The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bulgur wheat bread

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krusty

Bulgur wheat bread

Lately I've been baking delcious bread by the almost no-knead method, using bulgur wheat instead of whole-wheat flour.  Bulgur adds nutrients and fibre, and the bread stays fresh longer.  I've used coarse and medium bulgur wheat - the fine grind doesn't add much character - and firik (a.k.a. frekeh, freekeh and farik), which is green wheat, parched or roasted, then dried.  Firik adds a light smoky taste, and a hint of sourness.   I buy it at a Turkish grocery store, but any middle-eastern grocery store should have it.

The basic recipe is:

60 g  bulgur wheat or firik, soaked in 100 g of very hot water and left to cool;  that takes about 20 minutes.  When cool add

240 g unbleached white all-purpose flour

10g vital wheat gluten

6-7 g salt

4 g instant yeast

Stir all the above together, then add

150 g water in which is dissolved 5g of honey

Mix by hand to form a slack dough.  You may need another 10 g of water.

Let the dough rest for 10 minutes, the mix it again, that, is fold or knead it it in the bowl ( I use 20-30 folds).  Cover and refrigerate the dough for 12-60 hours.  When ready to bake remove the dough from the refigerator, mix/fold it again, and leave it to rise to double volume.   Turn the dough out onto a floured board, handling it gently, and form it into a loaf.  Transfer the loaf to a sheet of baker's parchment to act as a sling, and put the dough on the parchment into the baking vessel.  Cover the vessel - you will be baking the loaf covered - and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.  The dough will probably be too wet to slash; hydration is at least 80%.

Put the baking vessel in a cold oven, set the oven to 500 degrees and bake for 40 minutes.  Then remove the cover and return the bread to the oven at 400 degrees (convection if possible) for 5-10 minutes to finish browning.  Cool as usual on a wire rack . 

The loaf can also be baked on a stone, covered with the lid of a roasting pan, or a big pyrex bowl or whatever works.