The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

cracked wheat

hanseata's picture

Facebook friend and co-baker David Wolfe asked me to help him understand some terms in a German recipe. Google translate (always good for a laugh!) is not too fluent in professional German baking lingo.

The formula, published by a German bakers' association, Bäko Gruppe Nord, seemed quite intriguing, combining rye meal and cracked wheat with mustard and cheese. The amounts, of course, were calculated for a commercial bakery (19 kg/43 lb), as were the instructions.

My curiosity was wakened, especially after I saw David's appetizing photos in his blog "Hearth Baked Tunes" so I downsized the formula for two small loaves.

The original recipe requires 16% of the white flour as preferment, all the remaining flour, including the coarse grinds, is worked into the final dough. The breads are baked "bei Brötchentemperatur" ("at roll temperature") - leaving hapless hobby bakers clueless as to what that might be.

But I don't donate for nothing to Wikipedia, a quick research at the German site showed me the light: the breads were to be baked at 465ºF/240ºC.

Since I'm a friend of long fermentation (also from a physician's point of view,) I re-wrote the procedure from using just a small amount of preferment,  to preferment plus soaker for the coarse ground rye and wheat, as well as an overnight bulk fermentation.

I can honestly say I never noticed a difference between adding the salt with all the other ingredients, or adding it later to the almost finished dough, as the recipe stated. Peter Reinhart (my guru) mixes everything together at the same time, and I do, too.

For the cheese you can choose between Gouda or Tilsiter. I don't care for stinky cheeses, so I went for the Dutch. Though the recipe didn't specify what kind, I was sure that middle aged cheese (18-month) would work better, as I use it for gratins. Young Gouda is too mild, and really old Gouda unnecessary expensive.

I was very pleased with the result, a beautiful red golden bread, covered with seeds, with a pleasant spiciness, but not too much. It tasted great with cold cuts, and was a wonderful surprise when toasted: a bread with in-built grilled cheese!

The crumb has a nice yellow color from the mustard

SENFBROT - MUSTARD BREAD  (2 small loaves)


140 g/5 oz bread flour

  84 g/3 oz water

    1 g/ 1/4 tsp. instant yeast

    2 g/0.12 oz salt



104 g/3.7 oz wheat meal, coarse

  70 g/2.5 oz rye meal

130 g/4.4 oz water

    3 g/0.12 oz salt


Final Dough

all preferment

all soaker

556 g/19.6 oz bread flour

  15 g/0.5 oz instant yeast

  16 g/0.6 oz salt

408 g/14.3 oz water

  66 g/2.3 oz mustard

122 g/4.3 oz middle aged Gouda (18 month old), coarsely grated or cut in chunks

 mustard for brushing

sunflower or pumpkin seed for topping (I used pumpkin seed)


After shaping the loaves are brushed with mustard - I used a medium-hot one from Düsseldorf

DAY 1:

In the morning, mix preferment and soaker. Leave at room temperature until using.

In the evening, mix all final dough ingredients at low speed (or by hand) for 1 - 2 minutes, until all flour is hydrated. Let rest for 5 minutes, then knead at medium-low speed (or by hand) for 6 minutes, adjusting with a little more water or flour, if necessary (but beware: dough should be somewhat sticky, clearing only sides of bowl, but stick to bottom!)

Transfer dough to a lightly oiled work surface. With oiled hands, stretch and pat it into a square, first fold top and bottom in thirds, like a business letter, then do the same from both sides.

Gather dough into a ball, place seam side down into a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Repeat S & F 3 times, at 10 minute intervals. After last fold, place dough in lightly oiled container with lid and refrigerate overnight. (I divide the dough at this point already in halves, and refrigerate them in two containers.)

DAY 2:

Remove dough from fridge 2 hours before using.

Preheat oven to 465ºF/240ºC, including baking stone and steam pan. Place seeds for topping on a plate.

Shape dough into 2 boules, brush them with mustard, and then roll them in sunflower or pumpkin seeds.

Place breads, seam side down, on parchment lined baking sheet, and proof, until they have grown 1 1/2 times their original size.

