Awareness of the health benefits of whole grains is increasing among consumers. Health authorities and governments are increasingly recommending that consumers substitute refined grain staples like white rice with whole grains, such as bulgur wheat.
Bread is a staple of most meals so I wanted to share a great bread recipe that my kids and I love. Rustic and chewy with a substantial bite, Bulgur Bread is a hearty loaf full of whole wheat flavor and goodness.
1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon of water for egg wash
Pepitas or Poppy Seeds for topping (optional)
Combine the bulgur wheat and boiling water and set aside 15-20 minutes until cooled and the water has been absorbed.
In a large mixing bowl (or mixer), combine the 1/2 cup of warm water with the yeast. Add 1/2 cup bread flour and mix to form a thick batter. Cover the bowl and let the batter rest for 30 minutes while the bulgur cools. With the mixer running on low, add the cooled bulgur wheat. Add the salt, honey and whole wheat flour. Mix to combine.
If using a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook. Add the remaining bread flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough gathers around the hook and cleans the sides of the bowl. If working by hand mix in as much flour as you can then turn the dough out onto a floured surface and finish kneading in the flour by hand. Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes. Form the dough into a smooth ball
Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, turn once to coat the dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 – 1 1/2 hours. At this point the dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and gently knead for 5-10 seconds. Form the dough into a ball then roll the ends gently to form a football shape. If you will be using a baking stone, set the loaf on a wooden peel sprinkled heavily with cornmeal. If you don’t have a baking stone put the loaf on a sheet pan sprinkled heavily with cornmeal or lined with parchment paper.
Cover the loaf with plastic wrap that has been lightly oiled or sprayed with baking spray to prevent it from sticking to the dough. Allow the loaf to rise about 1 – 1 1/2 hours until doubled in sized and the dough springs back slowly when poked. If the dough was cold from the refrigerator it may take longer to rise.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450°F, place a baking stone in the oven to preheat if you have one. Place a small pan onto the floor of the oven.
When the bread is ready, use a thin, sharp knife or single edge razor to slash 5 diagonal cuts across the top of the loaf. Brush the surface of the bread with egg wash and sprinkle with cracked wheat and pepitas. Slide the loaf onto the preheated baking stone (or slide the sheet pan into the oven)
Pour a cup of water into the preheated pan at the bottom of the oven (CAREFUL, that steam is hot) and immediately close the oven door. The steam helps make a great crust!
Bake until the loaf is nicely browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom (or the center of the loaf reaches 190°F), about 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.