This Cracked Wheat Bread recipe is a real keeper. Rustic and chewy with a substantial bite, make this bulgur wheat bread when you want a hearty loaf full of whole wheat flavor and goodness.
Wheat berries are unprocessed kernels of wheat, which include the bran, germ, and endosperm. Wheat berries and cracked wheat have all the great nutrition and full flavor of a whole grain.
Cracked wheat also adds a nice chewy texture to this hearty loaf of bread.
I used a grain mill to “crack” the wheat berries. I tried running the berries in a food processor but I got whole berries mixed with flour, not the texture I was after.
If you can’t find wheat berries you can use bulgur wheat in this recipe. Bulgur wheat is a little different than cracked wheat in that the grains are steamed/parboiled and then dried. I’ve made this bread with both cracked and bulgur wheat with good results.
If you have a grain mill attachment for your stand mixer you can start with whole berries.
Scroll through the process photos to see how to make Cracked Wheat Bread:
A hint of honey gives Cracked Wheat Bread a nice flavor and helps keep it moist. I love pepitas (pumpkin seed kernels) so I sprinkled them on top of the loaf with some more cracked wheat for a nice crunchy finish.
If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.
Cracked Wheat Bread (Bulgur Wheat Bread)
- 3 ½ ounces bulgur or cracked wheat (1/2 cup)
- 8 ounces boiling water (1 cup)
- 4 ounces warm water (½ cup)
- 2 ¼ teaspoons dry yeast (7g)
- 5 ounces bread flour (1 cup)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ oz honey (1 tablespoon)
- 5 ounces whole wheat flour (1 cup)
- 1 egg (whisked with 1 tablespoon of water for egg wash)
- Combine the cracked wheat and boiling water and set aside until cooled and most of the water has been absorbed.3 ½ ounces bulgur or cracked wheat, 8 ounces boiling water
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, combine the ½ cup of warm water with the yeast. Add ½ cup bread flour and mix to form a thick batter. Cover the bowl and let the batter rest for 30 minutes while the cracked wheat cools. With the mixer running on low, add the cooled cracked wheat along with the soaking water. Add the salt, honey and whole wheat flour. Mix to combine.4 ounces warm water, 2 ¼ teaspoons dry yeast, 5 ounces bread flour, 1 teaspoon salt, ¾ oz honey, 5 ounces whole wheat flour
- If using a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook. Slowly add the remaining bread flour 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 ½ 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. If you have a banneton liberally sprinkle the inside of the basket with cracked wheat and wheat flour and set the dough into the basket.
- 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 ½ 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. To create steam you can place a small pan (with rocks if you have them) onto the floor of the oven. You can also bake the loaf in a Dutch 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. Slide the loaf onto the preheated baking stone (or slide the sheet pan into the oven)1 egg
- 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. If using a Dutch oven set a timer for 20 minutes. Remove the lid of the Dutch oven and bake for another 20 minutes.
- Bake until the loaf is nicely browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom (or the center of the loaf reaches 200 °F), about 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
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Monday 20th of March 2023
I'm a relative noob to breadmaking, and tried an adaptation of this recipe for a bread machine. Like others, I added about a cup of to get the dough right. The result was excellent! Excellent taste, perfect crunch. Thanks so much for the great recipe.
Tuesday 21st of March 2023
@Eileen Gray, Thanks for the explanation. That's how I do white flower, but I mill the whole wheat right into a measuring cup (from a Mockmll). It very well could have more air and weigh less, I'll check next time. This was my first time making a "sponge" and it definitely seems to aid the rise.
Tuesday 21st of March 2023
Just an FYI - If you are measuring by volume (cups) rather than weighing ingredients it can make a big difference. I use the "dip and sweep" method for filling a measuring cup with flour. That is I "dip" the cup into the bin and overfill it. Then I "sweep" away the excess flour. By using this method I always get 5 oz per cup of flour. If you fluff up the flour then lightly spoon it into the cup you could end up with as much as an oz per cup less flour. This can make a big difference in the outcome of the dough. This is why weighing ingredients is always more accurate. Glad you enjoyed the recipe.
Tuesday 24th of January 2023
So, I had a lot of bulgur on hand, and wanted to use it in making rolls, and decided to try this recipe, (I've been baking breads for over 40 years, but not a lot of whole wheat breads). As I was making the dough, I glanced at some of the comments, and did add a 1/4 cup of honey and olive oil to the dough. I also had to add more flour than indicated to make a dough "dry" enough to knead. I was sure that the heavy lump of dough I came up with would never rise, I decided to persevere. To my absolute amazement, the dough rose like any other bread dough. I shaped the rolls, baked them and I have to say, they are absolutely delicious. Very glad I followed through.
Friday 20th of May 2022
What a delicious bread, I tweaked a little, used black strap molasses instead of honey. I also found 2 cups of flour was not enough flour, the dough was very sticky! All in all it's a keeper, with lots of fiber! Yummy
Friday 20th of May 2022
If you use volume measure rather than weighing your ingredients, you may have to adjust the amount depending how you fill the cup. I assume 5oz per cup of flour. If you lightly spoon the flour into the cup you could be getting quite a bit less than 5oz per cup.
Tuesday 5th of April 2022
I love this bread! Making it today for the second time. My only addition was a tablespoon of olive oil.
Victoria E Graff
Sunday 16th of May 2021
I had to tweek this recipe a bit. But it makes wonderful toast, and my friends and family love it. The biggest change was adding fat! I added 1/4 cup of canola oil (olive oil will work too) and 1/4 cup of honey. Also, I used only two cups of bread flour and the rest is whole wheat!