Bake for 15 minutes, steaming with 1 cup of boiling water. Remove steam pan, and rotate breads 180 degrees.

Reduce temperature to 210ºC/410ºF,  and continue baking for another 25 minutes, or until breads are a deep reddish brown, sound hollow when thumped at the bottom, and register at least 200ºF/93ºC.

Let breads cool on a wire rack.


After brushing the loaves with mustard, they are rolled in pumpkin seeds.

Submitted to YeastSpotting

RonRay's picture

No-Knead Multigrain Seed and Nut Loaf

A previous blog:

Last December a posting by Jaydot caught my interest
Her sister in law had brought a recipe back from South Africa, which seem a bit strange.

Mini Oven suggested it might be South African Seed Bread, while PmcCool suggested it could be a variation on the Cape Seed Loaf.

After I spent some time seeing what Google had to offer on these subjects I concluded the two things they all had in common was a lot of seeds and no sourdough in sight. It seemed like a fun formula to play with, so I set out trying to come up with a reasonable sourdough version of a seed loaf.

By the end of February, I had a reasonably satisfactory loaf - on my fifth try. When I compared notes with Jaydot, I found that she had independently gotten a loaf that her sister in law found acceptable as well.

I picked up her use of caraway seed and maple syrup as something I wanted to try. So, I dropped the Chia seed and brown sugar I had used, and added her idea of maple syrup and caraway seed. Both proved their worth in the eating of my version number 6.

Number Six had nine (9) types of seed, two (2) types of nuts; six (6) types of flour plus maple syrup and toasted sesame seed oil. I was afraid to calculate the calorie count, but I am certain a person could gain weight on a diet of this bread and water, alone.

The loaf was 718 grams going into the oven and 665 grams at the time it came out of the oven. The instant internal temperature reading was 209ºF (98ºC).

The crumb was as nice, if not better, than the previous version 5 and both v-5 and v-6 were by far the best of the six loaves tested thus far. Texture wise, I feel the better crumb is due to the minimal kneading. The first 4 test loaves were all kneaded gently, but in a rather normal letter fold method common to most of my loaves. I felt that the extremely high nut and seed content did more damage to the gluten during kneading than could be offset by any benefits gained. So, in both v-5 and v-6, I basically switched to a no-knead method, and it seems to have made a major improvement in the openness of the crumb.

All six versions had excellent keeping properties, when kept at room temperature in a simple a bread box.

The sourdough was a 3 build levain using KAF AP flour, and was a baker's 94.2%.

The final rise for this loaf was 7 hours in a proof box at 82ºF( 27.8ºC). By that point it was pressing tightly against the FSFilm. I removed the FSFilm, scored top with 1 whole length center scoring. Bread pan place in a Turkey Pan. The bread pan was elevated from direct bottom contact by two SS knives.

The oven stones were removed from the cold oven. One cup of water was brought to a boil and the boiling water then poured into bottom of the turkey pan and the lid placed on at once, and the turkey pan and its contents were all placed in the cold oven on the lowest rack position. The oven was set to 450ºF (232º C).

With this fabricated "Dutch Oven" - formed from the turkey pan - resting at the lowest position, the constant heat of the electric oven's lower element, while raising the oven's internal heat to its highest setting, maintains the bottom of the "Dutch Oven" well above boiling temperature for 15 to 18 minutes. Steam visibly issues from the oven vent from about 3 minutes into the baking until about 18 minutes.

At 20 minutes, the Dutch Oven's lid was removed, oven heat set to 400ºF (204º C) for the balance of the baking, and the oven door held open by about 1/2" (12 mm) to vent any steam during the remaining 25 minutes of the baking. At the end of the total 45 minute baking, the oven was turned off and the loaf removed from both oven and bread pan. The loaf was placed on wire to cool for two hours. Then it was placed in a bread box at room temperature overnight, before being cut.

