VERY extensible and what I call fragile. So maybe wasn’t real extensible because it would tear? I could stretch out the dough on the board with absolutely no effort (no throwing in the air it would come apart) and almost impossible to transfer to a peel without folding it over on itself with oil as it would tear so easy.

The new mix with the Durum is just the opposite, I think it would take a centrifuge to get it to stretch out …LOLROF…

I would think if it tears easily it has poor extensibility.

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I understand now what you are saying. My 50/50 mix was neither extensible or elastic. In reality I needed to do some modification to that mix to get it more extensible as with the Durum mix.

I tend to beat things up a lot until I understand a process. Again thanks I think I know what I need to do :blush:

I think go for 50% bread flour (atleast) and the remainder with what ever you want. Err on slightly more hydrated than under hydrated and go for a long ferment (i.e. less starter and more time). That usually makes a nice pizza dough.