Cracked wheat is the whole wheat berry that has been cut commercially by steel blades into smaller irregular pieces. It is very similar to steel cut oats so that could be used interchangeably in this recipe for healthy whole wheat bread. The cracked wheat or steel cut oats add a nice chewy element to the bread similar to sprouted wheat bread.
Cracked wheat is very hard so it needs to be softened by either soaking overnight or slightly cooking. Both instructions are included, but make sure you leave some time for this step so you don’t break a tooth.
Makes: 1 loaf
2 ¼ C. whole-wheat pastry flour
1 C. white flour
1 tsp. salt
½ C. cracked wheat
1 C. reserved water from soaking wheat
1 packet yeast (¼ oz. or 2¼ tsp.)
2 Tb. honey or molasses
1 egg (or ¼ C. buttermilk)
1 Tb. oil
- Soak the cracked wheat in 1 ½ C. water overnight, OR bring 1 ½ C. water and the wheat to a boil. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for 30 minutes. Drain the wheat, but reserve 1 C. of the soaking water. If the water is hot, let it cool to 100 degrees or less.
- Add the yeast to the 1 C. soaking water and let it proof for 5 minutes.
- Whisk in the sweetener of choice, the egg, and oil to the yeast liquid.
- In a large bowl, combine the whole-wheat flour and salt. Set aside the 1 C. white flour.
- Mix the wet and dry, adding just enough reserved flour to make a ball. Transfer to a floured cutting board.
- Slowly knead the dough for 10 minutes, adding reserved flour as needed to prevent sticking. Oil the mixing bowl and place dough back in it.
- Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.
- Punch down, shape into a loaf, place seam down in oiled 8×4 or 9×5 loaf pan and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise 45 more minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 in the last 15 minutes of rising time.
- Uncover, make slits and bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes.
- This varies from the master sandwich loaf formula in that it has an extra ¼ C. of flour to compensate for the moisture from the soaked cracked wheat.