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.

3 comments:

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.