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Cracked Wheat Bread

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Cracked Wheat Bread is a hearty, nutty bread and loaded with oatmeal, whole wheat, cracked wheat, and honey. Perfect for toasting with a small pat of butter and jam! 

Overhead shot of one loaf of cracked wheat bread, on a wire cooling rack.

** This is a recipe update. I’ve updated the pictures, but the text is (mostly) the same.

This recipe has special meaning to me. It is THE recipe I think of when I remember Mom in her kitchen. Cracked Wheat Bread is what I lived on in high school and was, often times, my dinner after activities. Mom always had a partial loaf in her bread drawer and a few more in her freezer. When the family gathered for Sunday breakfast, Mom’s cracked wheat bread was always on the menu.

If you asked any of my siblings, we’d all tell you EXACTLY how to eat this special bread. We’d say, “Toast a thick slice of bread (as thick as the toaster allows) and top with a pat of butter and plenty of jam”. We were lucky because Mom made homemade jam too. My favorite was her strawberry rhubarb. SO good. And even better on her homemade bread.

There was nothing better than to walk in Mom’s kitchen on one of her baking days. The smells. The sound of her Bosch mixer. The visions of bread rising and stacks of pans.

Ahhhhh. I love these memories.

Side shot of two loafs of cracked wheat bread, on a wire cooling rack.

When Mike and I lived in Chicago, I started learning how to make bread using my Kitchen Aid mixer. With Mom’s help and frequent phone conversations, I eventually figured it out. Now I use my Bosch Universal Mixer to make bread. It’s a BOSS in the kitchen, and I use it to make bread, cookies, cakes, and smoothies – using the blender attachment.

Love it. So much.

Ingredients Needed for Cracked Wheat Bread:

There is a good chance that you have some of these baking staples. If you are at all afraid of using yeast, DON’T BE! You can do it. Just follow my steps and don’t be afraid to experiment a little.

  • Yeast – I use Red Star Active Dry Yeast. (This is a very large amount. I keep a bunch in the freezer, and it lasts a long time.) We have perfect bread-making weather here in Texas, and my bread always rises pretty quickly. You may need a Quick Rise Yeast, depending on where you live.
  • Sugar – Just a little bit of sugar is needed to help activate the yeast.
  • Water – You will need warm water for the first step to activate the yeast. Then you will add some cold water in a later step.
  • Honey – This gives this bread an amazing semi-sweet flavor, to balance the hearty oats and cracked wheat.
  • Canola Oil – The perfect fat for this bread.
  • Salt – I like kosher salt, but you can use regular salt as well.
  • Oatmeal – You can use either quick oats or old fashioned oatmeal.
  • Cracked Wheat – This is the key ingredient, and gives the bread a nutty flavor. So good! If you can’t find cracked wheat, you can order it here.
  • Flours – For best results, use 1.5 cups of whole wheat flour, and then 6-7 cups of all-purpose.
Overhead shot of the frothy yeast mixture, in the mixer bowl.
Overhead shot of the raised cracked wheat bread dough, on a white countertop.

How to make Cracked Wheat Bread:

  1. Activate the yeast. Using a large standing mixer, combine the yeast, sugar, salt, and warm water. Take a spatula, and stir it around a couple of times. Then let it sit for about 15 minutes so that the yeast activates. You should see a bubbly mixture when it’s ready. See above.
  2. Add other liquid ingredients, and salt. Add honey, oil, cold water, and salt. Stir again to mix well.
  3. Place dough hook on mixer, and add everything but the all-purpose flour. Add the oats, cracked wheat, and whole wheat flour. Using dough hook, turn on mixer, and mix well.
  4. Add all-purpose flour to desired consistency. Start by adding about four cups of flour to the mixer. Let the mixer run, and occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Gradually add more flour until you get a nice dough consistency. It should be slightly sticky, but easy to handle.
  5. Let the dough rise. Grease a large bowl with canola or olive oil. Remove the dough from the mixer, and form it into a ball. Then place it in the bowl, and cover it with a clean dish towel. Place the bowl in a quiet corner of your kitchen and let rise until approximately doubled in size. The rise may be different each time, and will vary depending on where you live.
  6. Punch the dough down. When the dough doubles, rub a little oil on your hands, and punch bread, starting in the middle, and gently punch sides into the middle of the bowl. This should only take a couple of minutes. No need to over-handle the dough. Lift dough up with your hands, and pour a little more oil into the bowl and spread up the sides. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with towel, and let rise again.
  7. Form loaves of bread (or buns). Once the bread rises twice, it’s time to form the dough into desired shapes. Prepare bread pans or jelly roll pans with baking spray. (See below for my favorite pans.) Add a little oil to a pastry mat or a large flat surface (a cutting board works too), and form sections of dough into oblong shapes for bread, or into smaller shapes for buns or smaller loaves. Another option is baking a round piece of dough in a cast iron skillet.
  8. Let rise again. Cover dough with clean dish towels, and let it rise again, until almost doubled in size.
  9. Bake. Bake bread in a preheated 350 degree oven, until done, approximately 35 minutes for bread and less time for smaller loaves or buns. The bottoms should be slightly browned, and the tops a nice golden brown. Remove bread to a cooling rack.
  10. Make it shiny. Using a pastry brush, brush softened butter on top of the loafs/buns to get a nice shine.

