The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bulghur in a bread recipe

cellar.door's picture

Bulghur in a bread recipe

Hi! I am a bread noob so I'll offer a preemptive apology if this is a really dumb question!

I found a recipe that I'd really like to try, for just a coarse country-style bread, and it calls for bulghur. Not cooked or uncooked, just bulghur. My impression was that I would add it uncooked -- is this correct?

JERSK's picture

     Check the recipe again. It may call for soaking the bulgur. Bulgur is already cooked wheat, so it doesn't need to be cooked. It would be really crunchy if you added it to bread without soaking it. Usually bulgur is soaked in about a 1:1 ratio with boiling water, less (lower ratio water) if you want it a little crunchy. I would soak it a little myself as the water absorbs into the grain and wouldn't affect the liquid in your recipe. FYI when grains or cereals are added to bread recipes they are usually soaked. Not surprisingly this is called the "the soaker". It's also done with whole grain flours sometimes. I hope this helps.

TRK's picture

I have tried adding bulgar to bread a number of times. It should be cooked first (by cooked, I mean reconstituted with boiling water-it is already cooked). The times I added it dry it absorbed all the water from the dough, which softened the bulgar but made for very dry, dense bread. To cook, just follow the directions on the package.

cellar.door's picture

Both really excellent pieces of advice. Thanks very much for your help!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I was making a loaf and decided to add tiny bulgar so I poured boiling water over it first, drained any water off (adding it to my liquids) and finished mixing the dough when it had cooled off.  It was a great moist loaf fitting for any donny darko fan...

Mini O

dmsnyder's picture

 Good advice above. I would just add that, especially if soaking for >8 hours, it is not necessary to use hot water. Cold water works fine. This yeilds a chewy texture. I would think a hot water soak might result in a more mushy texture, but I've never done it.  

BTW, if you have never tried bulghar just as a grain dish, you are missing a wonderful food. You cook it as you would rice for a pilaf.   

Sautee 1/2 cup chopped onion until golden. Add one cup coarse or fine bulghar and mix well. (Add a couple coils of vermicelli, broken up, and mix, optionally.) Add 1 1/2 cups of water or chicken broth. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix. Cover and simmer until cooked - about 30 minutes.  

This is a wonderful side dish for lamb (chops, shish kebob, leg of lamb, etc.), especially, but good with any roasted meat or fowl.