This is the time of year when I feel like I have to get organized, clear out closets, and make plans for the upcoming year. If I don't get to go through this process, I'm a little off kilter for the year. I'm not big on New Year's resolutions, but I do like to start the year with a plan... or at least a cleaner slate. It just feels better... at least to me.
I am not naturally organized but I hate that feeling of being disorganized. I still need to figure out how to keep track of the ingredients I have in my pantry and freezer so that I don't waste them. January, at least some of it, will be about using what I have on hand.
For this recipe, the pantry ingredient I randomly pulled out of my freezer to use was cracked wheat. I had purchased it at one point when King Arthur Flour offered free shipping, but I hadn't given a lot of though about how I was going to use it. It has languished in my freezer for who knows how long. It needs to be used (or least I need to use it so I don't feel like I belong on Hoarders!). I was also able to use some wheat bran I also had in my freezer.
Cracked Wheat and Bran Bread
1 1/4 C boiling water
1/4 C plus 2 T cracked wheat (bulgur may be substituted)
1/4 C bran
1/4 C dark brown sugar
1 T vegetable oil
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp instant yeast (I used SAF)
1/2 C whole wheat flour
9.5 to 10.5 (or 2 1/8 to 2 1/3 C) ounces bread flour
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the boiling water, cracked wheat, bran, oil, and salt, and let set for for 15 minutes, until it reaches about 90 degrees F.
- Add the whole wheat flour to the mixture and mix until fully incorporated.
- Add the yeast and 1 cup of the bread flour. Mix until blended.
- Place the bowl into the mixer and attach the dough hook. Begin mixing and slowly add the rest of the flour until you've developed a slightly sticky dough. Knead for about 15 minutes.
- Place the dough into an oiled dough rising bucket or a large bowl, turn the dough to oil all sides, and allow to rise for about an hour, until doubled.
- Gently deflate the dough and roll into a loaf and place into an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pan. (This loaf was baked into a 9 by 5 inch pan, which turned out to be a little too small.
- Let the loaf rise for about one hour in a warm place.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and spray the loaf with water.
- Bake the loaf for 35 to 40 minutes. Tent the loaf with aluminum foil if it begins to brown too much. Bake until the loaf interior reaches 180 degrees F.
- Remove from the oven, de-pan, and cool completely on a wire rack.
I love the flavor of this bread. It has a great whole wheat flavor that is balanced by the bread flour. The cracked wheat and wheat bran add all of the benefits of whole wheat. This is an excellent tasting and performing whole wheat bread recipe.