Storing Tip: This bread is best fresh the first day! It can be stored in airtight bags on counter for 2-3 days.

Freezing Tip: You can freeze this bread in freezer bags for up to three months.

Overhead shot of the sliced cracked wheat bread, next to loafs of entire loafs.

Tips for making the BEST homemade bread:

  1. Let the yeast, sugar, and warm water mixture sit for at least 15 minutes. This will allow time for the yeast to start working. You can see the little bubbles in the photo above. That means the yeast is activated.
  2. Add flour gradually to get just the right amount. You know it’s ready when the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixer and the dough is not overly sticky. Don’t just add the amount of flour in the recipe. Add the amount that is right for your batch on THAT particular day. Some days you will need more, and some days you will need less.
  3. Most breads will need two rises. Each one will take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Make sure you grease the bowl, lay the bread in with smooth side up, cover with a towel, and place in a warm corner of your kitchen.
  4. When you punch down your bread, use your fists to punch in the center of the dough. Then take the outsides of the dough and push in towards the center, forming a nice smooth outer surface. Be sure there is oil on the bowl to prevent the dough from sticking to the sides.
  5. Always brush butter on the top of the bread after removing from the oven. This will give it that pretty golden color.
  6. Don’t slice the bread until at least 30 minutes after baking. If sliced too soon, the bread will be too doughy.
Side shot of two loafs of cracked wheat bread, on a wire cooling rack.

Kitchen Tools used for this recipe: (Affiliate Links)

Make this homemade bread next: Chewy French Bread

Please let know if you try this recipe. Be sure to comment and leave a review on the blog so I can see what you think. You can also like my Facebook Page, follow me on Pinterest, and catch me on Instagram.

xoxo ~Sue

Cracked Wheat Bread

Cracked Wheat Bread is a hearty, nutty bread and loaded with oatmeal, whole wheat, cracked wheat, and honey. Perfect for toasting with a small pat of butter and jam! 
5 from 11 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cracked wheat bread, homemade bread
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 30 slices (or 3 large loaves)
Calories: 279kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 cups warm water – not hot, hot cold
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup Quick Quaker Oats
  • 1.5 cups cracked wheat
  • 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 6 – 7 cups all-purpose flour – to right of consistency
  • few pats of butter – to brush on top after baking

Instructions

  • Prepare the yeast mixture. Combine the yeast, sugar, and the warm water in a large mixer. Be careful to use WARM water, not hot. If the water is too hot, the yeast will disappear and you can’t make bread without yeast. Mix and let sit for about 15 minutes to get the yeast working.
  • Add the honey, oil, salt and cold water. Stir with a spatula. Attach dough hook to mixer and add quick oats, whole wheat flour, and cracked wheat. Mix together.
  • Then add approximately 6-7 cups of all-purpose flour to desired consistency. You want the bread dough to be slightly sticky but not too much. When you touch the dough, it should bounce back slightly. Be sure to leave the mixer on for several minutes after you get the right consistency.
  • Grease a large bowl with canola oil. Add dough to the bowl, making sure you smooth it into a ball. Cover the dough with a clean dish towel and set it in a warm corner of your kitchen. Let the dough rise until doubled in size.
  • Punch down the dough and shape it back into a ball. Re-grease bowl with oil and place dough in bowl until doubled in size again
  • Form into three oblong shapes and place into greased bread pans. Cover with a towel and let rise again until doubled in size.
  • Bake loaves on 350 degrees for about 35 – 40 minutes, or until bottom is browned nicely. Remove from pans to wire racks and brush tops with butter.
  • Cool completely before storing in storage/freezer bags. This bread freezes well.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 279kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 234mg | Potassium: 114mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @Suebeehomemaker or tag #suebeehomemaker!

