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Cracked Wheat Bread (Bulgur Wheat Bread)

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.

a loaf of cracked wheat bread on a cutting board

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:

cracking wheat

I used the grain mill to crack the wheat berries. You can buy already-cracked wheat at most grocery stores.

wheat berries and flour

two side by side photos showing how to soak cracked wheat for bread dough

Soak the bulgur (cracked) wheat in boiling water. Add the soaked grain to the sponge to make the dough.

four photos showing cracked wheat bread from shaping, to rising to baking

Set the loaf aside to rise. Score the top of the loaf and sprinkle with cracked wheat and pumpkin seeds. Cool on a wire rack before slicing.

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.

a loaf of bulgur wheat bread on a cutting board

 

a sliced loaf of cracked wheat bread on a cutting boardBread is the staff of life, so here are a few more loaves you might want to bake: Milk & Honey Whole Wheat Bread, Overnight Rye Bread, Honey Oatmeal Bread, Whole Grain Low Knead Bread, Soft White Sandwich Bread.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

a loaf of cracked wheat bread

Cracked Wheat Bread (Bulgur Wheat Bread)

Yield: 1 large loaf
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 25 minutes
Rising Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 55 minutes

Rustic and chewy with a substantial bite, Cracked Wheat Bread (aka Bulgur Wheat Bread) is a hearty loaf full of whole wheat flavor and goodness.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (3.5 oz, 98g) cracked wheat (or bulgur wheat)
  • 1 cup (8 oz, 240 ml) boiling water
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz 120 ml) warm water
  • 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons, 7g) dry yeast
  • 1 cup (5 oz 140g) bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey (3/4 oz, 21g)
  • 1 cup (5oz, 140g) whole wheat flour
  • 1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon of water for egg wash
  • Cracked wheat and pepitas (pumpkin seed kernels) for garnish

Instructions

  1. Combine the cracked wheat and boiling water and set aside until cooled and most of the water has been absorbed.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, 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 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450°F, place a baking stone in the oven to preheat if you have one. Place a small pan (with rocks if you have them) onto the floor of the oven.
  8. 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)
  9. 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
  10. 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.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Nadine

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

Eileen Gray

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.

Deborah White

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!

Nancy

Wednesday 21st of October 2020

I just made this bread yesterday, and agree with Barbara's comment The recipe as written does not contain enough flour. I added at least another cup of bread flour to the mixture (wasn't measuring, just kept adding a little at a time until the dough pulled away from the sides of the mixer). I would say prior to adding the addition flour, my dough was the texture of brownie batter. I'm not an expert, but not a novice either, so I could tell it needed more flour. It was still a very soft dough and it spread quite a bit while proofing. I used the sponge method. It did turn out quite well at the end and has a nice texture.

Nadine

Friday 20th of May 2022

@Nancy, I agree, I also added about a cup more flour, I make bread all the time! Thought maybe it was a no kneed bread, bit not according to recipe! Very tasty bread!

Eileen Gray

Tuesday 3rd of November 2020

Hi Nancy, Sorry for the delayed response. I've had an update of this post on my "to do" list for a while. I've broken out the recipe to two different posts; one using sourdough starter and this one using commercial yeast. I've just made a loaf using the updated recipe and it's quite easy to work with the dough.

Frank

Monday 18th of May 2020

Are the pepitas you use raw or already toasted? Thanks for your recipe! Could you please respond by email?

Eileen Gray

Monday 18th of May 2020

I prefer to respond here so everyone can see the answer. I used the pepitas raw since they'll bake on top of the bread. But toasted seeds would be fine.

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