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WheatBerryCarawayBreadMom and her kids…

This bread was featured by the bloggers at Bread Baking Babes. I do not participate of this group event, but Ilva – from Lucullian Delights – does and when she blogged about this recipe, I made it on the following weekend, no time wasted.  The original recipe from Peter Reinhart called for wild rice and onions, but she decided to use barley and caraway.  I went with a modified version of her modified recipe, keeping the caraway but replacing the barley with wheat berries.  A soft crumb, permeated with just enough crunch with the wheat berries, and that great flavor given by caraway seeds.  You would almost think about rye bread as you savor this bread, since caraway is so often used in European rye concoctions. But it is definitely different.  A wonderful dough to work with, rose like a balloon…. what a great sight this is for a bread baker, whether or not she is a babe…  😉


(adapted from Ilva’s recipe)

6 cups (765 g) bread flour
2 + 1/4 teaspoons (17 g) salt
2 tablespoons (19 g) instant yeast
1 cup (170 g) cooked wheat berries
1/4 cup (56.5 g) brown sugar
1+1/2 cups (340 g) lukewarm water
1/2 cup (113 g) lukewarm buttermilk
1 Tablespoon caraway seeds
1 egg white, for egg wash (optional)
1 tablespoon water, for egg wash (optional)

The day before baking:
Combine all of the ingredients, except the egg wash, in a mixing bowl. If using a mixer, use the paddle attachment and mix on the lowest speed for 1 minute. If mixing by hand, use a large spoon and stir for 1 minute. The dough should be sticky, coarse, and shaggy. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes. Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium-low speed, or continue mixing by hand, for 4 minutes, adjusting with flour or water as needed to keep the dough ball together. The dough should be soft, supple, and slightly sticky.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough for 2 to 3 minutes, adding more flour as needed to prevent sticking. The dough will still be soft and slightly sticky but will hold together to form a soft, supple ball. Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and immediately refrigerate overnight or for up to 4 days.

On Baking Day:
Remove the dough from the refrigerator about 2 hours before you plan to bake. Shape the dough into one or more loaves, in any shape you like, free form or in a loaf pan (if using a 5 by 9 inch pan, use 1kg of dough). For sandwich loaves, proof the dough in greased loaf pans. For freestanding loaves and rolls, line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat and proof the dough on the pan.

Mist the top of the dough with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise at room temperature for 1.5 to 2 hours, until increased to about 1.5 times its original size. In loaf pans, the dough should dome at least 1 inch above the rim. If you’d like to make the rolls more shiny, whisk the egg white and water together, brush the tops of the rolls with the egg wash just before they’re ready to bake.

Heat the oven to 350°F and bake the loaves for 10 to 15 minutes, then rotate the pan. Total baking time is 45 to 55 minutes for loaves, and only 20 to 25 minutes for rolls. The bread is done when it has a rich golden color, the loaf sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom, and the internal temperature is above 185°F in the center.

Cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes for rolls or 1 hour for loaves before slicing.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments:  This recipe makes A LOT of dough…  Peter recommended using only 2 ounces (around 57g) dough per small roll.  My rolls were definitely bigger than that.  Normally I do not weigh dough when shaping. For this recipe I more or less cut the dough in half, shaped one as a large ball, and divided the remaining dough in 6 pieces, eyeballing the process.   For hamburger-type sandwich, they were the perfect size.

The crumb is super soft, and since I used a reasonably small amount of caraway seeds, the flavor was not overpowering.  I love caraway, but in breads I like it to be a mild presence.  This bread was perfect with our Black Bean Burgers of a recent past…

FINAL REMARK:  Remember that this bread takes TWO days to prepare.  On the first day you will mix the dough, and place it in the fridge.  Next day you resume shaping and baking.  The fact that the dough can be kept in the fridge for a few days will make it easy to have freshly baked bread on a whim.  Or almost on a whim…


I thank Ilva for the inspiration, and Susan for her Yeastspotting venue so I can share this bread with other bread baking “babes’…


ONE YEAR AGO: Mexican Focaccia 

TWO YEARS AGOSunny Kamut Salad with Roasted Lemon Vinaigrette

THREE YEARS AGO: Pane de Casa & Crostini

FOUR YEARS AGO: Down-home Dig-in Chili

FIVE YEARS AGO:  Cinnamon Rolls



  1. I haven’t thought of wheat berries in years. There was a dessert, similar to rice pudding, that my mom made with them. I believe it was a traditional Romanian dish served around Lent (I thought it was Christmas but it’s been a LONG time since she made it.)

