Jai made this a few days ago. This is a great everyday bread with wonderful flavour and a bit of texture. It slices really well. We use cracked wheat ‘cos it is usually whole wheat, while semolina is a refined product. Cracked wheat may be coarse or fine. Either works. Or replace it with whole grain cornmeal.
Cracked wheat should not be confused with bulgur. Bulgur may or may not be whole grain.
Cracked wheat is a wheat product made from whole raw wheat kernels which are crushed or cut into smaller pieces.
A similar product, bulgur wheat, is also made by cracking wheat kernels. Bulgur, however, is made from wheat kernels which are steamed and toasted before cracking, so that they develop a rich, nutty flavor. Bulgur also requires minimal cooking, since it is already partially cooked. Cracked wheat, on the other hand, uses whole raw wheat berries. (Source)
Cracked Wheat Buttermilk Bread
(Makes a 2 pound loaf)
1 cup whole wheat flour
0.5 cup cracked wheat
**either coarse or fine cracked wheat will work. Or use semolina or whole grain coarse cornmeal.
2.5 cups bread flour (or unbleached all-purpose flour)
1 cup buttermilk or low-fat plain yogurt
**milk plus 1 tbsp lime/lemon juice may work as well
1/3 cup water
2 tbsps butter/oil
2 tbsps maple syrup (or honey)
2 tsps active dry yeast
1.5 tsps salt
1.5 tsps lemon juice
1. Warm the water (10 to 15 seconds in the microwave). When it is lukewarm (not more than 105 F, just warmer than your hand), add the yeast and 1 tsp. maple syrup. Stir and set aside for five minutes. It should get foamy.
2. If using coarse cracked wheat, to the mixing bowl or bread machine bowl, add the buttermilk, put the cracked wheat in it and let it soak for 20-30 minutes. (If using fine cracked wheat or semolina, skip the soaking)
3. Add the the flours, the remaining maple syrup/sugar, followed by the rest of the ingredients, with the yeast mix at the top.
4. Knead for 6-8 minutes until you get a smooth, elastic ball of dough. If it is too dry, add 1 tbsp. water at a time. If it is too wet, add 1 tbsp. flour at a time.
5. Put it in a large bowl, cover the bowl with a plate, or oiled cling wrap, and keep it in a warm place until doubled in quantity. (one to 1.5 hours)
6. Grease a loaf pan.
7. Punch the dough down gently, knead it a bit, shape it into a loaf, and place it (seam side down) in the loaf pan. (See instructions for shaping here)
8. Cover it with a floured tea towel and let it rise again until almost doubled (about 40-45 minutes).
9. Preheat oven to 375 F with a rack in the middle.
10. Slash the loaf across the top to let out steam.
11. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the loaf is golden and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
12. Let it cool for a couple of minutes, prod it gently out of the pan, and let it cool another 15 minutes on a wire rack.
And for Susan’s YeastSpotting.
We have the nicest, most generous friends. Here are some of the wonderful gifts we’ve received recently.
Almost two months ago, Shilpa sent us some dark chocolate. Each time Jai has reached for it, I’ve stopped him ‘cos I hadn’t yet taken a picture. Now, finally, he can eat it.
She also sent two spices – kokum and tirphal – freshly harvested from her native village in India, with instructions on how to use them. They have found their way into many of our meals. Thank you, dear Shilpa.
Kaykat is generous to a fault and a tad crazy. Be careful what you post on her comments form. She posted this scrumptious stuffed bread called Saj Borek from Anissa Helou‘s Mediterranean Street Food. I posted a comment saying that this was a book I would love to buy. Soon enough, her copy had been mailed to my doorstep. Great book. We’ve bookmarked quite a few recipes to try soon. Thank you, K, and hope Vodka‘s doing better.
I got an e-mail from Giff with some strange, but innocuous questions. “Are you vegetarian or vegan? What about Jai?” I responded with a dissertation on flexible culinary habits. Poor guy. Two days later, I got an express delivery box from Amazon with Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant. The book has 18 chapters from each of the Moosewood Collective’s chefs highlighting ethnic and regional foods from around the world. I randomly opened page 166 – a holiday drink from Chile called Cola de Mono (Tail of the Monkey) with 6 cups milk, 1 cup sugar, coffee, spices, and 2 CUPS of tequila. Just my kind of recipe!!! I highly highly recommend this book and especially look forward to experimenting with the Ethiopian section. Thank you, dear Giff and Lisl.
I really need to watch what I say on my friends’ blogs. Purplesque is a psychiatrist with myriad hobbies – photography, cooking, and now pottery. She posted this picture of a teapot she had crafted at her pottery class. I posted a comment about my teapot collection and how cool her creation was. She made one and mailed it to me. Of all the teapots I have, this is truly special as it is the only one made by someone I know. Thank you, dear N.
Here’s a glimpse of my teapot and creamer collection. It sits in a corner of the dining room. Many of the ceramic ones are handmade, some are signed. Four are tetsubin teapots – cast-iron with a glazed enamel interior.
On top of the little wooden shelf is a ceramic watering can, signed. I got it at a thrift store for 50 cents. On the upper shelf are three small teapots. The green one on the left is ceramic from Japan, the one in the middle is a black tetsubin with a hobnail pattern, the one on the right is from Malaysia – a gift from a dear friend – with its cups stacked directly below.
This was the first teapot in my collection.
On the rack below,
Top shelf, on the left is Purplesque’s teapot, next to it is a ceramic one that simply says “Made in the U.S.A.” (see closeup), and on the right is a green set from Japan.
All three on the middle shelf are cast-iron tetsubin teapots. The one on the left is a wide blue with a nail head pattern. The one in the middle is black and square. The green bamboo patterned teapot on the right has a trivet and cups.
The bottom shelf has a collection of ceramic creamers.
This is our entry for the Kitchen Treasure Hunt Event @ Chitra Amma’s Kitchen.
It’s time for our annual season’s greetings.