Sunday, January 4, 2009

Rustic Cracked Wheat Bread

This rustic cracked wheat bread is very easy and tasty.  The mixture of cracked wheat, whole wheat and bread flour makes it very nutritious. The dough can be mixed and kneaded in a stand mixer or a bread machine, but it should be baked in the oven.

I got a stand mixer for Christmas so I've been having lot's of fun with it. I love to bake bread the conventional way (by hand), but the mixer sure does help especially when you're a little tired but you still want homemade bread. I found that the stand mixer is perfect for this recipe. It handles the wet dough very nicely and you can let the dough rise right in the bowl. Perfect!


Cracked Wheat Bread Recipe
Makes: 1 large loaf
The recipe is from A Passion for Baking by Marcy Goldman.

The cracked wheat (also known as kasha or bulgur wheat) is added to make a moist, and flavor-packed rustic bread.



Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup cracked wheat or bulgur wheat
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (100°F to 110°F)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons rapid-rise yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups stoneground whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 to 2 cups, or as required, white bread flour
  • Cracked wheat, cornmeal, and bran, for dusting counter


Directions:

In a medium bowl, cover cracked wheat with boiling water and let stand 20 minutes.




Whisk the warm water and yeast together  in the mixing bowl and let stand 2 to 3 minutes to dissolve yeast. Add whole wheat flour, honey, salt, and soaked bulgur and mix well.





Add most of the white bread flour and then knead with dough hook on lowest speed of mixer, adding more white flour as required to make a soft dough, kneading on low speed 6 to 8 minutes.

Remove dough hook, spray dough with nonstick cooking spray, and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until almost doubled, 45 to 60 minutes.





Generously dust a work surface with cracked wheat, cornmeal, and bran.
Gently deflate the dough and roll it into a large ball.




Preheat oven to 375°F. Shape it into a tight ball (or a loaf shape). Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let it rise 30 to 45 minutes. 



Bake until done, 35 to 45 minutes.  Cool the loaf on a wire rack.

This bread looked so good, I couldn't wait for it to cool completely to have a slice. Believe me, this bread is as good as it looks.  I asked my son if he wanted to test what I had been making and he said "sure." When he took a bite, his eyes lit up. He said "this is really good" and ate the whole piece. If you're like me and have picky teenagers in your house, you just might find that they actually like this bread.



I took the bread over to my friend's house. Needless to say "he liked it!" This is all that was left when I came home with it.





Happy Baking!
Cathy



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