This whole-wheat loaf is excellent for sandwiches, toast or eating plain. It has a light, springy texture and a mellow, slightly sweet grain taste from cracked wheat. The crust is crisp when the bread is first baked, but gradually softens as it stands. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.

Nancy Baggett
Source: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2009


Recipe Summary

1 day
Nutrition Profile:


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Mix dough: Stir bulgur (or cracked wheat) and boiling water in a medium bowl. Thoroughly stir 2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour, 1 3/4 cups bread flour, wheat germ (if using), salt and yeast in a 4-quart (or larger) bowl. Thoroughly stir 1 3/4 cups ice water, honey and oil into the bulgur. Vigorously stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, scraping down the sides and mixing just until the dough is thoroughly blended. The dough should be moist and a bit sticky, but fairly stiff. If the mixture is too dry, stir in just enough additional ice water to blend the ingredients, but don't overmoisten. If the dough is too wet, stir in just enough bread flour to stiffen it slightly. Lightly coat the top with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

  • First rise: Let the dough rise at room temperature (about 70 degrees F) for 12 to 18 hours; if convenient, stir once partway through the rise. For convenience (and improved flavor), you may refrigerate the dough for 3 to 12 hours before starting the first rise.

  • Second rise: Generously coat a 9-by-5-inch (or similar large) loaf pan with oil. Vigorously stir the dough to deflate. If it is soft, stir in just enough bread flour to yield a firm but moist dough (it should be fairly hard to stir). Transfer the dough to the pan. Lightly coat the top with oil. Smooth and press the dough evenly into the pan using a well-oiled rubber spatula or your fingertips. Evenly dust the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon whole-wheat flour, smoothing it out with your fingertips. Using well-oiled kitchen shears or a serrated knife, cut a 1/2-inch-deep slash down the length of the loaf. Cover the pan with plastic wrap.

  • Let rise at warm room temperature until the dough nears the plastic, 1 to 2 1/2 hours. (For an accelerated rise, see Tip.) Then gently remove the plastic and let the dough continue to rise until it extends 1 inch above the pan rim, 15 to 45 minutes more (depending on temperature).

  • 20 minutes before baking: Position a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 375 degrees F.

  • Bake, cool, slice: Bake the loaf on the lower rack until the top is nicely browned, 55 to 65 minutes. Cover with foil and continue baking until a skewer inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs on the tip (or until an instant-read thermometer registers 204-206 degrees ), 10 to 15 minutes longer. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Turn the loaf out on the rack and let cool to at least warm before serving. The loaf is good warm but slices best when cool.


To make ahead: Wrap airtight and keep at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

Note: Milled from high-protein wheats, bread flour develops strong gluten, resulting in well-risen loaves. It helps give breads with a high percentage of whole grains better structure and a lighter texture. Find it near other flours in most supermarkets.

Tips: Bulgur is parboiled cracked whole wheat. Cracked wheat is, literally, cracked whole wheat berries. Find either near other whole grains or bread-baking supplies in supermarkets or natural-foods stores. (You can use whole wheat berries that have been chopped in a blender or coffee mill in place of the bulgur or cracked wheat.)

To prepare “ice water” for this recipe, add a heaping cup of ice cubes to cold water and stir for about 30 seconds before measuring out the water.

You can turn your microwave into a warm, moist environment to help accelerate the second rise of the bread dough. Begin by microwaving 1/2 cup water in a 1-cup glass measure just to boiling. Set the water in one corner of the microwave, place the pan of dough on the other side of the turned-off microwave and close the door. The dough will double in size in 45 minutes to 11/2 hours.

Nutrition Facts

188 calories; protein 5.3g; carbohydrates 34.7g; dietary fiber 3.1g; sugars 4.7g; fat 3.8g; saturated fat 0.5g; vitamin a iu 2.5IU; vitamin c 0.5mg; folate 60mcg; calcium 12.4mg; iron 1.6mg; magnesium 38.2mg; potassium 111.2mg; sodium 293.3mg; thiamin 0.3mg; added sugar 5g.

Reviews (1)

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13 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 11
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
This bread was great! It rose so much it actually spilled out over the pan top (I'll use a larger pan next time!). So easy to just mix up and let it do the rest. Nice texture. Jennie Chapel Hill NC Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I've made this bread a few times now and it's turned out great each time. It does take some time to make due to the rising process but the initial mix is easy and the bake time is reasonable. I like that it's a relatively heathly wheat bread without all the grit you sometime get with whole wheat. Our teens love it too. Read More
Rating: 2 stars
Long long time to raise! I had this bread mixed wondered why there was no kneading. And then I noticed that the raising time was 12 to 18 hours! You have to think WAY ahead to make this bread. I was looking for something more more conventional. Cons: too long to raise Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This recipe has been corrected since it ran in the January/February 2009 edition of the magazine. The end of Step 2 should read: "For convenience (and improved flavor) you may refrigerate the dough for 3 to 12 hours before starting the FIRST rise." Editor's Note Charlotte VT Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I love this recipe. It takes all of ten minutes to throw the dough together. The risings are so forgiving...what's another hour after 12 or 14! I make a loaf for the two of us every week. I did have to buy a larger pan...11X5 size. Before that I made a reg. loaf and a mini loaf. Now that it is getting cooler I will mix it in the evening and put it in the garage overnight. I'll be pulling a gorgeous loaf out of the oven here in about 30 minutes. Linda Cincinnati OH Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I was amazed by this bread. It was ridiculously easy and came out great with a perfect crumb. I used bulgur & skipped the wheat germ. I will make this again--often. NancyV908 Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This is our new everyday bread. I never knew about the correction and have been preparing this as it was originally printed with excellent results. For the person who said this did not rise it may have been possible that they used active dry yeast which is deifferent than quick rise. Robin Long Beach CA Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Like the other reviewer I've made this one a few times. I've also found the making of it easy except for being available at the right time intervals to complete each step. The bread has turned out great each time--good flavor and a hearty spongy texture--but for one time. On that occasion I let the bulgur sit too long in the water causing some water to be in the bulgur that should've been dispersed through the dough. The only flaw in this recipe is the lack of instruction on how long to (not) let the bulgur soak. My family members do not appreciate whole grain flavors nearly as much as me yet they have found this bread at least decent with some jelly on top. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I don't know if I did something wrong with this recipe but the "microkneading" seemed to produce what essentially tastes like a quickbread. I tried to follow all of the tips etc. carefully but there was little rising at any point in the process. The hot water-microwave rising tip didn't work at all for me... Not sure this is worth all of the incubation time when in just a few hours I can make a regular yeast loaf with my bread machine. MK Potomac MD Read More