Cracked Wheat loaf
My wife has long favored a loaf by a local commercial bread producer, Orowheat Honey-Wheat Berry bread. Since I bake all of our bread again now, I decided to try to find an acceptable substitute to make for her. I found this Cracked Wheat recipe in Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Bread Bible yesterday, and had to bake it up. The only real similarity to the commercial loaf is that RLB's loaf includes cracked bulgur wheat. The Honey-Wheat Berry loaf also had cracked wheat in it. I am looking for a substitute, after all, not a duplicate or near-copy.
I baked this loaf exactly per the instructions in the book. My sponge rested for about 3 hours, and the fermentation steps completed at the short end (45 minutes) of her projected time ranges. I continue to be surprised at the high level of activity I get from Instant Dry Yeast. It just seems to explode on me. This recipe called for IDY, so I did not mis-convert on this one as I have done in the past.
Here are the loaf:
This bread is amazing. It has a very unique crust that is thin, crispy, and very flavorful. The crumb is tender, moist and has a wonderfully mild and nutty flavor to it. The bulgur is present, and adds a special dimension to the flavor, but I used the longer soak prescribed so it does not show up in the "tooth" of the crumb. I may shorten the soak next time to try and change that a bit.
Overall we are stunned by how good this bread is. My wife readily declared this more than just an acceptable substitute for the commercial loaf she used to enjoy so much. Lucky me! I'll be baking this loaf again very soon.