At this point, I have no ideas on what I may do different when I bake version 7. In fact, I might just repeat making this same formula, before trying any other possible improvements. Perhaps, that will change
but, for the moment, I am satisfied. ;-)

=====Update: March 18, 2011

Version 7 Seed Loaf has a few changes and , to my taste, is even better. A PDF with full details and photos can be seen at this link:




110307 Next blog:



hullaf's picture

I went to a local grist mill, called Fall's Mill in TN, and found some fresh cracked wheat. This is the bread recipe on the side of the bag: 

In a large mixing bowl pour 1 1/2 cups of boiling water over: 

2 cups cracked wheat

1 stick butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon salt

1 cup wheat germ 

Let cool. Meanwhile dissolve 1 package yeast in 1/2 cup warm water with 1 tablespoon sugar. Set aside to cool. 

Add 1 egg and 1 1/2 cups warm water to cooled wheat mixture. Add yeast and beat in 4 cups of bread flour. Work in additional 4 cups of bread flour by hand to make a fairly firm dough. Knead 5-10 minutes and turn into a greased bowl. Let rise for 1 1/2 hours in a warm place. Punch down and divide into thirds. Form 3 loaves and let rise an additional 1-1 1/2 hours. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes or more. Check often for even browning. Pull out pan, put back in oven for 1-2 minutes to crisp the crust. 

Now, my changes to the above were (don't we all tweak a bit?) -- I only made half the recipe as 3 loaves is way too much for just me and hubbie. I used half bread and half AP flours. I made a poolish with 6 ounces warm water + 6 ounces flour + 1/8 tsp of ADY and let it sit at room temp for 3 hours. I only kneaded 5 minutes by machine and 5 by hand. The final dough was shaped into one large loaf (9x5 pan) and a smaller (7x3x2). Total baking time was 45 min. and 25 minutes respectively. 

    cracked wheat    

The taste was very nice with the cracked wheat kernels soft and detectable. Next time I think I would put in a portion of whole wheat flour.   

Now I was so enamored with the cracked wheat that when I found a recipe in "Breadtime" by S.J. Cheney with sourdough I thought I'd try that too. The recipe is similar to the above, called Yeasted Sourdough Cracked Wheat Bread and the ingredients are: 

3 cups spring water 

1 cup cracked wheat or rye 

1 cup sourdough starter 

7 1/2 cups whole wheat bread flour 

1/4 tsp active dry yeast 

2 teaspoons sea salt 

2 tablespoons corn or other vegetable oil 

This time I made the whole amount, a lot of dough it is! I had been grooming my whole wheat starter a couple days before so that was used and I did soak the cracked wheat overnight with a pinch of salt. I didn't want a totally wheat bread so I used 1/3 whole wheat flour and the rest AP. I shaped the final amounts into one large boule which I baked in a preheated covered cast iron pot and the remaining into a 9x5 loaf (which turned out to be too big - next time I'll use an 8x4). Baked at 400F for 20 minutes, then uncovered with heat decreased to 350F for 28 more minutes. They both were removed from pans and set in oven with door slightly cracked for an additional 5 minutes to crisp the crust. 


This taste of cracked wheat with the sourdough was more tasty with a light sourdough flavor, but the cracked wheat was less pronounced. I think I should have not soaked it so long.  But, I liked this as well if not better than the non-sourdough one. 

I'm so pleased with my whole wheat sourdough starter. I know more and more every week how it reacts to temperature and technique, when it is ready and at it's best. It's nicely active -- which means every week I feed it, and each time I want to bake bread I "groom" it by refreshing/feeding it for 2 or 3 times every 12 hours beforehand. I do use the ratio of 1 part starter/3 parts water/4 parts wheat flour. Works for me. 

I also used my starter for Hamelman's Light Rye bread. It turned out so nice. I do think it is because of my sourdough starter and some newly bought whole rye flour from KA. But Hamelman's recipes always seem to work for me, too. 

   Hamelman's light rye 

So, my freezer is full of saved bread and I'm still eager to try some more recipes before the heat of summer makes me wish I had a southern outdoor kitchen out back. 




Subscribe to RSS - cracked wheat