Oatmeal-Bulgur Bread

Ingredients for the ‘Sponge’:

  • 1 tbsp. or 1 pkg/7g Active dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup #1 fine or #2 medium bulgur
  • 2-1/4 cups tepid water
  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour or bread flour

Ingredients for the ‘Dough’:

  • 1-1/4 cups regular rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup wheat bran
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. sunflower oil
  • 1 tbsp. fine sea salt
  • 3 to 3-1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour or bread flour
  1. For the ‘Sponge’:
  2. Pour the water into a large bowl. Sprinkle the yeast, 2 Tbsp. of brown sugar and bulgur wheat over the surface and let stand for 5 minutes. Add 2 cups of flour and beat hard until well moistened and creamy, about 2 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until foamy, about 1 hour.
  3. For the ‘Dough’ and the Baking:
  4. To the bowl with the sponge, add the oats, bran, brown sugar, oil and salt. Beat hard for about 1 minute. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and switch to a wooden spoon when needed. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes, dusting with flour as needed to prevent sticking. Place the dough in a greased deep container or large bowl and turn once to coat, then cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
  5. Gently deflate the dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Grease or parchment line a baking sheet or grease three 8×4 inch loaf pans. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions or into 20-24 little portions and shape into loaves or rolls. Cover loosely with a towel and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Twenty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 375 degrees, then with the help of a serrated knife, slash the 3 big loaves no more than 1/4 inch deep; the rolls do not have to be slashed.
  6. Bake for about 35-40 minutes. If making loaves, let cool in pans 5 minutes then remove and cool on a baking rack. Otherwise, just let the rolls cool on the baking rack. The bread or rolls can be served with just about anything.