Bulgur wheat flour uses the entire grain -- cooked, cracked and milled -- to create a hearty texture in baked goods and other foods. Bulgur wheat flour can also be cooked like a cereal and eaten by itself, or drained and tossed into salads or vegetables. Use bulgur wheat as a substitute for cracked wheat in recipes, or alter recipes to add this high-fiber staple.
About Bulgur Wheat
Making bulgur wheat requires drying the entire grain thoroughly then toasting the grain. Once it's dried and toasted, it cracks easily using a grinder, then can be milled even more finely, creating bulgur wheat flour. The toasted grain tastes nutty and earthy and provides a hearty texture to recipes. It appears bronze in color and slightly more brown than regular whole wheat flour.
Because bulgur wheat flour uses the whole grain, its health benefits resemble those of whole wheat flour. It has a high fiber content for heart health. One advantage to bulgur wheat flour is that it is pre-cooked from the toasting step, so it cooks more quickly than regular cracked wheat or wheat flour.
How to Use It
In its whole or cracked form, bulgur wheat makes a side dish or main entree by simply boiling it with the addition of vegetables and meat or tofu. Tossed in at the end of the cooking time, it adds texture to soups and stews in lieu of noodles. When substituting bulgur wheat flour for whole wheat flour in baked goods, reduce baking time by half, checking for doneness frequently. Try substituting bulgur wheat flour as a high-fiber substitute for bread crumbs in recipes such as meatloaf or meatballs.
Make Your Own
Make your own bulgur wheat flour starting with whole wheat. Wash the stems and grains and lay them out in a single layer on an oven-safe pan. Place the washed wheat in a warm oven for one to two hours or until thoroughly dried. Rub the kernels between your hands to remove the outer covering called the chaff. Use the grains at this point in soups, stews or boiled as a grain dish or cereal. You may also mill it to the desired fineness for use as a flour using a coffee grinder, blender or food processor.
- Utah State University Cooperative Extension: Whole Kernel and Bulgur Wheat Preparation and Usage
- North Dakota State University Plant Sciences: Durum Wheat Products
- The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook; Jack Bishop
- Photo Credit Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images