53 Comments

  1. Hello, do I have to activate dry instant yeast?

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Yes you do. Use a pinch of sugar and warm water to activate it.

  2. Kat Munro says:

    Hello,
    Where can I find cracked wheat. Not the cereal stuff.

    Thanks much
    Kat M.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      I have found it at Sprouts, Whole Foods, and on Amazon. Good luck!

  3. Would I be able to add sunflower seeds to the dough and raw pumpkin seeds to the top or would that be too much? I used to go to a bakery and buy sunflower millet bread and when looking for a recipe for it I came upon your cracked wheat bread recipe which looks so good.
    Also if I halved this recipe would I use two standard size bread pans to bake it in?

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      The added nuts may weight down the bread a bit, but I think it sounds like a good idea to try.

  4. Pamela M Imbesi says:

    I doubled this to make it in loaf pan, rolls and baguette and it was delicious! I love the chewy crunch of the cracked grains! Want to try it as a sourdough 🙂

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Sounds like an excellent idea, Pamela! 🙂

  5. Karen I Benjamin says:

    I’m anxious to try your recipe! When you say, “Be sure to leave the mixer on for several minutes after you get the right consistency,” about how many minutes are you talking about in my Bosch Universal Mixer?

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Just about 3-4 minutes. Good luck and let me know how the bread turns out for you!

  6. Looks delicious. I look forward to trying it with a different oil. Did your mom use canola oil? Canola oil causes me to be quite ill. Would you have another oil to recommend for use in this bread? Thanks.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Yes, my mother used canola oil. You could definitely try another type of oil, but I haven’t done so yet. I’d recommend trying another vegetable oil or olive oil.

  7. Beth Barrientes says:

    I made this bread again (2nd x) and it turned out so good! This recipe is such a keeper. I think I’ve finally gotten comfortable with yeast and man, this bread! So so good! I usually buy bakery cracked wheat but pretty sure I’ll be making my own now. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      You’re very welcome, Beth! Thanks for your feedback. 🙂

  8. This is such a delicious recipe! Thanks so much for sharing, it comes out perfectly every time!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Thank you Karla! It’s one of my favorite bread recipes. 🙂

  9. Beth Barrientes says:

    As to purchasing cracked wheat, I live in small town middle America (Ohio) where whole foods is a 2 hour drive. After looking several places, there is an Amish bulk food store that carries different flours etc. and I found cracked wheat there! So look for a bulk food store… you might find it there. They had spelt flour too. I’m new to bread baking, not having great luck yet but this recipe is next. Hoping it turns out well! My previous attempts taste great but the bread seems dense. The rise is the key I’m sure and maybe I’m in too big a hurry? Yeast was active. I’m learning!!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Good luck and please stop back and let me know how the bread turned out for you, Beth!

  10. Garrett Sampson says:

    I’ve made Cracked Wheat from another recipe that says to soak the cracked wheat in water that’s been boiled, allowing it to cool to room temp before adding the other ingredients. Why do you not do that here as other articles I’ve read talk about allowing the cracked wheat time to absorb the water. You also don’ talk about how long you mix the dough. I’m very curious about this as it seems the longer you mix, the better it integrates the flours, etc. which I think leads to a better loaf. Last questions: (1) how do you get what appears to be a very good rise in these loaves? (2) After the second rising, I don’t get any oven pop and have a fairly dense bread (which I couldn’t judge from your pictures) and (3) my KA mixer won’t handle 6-7 cups flour; can I just halve the recipe for two loaves? Will hope to hear from you, thanks. Garrett

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Hi Garrett. These are very good questions. Cracked Wheat Bread is one that my mom made over and over again, and this is her exact recipe. She never boiled the cracked wheat, and it was always delicious. While it may not be the reason you’re looking for, it’s mine. I’ve always done it the way my mom did and I’ve always gotten a beautiful rise. Try my recipe, and make sure you get the yeast activated before adding the remaining ingredients. You can definitely let the mixer run longer as well. And yes, just halve the recipe but make sure you get a good consistency when adding flour. I add a bit at a time so I get just the right amount – a bit sticky, but not too much. Good luck, and please let me know how it goes!

