Saturday, October 13, 2007

quick & easy ... and unusual, too!

many people are only accustomed to seeing bulgur or borgol, de-branned parboiled and (sun) dried grains of wheat, used in dishes like tabbouleh and other such salads or as part of savoury-type preparations. bulgur wheat, in reality, has many uses — it can be kneaded to produce a dough which is later stuffed and fried, cooked like rice into pilafs, used in stuffings and sometimes as part of breads and in baking. a multitude of ways to use it have been therefore developed over the centuries that people have been using it.

one should note that bulgur is not the same thing as cracked wheat; the latter is not cooked at all whereas bulgur wheat is, as one of its steps of processing. bulgur also comes in different varieties and ranges in colour from dark brown to pale gold. the one i use is actually a straw colour and much lighter than the usual darker type sold commercially. interestingly, it also has not only been people of mid-eastern extraction using this grain — history reports it being used in both rome and china (central asia).

this following recipe is for a simple and quick "bread" that uses this healthy grain and leaves you with a baked good that goes well on its own as a snack or served with a soup or a salad. while one might think this to be on the heavy side due to its ingredients, it is far from it. in reality, it is moist, quite light and mildly sweet — perfect for slathering with a good salted butter. i even bet no one would ever be able to tell you what the "secret" ingredient is! give it a try and you'll see.

look here for more wheat information and recipes.


bulgur & pecan wholewheat loaf

somewhat in between a cake and a bread, this is a nice deviation from the norm in the world of quick breads. apart from the waiting time for the bulgur to soak, this one can be thrown together in a matter of minutes — all it requires is some stirring and baking. after baking and cooling, its crust is slightly crunchy and chewy due to the bulgur wheat and its inner crumb, light and tender.

(recipe source: williams sonoma)

ingredients:

1/2 c (3 oz / 90 g) medium grain bulgur wheat
3/4 c (6 fl oz / 180 ml) boiling water

1 1/2 c (7.5 oz / 235 g) wholewheat flour
1/2 c (2.5 oz / 75 g) all purpose flour (or soy flour, pastry flour, etc)
1 tbsp (11 g) baking powder
1 tsp (7 g) salt
1/4 c (2 oz / 60 g) packed brown sugar
1/2 c (2 oz / 60 g) chopped pecans or walnuts (toasted)

1 1/2 c (12 fl oz / 375 ml) milk or soymilk
1/3 c (3 oz / 80 g) melted shortening or margarine/butter
2 eggs

method:

preheat the oven to 350 F and lightly grease a 9 inch (23 cm) loaf pan (small loaf pan won't work here).

in a medium bowl, place the bulgur wheat and boiling water together and cover completely. let this rest for 30 minutes so it will full absorb the water and cool down.

place the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix them together and set aside. chop the pecans or walnuts and dry roast them over medium heat for a few minutes constantly stirring until they look done.

in another bowl, beat the milk and eggs together. melt the shortening or margarine.

in the dry mixture, add the blended milk and eggs and then the shortening. mix well but do not beat. you just want to blend them together.

add the pecans and bulgur and stir to blend well.

pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 350 for 1 hour.

the top will look cracked but that is fine.

let cool for several minutes and then place the bread on a cooling rack and let cool. can be served slightly warm.

cut into 1/4 inch slices with a serrated knife.

the bread will stay moist several days. wrap it in tin foil.

enjoy!




4 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

How unusual, but definitely interesting! Your loaf looks beautiful!

Cheers,

Rosa

burekaboy — said...

rosa - when i first made this a few years ago, i wasn't sure how it would taste/turn out but i was pleased with the results. it also adds fiber to the diet and is fairly healthy as it uses wholewheat flour and not a lot of sugar.

sara said...

bulgur into a bread?i'll have to rush and go shop some.you're always so creative, b.b.!

burekaboy — said...

sari - weird stuff, huh? lol, it's good though.