Crunchy Bulgur Wheat Bread

Servings 3 small loaves


  • 4 cups #3 coarse bulgur
  • 2 pkgs. active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 5 tbsp. unsalted butter softened
  • 1 tbsp. plus 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds plus extra for tops of loaves
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
  • cornmeal for dusting


  • Pour 1 1/2 cups boiling water into a bowl with the bulgur wheat and let stand 45 minutes to soften. Drain and squeeze out excess water.
  • Sprinkle yeast and sugar into a bowl with 1/4 cup warm water. Stir to dissolve and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  • Combine buttermilk, molasses, honey and 4 Tbsp. butter in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, combine salt, sesame and sunflower seeds and whole wheat flour. Add yeast and buttermilk mixtures and stir until smooth. Add drained bulgur wheat and stir to combine.
  • Using a wooden spoon to mix, add all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Stir until soft dough forms (you may need to use your hands to blend it well). Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead until dough is soft and springy, about 7-8 minutes. Add more flour, 1 Tbsp. at a time, if needed. The dough will be a bit sticky.
  • Place dough in a greased bowl; turn it in the bowl to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  • Prepare 2 baking sheets by lightly greasing and topping with a thin layer of cornmeal. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350. Gently deflate dough; turn out onto lightly floured surface; divide into 3 equal portions and shape into 3 round or oval loaves. Place on prepared pans. Melt and cool remaining Tbsp. butter and spread over tops of loaves. Sprinkle with a few sunflower seeds. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise 30 minutes.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 35-45 minutes until brown. Cool on racks and eat warm.