This is one of my favorite recipes. My mom would make these for Thanksgiving and Christmas. They are so yummy. If you don’t happen to have a mom who has her own wheat mill to crack wheat for you (and really who doesn’t), then you can find cracked wheat in the bulk food section of your grocery store (or at a bulk food store). Here is the recipe:
Recipe: Cracked Wheat Rolls
1/2 c Cracked Wheat
1 c Water, boiling
1/2 tsp Salt (optional)
1 pkg dry yeast
2 c Warm Water (105-115)
3/4 c non-fat Dry Milk
1/2 c Sugar
1/4 c vegetable oil
1 Egg- room temp, slightly beaten
6 c Flour
Soak Cracked Wheat in cold water and 1/2 tsp salt until room temp (about 4 hours).
On bake day, dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Stir in milk, sugar, oil, salt and egg. Add soaked wheat mixture. Add 3 Cups of flours and beat vigorously (75 strokes or 2 minutes at medium speed with and electric mixer, then stop mixer). Stir in the balance of the flour, 1/2 Cup at a time. The dough will be rough, shaggy mass that will cling to the sides of the bowl. Add more flour if needed. Knead dough for 8 minutes. Place in bowl and lightly grease top with butter. Cover and let rise for 50 minutes in a warm place. Remove cover and punch down dough and turn onto flour surface. Make roles by tearing off small amount of dough (about 3/4 the size you want the rolls to be) and work the top smooth, folding it on the bottom. Place rolls in greased baking pan. If making bread, after punching down, divide in half and form into two loaves. Place in greased bread pans. Cover rolls (or bread) and put in a warm place and let rise for at least 35 minutes.
For rolls, place in 375 degree oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until light golden brown. For bread, place in 325 degree oven and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until done.
Over the years, I have done a few modifications to the recipe. First, the recipe originally called for you to soak the cracked wheat over night in cold water. I found that by using hot water, I can soak the wheat in a couple of hours and it soaks better. The second change was the addition of how to make this into bread.
As for tips, I highly recommend you sift your flour when making bread. This will help make your bread lighter and rise a little better. Another tip for keeping the crust from getting crunch (unless you want the crust crunchy) is, just before it is completely cool, wrap it up in plastic wrap. As it continues to cool, it will generate moisture and that moisture will keep the crust soft.
Well tomorrow is the big day and I have 4 things left to cook. I will post pics of how it all turns out.