On a grocery shopping trip to Sevan in Watertown last week, I purchased 2 pounds of fine bulgur. With that purchase, a new obsession began. What to do with all this bulgur? I knew I could make Kibbeh, but being a baker, I really wanted to bake with it. After a quick internet search I found several interesting recipes to choose from. One that really stood out was a recipe for Oatmeal Bulgur bread from Beth Hensperger's The Bread Bible. Then two awesome things happened. One being Maura told me I could make the bread at Sofra. Second, Maura lent me her copy of The Bread Bible.
The bread was fun to make at work because it's one of those recipes that involves 5 to 10 minutes of work here and there over a few hours. Often when I make bread at home, I feel chained to my house because there's always a punch down on the horizon, or something along those lines. While at work, I was able to make this, while making tons of other things. No feeling of being chained down by the bread.
Overall this bread took a little under 4 hours to make from start to finish. The resulting bread was a little sweet with a tight crumb and a dense texture. This is the perfect toast with peanut butter bread. It would also be great sandwiched with turkey or ham. The next time I make it I will increase the hydration of the bread a bit because it never really relaxed after I shaped it into boules. As you can see by the pictures below, the bread was still pretty rounded on the edges.
Oatmeal Bulgur Bread from The Bread Bible
1Tbsp active dry yeast
2 Tbsp lt. brown sugar
2/3 Cup bulgur wheat (fine or medium grind, I used fine)
2 ¼ cups warm water
2 cups AP or Bread Flour (I used AP)
Put water the work bowl of a heavy duty mixer. Sprinkle yeast, brown sugar, and bulgur wheat over the surface and let stand for 5 minutes. Add 2 cups of flour and beat hard until well moistened and cream (about 2 minutes). Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temp till foamy (about an hour).
1 ¼ Cups regular rolled oats
¼ Cup wheat bran (I didn't have this, so I used 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour and 2 Tbsp more of oats)
¼ Cup lt. brown sugar
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp salt
3 to 3 ½ Cups AP or bread flour
To the bowl with the sponge add the rolled oats, bran, sugar, oil and salt. Beat hard for 1 min. Add flour ½ cup at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides. (I used about 2 ¾ cups flour). Turn the dough out and kneed till smooth and elastic about 4 minutes. Place the dough in a greased deep container.
Proof till doubled about 2 hours.
Deflate the dough, and divide into 3 equal portions. Shape into rounds or shape and put into 3 8x4-inch loaf pans. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in bulk about 45 minutes (mine took about an hour and 15 minutes).
Score dough. Bake at 375 for 35 to 40 minutes or until loaves are browned and sound hollow when tapped with your finger.