An introduction to the evolutionary history of wheat is followed by a description of the origin and distribution of the modern hexaploid wheat varieties in Europe. Next, the influence of cultural (the way of bread making), social and economic (i.e. the great influence of the United States and Canada) factors on wheat growing in Europe are considered (Section 1). The anatomy and chemical composition of wheat grains and the fundamental differences between hard and soft wheat are described in Section 2. The process of flour making is treated in Section 3. Section 4 contains a study of gluten proteins and wheat starches in relation to the making of bread (Section 5) and of other wheat products (Section 6). Section 7 deals with the genetic bread-wheat properties: grain hardness, milling quality, production of (unwanted) sticky doughs, α-amylase levels, and contains an extensive study of genetics and the role of gliadins and glutenins. A concluding section contains the description and evaluation of assay methods to identify the characteristics of bread wheats for the use of millers, arbiters, and especially for growers.