The latest contender: Cracked Wheat Bread from the Moosewood cookbook. Naturally, I only tried this because I already had a big bag of cracked wheat (aka bulgur, though apparently they're not exactly the same thing) in the pantry. The recipe calls for both whole wheat bread flour and all-purpose flour. I've been using all Eagle Mills All-Purpose Flour with Ultragrain. We started buying this flour at Costco, because it was the only unbleached bulk flour available there. A little research tells me it is a blend of white whole wheat flour and regular refined white flour. So, it's not 100% whole wheat, but it's a step in the right direction. And the cracked wheat is a whole grain, so I feel this is a good compromise.
I've made this recipe twice, and learned a few things. First, a little kneading by hand halfway through really helps the kneading action of the KitchenAid dough hook. Also, don't forget the salt. Ahem. Finally, I'd really like some new loaf pans. A typical bread recipe yields two large loaves (9"x5"-ish), but my loaves usually end up kind of wide and squat. The second time I baked this bread, I used one large loaf pan and one small, dividing the dough into 2/3 and 1/3 portions. Both pans had proportionally more dough, and so rose more out of the pan and had that typical rounded shape I was looking for. To be honest, these sizes are great for our family. Two slices from the small loaf makes a perfect sandwich for a kid.
adapted from New Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant
1/2 cup cracked wheat or bulgur (mine was labeled "cracked wheat/burghul, #1 Fine")
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup butter
4 tsp salt
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup milk
5 1/2 to 6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour with Ultragrain (or a mix of 2 cups white whole wheat flour and 3-4 cups white flour)
Cook the cracked wheat in the water for about 10 minutes, stirring as needed, until the water is absorbed and the wheat looks like hot breakfast cereal. Add butter, salt and honey. Meanwhile, proof the yeast in the warm water. In a large bowl, mix the cracked wheat mixture and milk. When the mixture has cooled to lukewarm, pour in the yeast and stir. Mix in the flour until the dough is stiff enough to knead. Knead it a minute or so by hand, and then transfer to the stand mixer with dough hook and knead for about 8 minutes on medium-low speed. (Or knead it all by hand for 10-15 minutes.) The dough should remain soft and a little sticky. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat the dough. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 90 minutes.
With floured hands, punch down the dough and knead it for one minute in the bowl. Shape into two loaves and place in greased loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes (mine was closer to 40 minutes for the extra large loaf). Cool completely on a rack before slicing.
|'Tis the season :)|