Cracked Wheat Braided Bread

5 from 1 vote

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Braided Bread looks just as beautiful as it tastes. It is flavored with honey and has the most perfect texture from the bulgur which is It is full of vitamins, minerals, lots of fiber, and will give you energy to do anything you have set out to do.

4 loaves of bread bread on a dark wood cutting board, one wrapped in a black and white checkered cloth.
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Have you ever heard of bulgar wheat?! Well, if you haven’t it is your lucky day. Bulgar is a type of whole grain that has been cracked, cleaned, steamed, dried and then ground into different sizes. Plus, it gives bread a fabulous texture. I use Bob’s Red Mill brand that can be found in the specialty flour aisle of most grocery stores. 

Braided bread is such a lovely bread to serve with soups such as my vegetable soup or chicken pesto pasta. The braided aspect just takes this bread over the top! It is also so fun for kids to help in the kitchen and braid the dough.

sliced bread with butter on a dark wood cutting board.

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • Combines whole wheat flour and bulgur, providing a high-fiber,  that’s perfect to go along with a cozy bowl of chicken soup.
  • There’s nothing like the taste and aroma of freshly baked bread.
  • The braided loaves not only look impressive but also make for a stunning centerpiece at any meal.
  • This bread is delicious on its own, with a spread of butter, dipped in tomato soup, or as a base for sandwiches, making it a versatile addition to any meal.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Bulgur – I used Bob’s Red Mill brand
  • Flour – I used both whole wheat and bread flour
  • Honey
  • Active dry yeast
  • Sugar
  • Shortening – Or softened butter

See the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and quantities 

How to Make Cracked Wheat Braided Bread

Step 1. Combine warm water, honey, bulgur, and whole wheat flour in a stand mixer. Let dough rise .

Step 2. Add remaining ingredients and knead with dough hook until smooth. Cover and let rise until dough has doubled.

Step 3. Turn dough onto floured surface, divide, and braid as desired.

Step 4. Let rise for 30 minutes. Bake at 400°F. Brush with melted butter after baking.

Recipe FAQs

Can any bread be braided?

You can make braid almost any types of bread dough. Experiment with it- the result is so beautiful.

Why does my braided bread split?

If you find that your braided bread is splitting, you most likely need to braid the dough tighter. After some practice you will be a pro bread braider. 

How do you keep homemade bread fresh?

The best way to ensure that your bread stays fresh is to wrap the loaf in plastic wrap or an airtight bag. Homemade bread will stay fresh this way for 3-5 days. 

Is bulgur wheat healthy?

Bulgur wheat has many health benefits. It is full of fiber, magnesium, and iron. It is minimally processed making it able to maintain the  nutritional value more than other wheats. 

three small loaves of bread whole wheat bread wrapped in a black and white checked towel.

Expert Tips

  • Ensure the water is warm (about 110°F) to activate the yeast without killing it. Too hot or too cold can affect the rise.
  • Allow the bulgur to soak in the warm water and honey mixture for the full 40 minutes to achieve the right texture for the bread.
  • Use a stand mixer with a dough hook for at least 10 minutes to properly develop the gluten, ensuring a smooth and elastic dough
  • Whole grain doughs take longer to rise. Be patient and allow the dough to double in size for the best texture
  • Brush the tops of the baked loaves with melted butter immediately after they come out of the oven for a rich, golden finish and extra flavor.
bag of bob's red mill red bulgur which is cracked wheat.

How to Serve and Store Cracked Wheat Braided Bread

This bread could be served with a wide array of soups and pastas such as turkey soup, cream of mushroom soup, pasta puttanesca, or cheesy sausage pasta. It also goes great by itself with just some butter and honey or a fruit jam.

The best way to ensure that your bread stays fresh is to wrap the loaf in plastic wrap or an airtight bag. Homemade bread will stay fresh this way for 3-5 days. 

More Bread Recipes to Consider

4 loaves of bread bread on a dark wood cutting board
5 from 1 vote

Cracked Wheat Braided Bread

Soft, chewy, and little bit sweet this cracked wheat braided bread is the perfect hearty bread to go with any soup or stew this winter. 
Prep: 3 hours
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 3 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 2 medium loaves

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 3/4 cup bulgur
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 cup bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons shortening or softened butter
  • 3/4 cup warm water
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Instructions 

  • In bowl of your stand mixer mix warm water and honey together.
  • Add bulgur and whole wheat flour. 
  • Mix together and then let the mixture sit for 40 minutes. This helps the cracked wheat to soften up.
  • After the 40 minutes, add the remaining ingredient to mixer bowl.
  • With dough hook attachment mix until completely combined and smooth. About 10 minutes. Do not under mix here, the mixing allows the gluten to develop and will help hold your bread together.
  • Place tea towel over the bowl and let rise for at least 2 hour or until doubled in size (be patient here, it takes longer for whole grain doughs to rise).
  • Turn dough out on to a lightly floured work surface.
  • Divide the dough in half.
  • Divide one half of the dough into 3 equal pieces.
  • Roll each piece into a log about 12 inches long
  • Pinch the ends of the pieces together and braid the bread logs together.
  • Once done with the braid tuck both ends under so all the ends are on the bottom (this helps the braid to stay together, just tuck and inch of the end under).
  • Divide second half into 6 equal pieces 
  • Make 2 small braids in the same way you made the larger braid OR you can make another loaf from three bread braid strands the same size as the first loaf.
  • Place the braided bread on a baking sheet dusted lightly with cornmeal.
  • Let rise for 30 minutes.
  • Bake the loaves at 400 degrees F.
  • The smaller loaves bake for 25 minutes, and bake the larger loaf for 35-40 minute or until golden brown.
  • Once out of oven brush top with melted butter.

Notes

  • The cracked wheat leaves little chewy bits in the bread and the texture is delightful and toothsome. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1 of 12 servings, Calories: 205kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.4g, Sodium: 584mg, Potassium: 99mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 2IU, Vitamin C: 0.01mg, Calcium: 11mg, Iron: 1mg
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