Sunday, May 30, 2010

Stephanie's Cracked Wheat Raisin Bread

The kitchen project is coming along at a reasonable clip and will hopefully be wrapped up in the next three weeks.  In the mean time, I have 2 square feet of countertop space, half of which is covered by the microwave, a range that is intermittently plugged in and lots and lots of dirtied paper plates to my credit.  I have baked a few batches of cookies because a girl can only survive so long without homemade goodies, but I haven't so much as cracked open my yeast jar since the beginning of May.  And that's really saying something.  I usually bake a yeast based dough at least a couple times per week.

Enter my friend Stephanie, who sensed my need for something warm, homemade and delicious.  She brought over a loaf of cracked wheat raisin bread on Friday and we savored every single crumb of it.  It's lovely slathered in butter.  It's delicious when turned into french toast with a generous splash of orange juice and loads of cinnamon in the egg batter.  The dough is enriched with brown sugar and butter, so it has a very nice feel to it.  I full intend on making a batch of it as soon as my kitchen is functional again.

The recipe was originally published in the Pillsbury Complete Book of Baking several years ago.

Cracked Wheat Raisin Bread

1 1/2 cups cracked wheat

1 cup rasins

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons salt

3 tablespoons margarine or butter

2 cups boiling water

2 pkg. active dry yeast (4 1/2 t.)

2/3 cup warm water

5-6 cups all purpose flour

beaten egg

In large bowl, combine cracked wheat, raisins, brown sugar, salt, margarine and 2 cups boiling water. Mix well and allow to cool to 105-115 degrees F. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add to cooled cracked wheat mixture. Add 2 cups flour to cracked wheat mixture. Blend at low speed until moistened; beat 2 minutes at medium speed. By hand, stir in an additional 2 1/2-3 cups flour until dough pulls cleanly away from sides of bowl.

On floured surface, knead in 1/2-1 cup flour until dough is smooth and elastic; about 10 minutes. Place dough in greased bowl; cover loosely with plastic wrap and cloth towel. Let rise in warm place until light and double in size, about 45-60 minutes.

Grease large cookie sheet. Punch down dough several times to remove all air bubbles. Divide dough into 2 parts; shape into balls (or loaves). Place on greased cookie sheet. Cover; let rise in warm place until light and double in size, about 45-60 minutes. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Uncover the dough. With sharp knife, slash 1/2 inch deep lattice design on top of each loaf. Brush with beaten egg. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when lightly tapped. Immediately remove from cookie sheet; cool on wire racks.


The Grant Family said...


Kathy said...

This looks delicious. What is cracked wheat, and where do you get it? Can it be made from my buckets and buckets of wheat?

Nurse Heidi said...

It's a very coarse chunky grind of wheat. I don't know where to tell you to get it in your neck of the woods. I'm thinking it'd be worth a try to process small amounts in your blender, just pulsing until it resembles coarse sand.