    In some of the pictures, the glaze on the breads almost gives them a cranberry colour so I wondered if that was in the bread until I gave the recipe a closer look. I like the idea of leaving the dough in the fridge to proof overnight or keep for several days. It would definitely make baking a fresh mini loaf or two much easier.


    • I added the optional glaze because in this type of bread I like the effect it gives to the bread, and I also baked until it was really dark. some of the rolls got more egg wash than others and they baked darker.


    • Yes, it is what he uses. Maybe because he designed the recipe to last for a week in the fridge? I am not sure. I’ve seen quite a few recipes that call for a huge amount of yeast. this one is a large batch, but 2 T no matter how big the batch is quite a bit of yeast indeed.


    • Best part: we still have a lot of rolls in the freezer – they thaw quickly and taste as great as freshly baked with a little time in the small electric oven 😉


  2. Now this looks like a bread I might be able to tackle. It looks like it rises beautifully. We still have all the ingredients on-hand for your black bean burgers (days just keep getting away from us). So perhaps I’ll make the bread and then we’ll make the burgers.🙂


    • With everything you do on a daily basis you think you cannot tackle bread? Surely you jest! 😉 Of course you can! You can do this blindfolded and after drinking half a bottle of tequila. Well, that could be a little much… but you catch my drift…😉 I am really looking forward to your take on the black bean burgers…. we loved them!


  3. Two days…. that would require me to be organized Sally!!🙂. Love the look of the egg wash on the buns. Great addition with the wheat berry. I’m the same way with caraway – for some reason it risks hitting too hard in breads – just a mellow presence works well. Lovely. (OMG on the black bean burgers! Must make them again – *so* good!).


    • I don’t like when caraway hits me in the face and makes me dizzy… it must be delicate, it’s like cologne, must be there but not make you grasp for air…

      Glad you tried the black bean burgers, I swear they amazed me… never in a million years I thought I would love a veggie burger so much… Old age? Wisdom? Can I take wisdom without old age? no? oh, well… 😉


    • Michael, are you happy? Just by checking your caramel pie I gained a couple of pounds, which I had just lost watching Brazil play Chile in the World Cup… Ok, I am even. But I’ll take your pie over that game ANYTIME!


  4. Ok that dough looks amazing. I would like to have a babe rise like that!!! Caraway seeds always are a great flavor and would love to try them in bread. Love the nice crust!!


  5. Not a baker or bread maker, but this recipe is acting like a magnet to try! As I work from home, the two days does not perturb at all and the instructions seem quite easy! Born In N Europe caraway seeds of course have always been like mother’s milk: absolutely love them [in right proportions, of course! Next rainy day – promise to myself🙂 !


    • Next rainy day…. sounds perfect! Hope you try it, and I bet you could make half the recipe without hurting anything… seriously, it makes A LOT of dough ;-0))))


      • Mmmh🙂 ! I AM listening and since I basically live alone methinks the half-recipe makes a lot of sense!!! The next time around I can then make myself all popular on the street by knocking on doors with ‘taste tests’!!!!!!!


    • Love baking BREAD… Just making sure you don’t think I have the same passion for CAKES. It’s a long, sad, convoluted story, that of me and the creaming of butter and sugar…😉


    • I suspect the only reason would be to make it mix easier, but definitely no way it will make a difference in fermentation, as it is going straight to the fridge. When I mix dough by hand, I normally use lukewarm water because I like better the way in handles… so maybe that was the reason?


  6. An alternative way to use wheat berries is to “malt” them similar to the process used in malting barley for beer. Soak the raw (unbaked) wheat berries overnight in water. This triggers the chemical reactions that eventually will lead to sprouting. Adds a different flavor profile and perhaps some nutritional content, but at the expense of texture. Grind the soaked wheat berries and add them up to 30% (w/w) of the flour.


  7. Pingback: Swedish Limpa / Svensk Limpa | RecipeReminiscing

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