Cracked Wheat Bread

Cracked Wheat bread is one of the best tasting loaves around, and possibly one of the best kept secrets. Everyone seems to love white bread, or proclaim the health benefits of whole wheat, completely neglecting this classic. Like all bread, it’s easy to make and once you get into the habit of baking, it’s almost second nature. It’s a pleasure to put your hands to such easy work for such a superb return.

Makes 2 loaves

  • 3 c warm water
  • 2 T honey
  • 1 T yeast
  • 2 T molasses
  • 2 c cooked cracked wheat cereal
  • 2 c white flour
  • 2 c whole wheat flour, plus additional for kneading as necessary
  • 2 t salt
  • 1  large bowl, preferably ceramic
  • 2 – 9 x 5″ loaf pans, generously buttered
  1. Put the warm water into a large bowl and add the honey, stirring to dissolve.
  2. Add the yeast and stir gently.  Let sit about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients, adding the flour a cup at a time until the dough is kneadable, elastic, and just barely no longer sticky. It will feel a little bit dense.
  4. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead well, about 10 minutes.
  5. Shape dough into a ball, put it into a large buttered bowl, turning until the surface of the dough is coated with butter. Cover the bowl and let dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  6. When the dough has doubled, punch it down and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
  7. Divide dough into 2 equal portions, and shape each portion into a loaf.  Place each loaf seam side down into the prepared loaf pans and let rise until the top of each loaf rises about 1″ over the top edge of the pans. The rising time can be 30 minutes or longer, depending on the warmth of the room.
  8. When the loaves have risen to the proper height put them into a 350 degree, pre-heated oven and bake 45 minutes – 1 hour.
  9. When they are golden brown and sound a bit hollow when tapped, they are done. Cool them on a rack for a few minutes then remove the loaves from the pans and cool completely before slicing.

BTW, there are very few things in this world that taste as good as a slice of freshly baked bread slathered with real butter. Add a fantastic soup and some salad and you’ve got a wonderful, satisfying meal. Bon Appetit!

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