  11. I just discovered your blog and videos. I have always wanted to make breads and pastas. Your videos and explanations are so very helpful. It really helps to see you doing it while you explain. Thanks again!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      You’re very welcome, Pam!

  12. Just curious – your recipe say 6 to 7 cups of flour but in the instructions it says 7 to 8 cups of flour….which is it please? thx.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Hi Lisa. I’m sorry about that. It should be 6-7 cups of flour in both places, but you should always use enough flour to get a nice consistency. I just fixed it. Let me know how you like it!

  13. Sue-
    This bread reminds me of the bread my Mom taught me to make for my family when my kids were young 😉 Best ever, and it makes awesome french toast too! Keep up the good work!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Thanks Dave! It’s probably very similar to your mom’s recipe! 🙂

  14. Joanne Alleyne Yearwood says:

    Excellent bread. Came out perfect

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      That’s wonderful, Joanne. Thanks for your feedback!

  15. Kelly Cozad says:

    Proofing now I barely got six cups of flour in it before it reached a good consistency. I will comment again when done. Is that normal? I guess should it seem tacky I’ll knead in more flour after first rise.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      If you think you reached a nice consistency, then I’m sure you are fine. You may have used a tad bit less liquid than the recipe states, and that could be the reason. Either way, if you feel like you added enough, then the bread should be great!

  16. Everything went as you said except baking. The bread fell and Was super dense. What went wrong ?

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Hi Kathyrn. I’m sorry that your bread fell. I’ve never had that happen, and I’ve made it numerous times. Was your yeast expired?

  17. HEY SUE WHAT A COINCIDENCE WE USE THE SAME RECIEPE FOR MAKING THIS CRACKED WHEAT BREAD THIS IS THE ONLY BREAD EATEN IN MY HOUSE
    THE ONLY THING I DO DIFFERENT IS GRIND MY CRACKED WHEAT IN A COFFEE GRINDER BECAUSE WHEN MY KIDS WERE VERY YOUNG THEY WANTED PLAIN BREAD BUT NOW THEY ARE OLDER SO THEY LOVE THE CRACKED WHEAT
    THANKS

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      That’s a great idea to grind the cracked wheat! Thanks for your feedback, CJ. 🙂

  18. Victoria Graff says:

    I don’t have a mixer, so I will knead manually. I bake bread on a regular bases, so I hope it works with your recipe.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      I’m sure you can do it, Victoria! Good luck, and please let me know how it turns out! 🙂

  19. I have never had luck baking bread but I have made this recipe of cracked wheat twice and it turned out beautifully. It’s delicious and easy. Turns out my water in the past was not hot enough and yeast didn’t do it’s thing.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Oh, I’m so happy that your Cracked Wheat Bread turned out, Cathy! I like to keep my yeast in the freezer, so that helps also. Thanks for your feedback. 🙂

  20. My other recipes for cracked wheat bread call for soaking in boiling water before adding to dough. Will the cracked wheat be easy to chew without doing that? I’m anxious to try this recipe.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Hi Connie. There is no need to soak the cracked Wheat in this recipe. It actually gives the bread a delicious texture. Try it and let me know what you think! ?

  21. NOTHING like a slice of warm bread from the oven or the toaster with butter and homemade jam. This is the best bread EVER!!!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      I agree. Best EVER! 🙂

  22. james musselman says:

    do i have to use the canola oil? what affect, if any, would it have on bread without it?
    thanks.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      You need to use a fat of some kind, or the bread will be dry. I’ve only tried it with canola oil.

  23. Your bread recipes are awesome! I love bread and I only choose your recipes! ❤️

  24. What size Bread pans are you using for the 4 loaves? They look like smaller loaves than an average bread pan? Looks delicious !

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      I use the standard throw-away loaf pans. You can buy them at most grocery stores. And I always re-use them! 🙂

  25. Cathy Hanson says:

    Best bread EVER! I ate the whole loaf by myself! 🙂

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Thanks Cathy!! There will be more:)

      1. Karen Ragland says:

        Where do you buy cracked wheat? My aunt used to make cracked wheat bread, so good!

        1. Suebee Homemaker says:

          Hi Karen! The cracked wheat that I buy is linked on my post! Enjoy! ?

        2. Bibs red mill cracked wheat cereal is out of stock. What cracked and. Where can I buy the correct cracked wheat instead?

          1. Suebee Homemaker says:

            I would try Whole Foods or Sprouts for cracked wheat!

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