How to Sprout Wheat Berries for Bulgur Wheat: An Illustrated Guide

Updated on March 26, 2017
ButterflyWings profile image

Butterfly loves cooking and growing beautiful foods, and has a passion for designing memorable meals. Garden-born recipes are her favorite.

Plain Bulgur Wheat Porridge

Cooked bulgur cereal - a nice, hot lunch or breakfast, even a snack.
Cooked bulgur cereal - a nice, hot lunch or breakfast, even a snack.

The Basics of Making Bulgur Wheat

Bulgur is simply sprouted, dried wheat, coarsely ground or cracked.

If you have never made bulgur, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how little time and effort is involved. If you have access to bulk wheat with which to make this dish, you'll wonder why you've been paying so much for those dinky little packages of it at the store.

Here is what you'll need to make your first batch:

  • Wheat berries
  • Pure, drinking-quality water
  • A sprouting jar, or a glass jar with a loose-woven cloth to fasten over the top with a rubberband
  • A jellyroll tray on which to dry the sprouted wheat
  • A grain grinder, or other method of cracking the finished bulgur

Step One - Soak Wheat Berries

No matter the size of your sprouting jar, fill it about 1/3 full of plain, dry wheat berries, then add water to fill. Let sit one full day, until the wheat berrries plump up.
No matter the size of your sprouting jar, fill it about 1/3 full of plain, dry wheat berries, then add water to fill. Let sit one full day, until the wheat berrries plump up.

Step Two - Sprout the Wheat

After the wheat berries are nice and plump, set the jar upside down to drain.
After the wheat berries are nice and plump, set the jar upside down to drain.
Over the next 2 to 3 days, rinse the grain with pure water at least twice a day (3 times is better), and leave to drain again.
Over the next 2 to 3 days, rinse the grain with pure water at least twice a day (3 times is better), and leave to drain again.
When the sprouts are 1/4-inch to 1/3-inch long, the wheat is ready to dry.
When the sprouts are 1/4-inch to 1/3-inch long, the wheat is ready to dry.

Step Three - Dry the Wheat

Spread the sprouted wheat out on a baking pan and set it in a warm (not hot) place to dry thoroughly.
Spread the sprouted wheat out on a baking pan and set it in a warm (not hot) place to dry thoroughly.

Good Places to Dry Bulgur Wheat

  • A warm (not hot) oven with the door propped open with a butter knife
  • A sunny picnic table, on a sunny, low-humidity day (slide tray into a pillowcase to keep insects off and to keep the wheat from blowing away)
  • A food dehydrator
  • The top of a wood stove, with the tray placed on a rack

Step Four - Crack Your Bulgur

If you will not be using your batch of bulgur immediately, store it in an airtight container until use.

When ready to use, simply crack the grain in a grain grinder or coffee mill, and you're ready to cook.

Uses for Bulgur Besides Porridge

Bulgur wheat is fairly versatile, and lends itself to a variety of applications. You can cook it as simply as you like - water and a bit of salt - or get as complicated as your creativity allows - perhaps toasting it in a dry pan, then adding water or broth or dry red wine, butter or olive oil, milk or cream, sour cream or yogurt; vegetables or fruits (practically any); spices or herbs. Try curry, sweet spices such as cinnamon and/or ginger, or Southwestern combinations such as cumin, chilies, and cilantro. Even coffee grounds can make a surprising, but delicious addition.

Bulgur can be served by itself, in a vegetable skillet or casserole (baked or stove top), as part of a soup, or in meatloaf or meat balls. It can also be added to breads, pancakes, and other baked goods...though you may want to start small until you see how the flavor profiles of your favorite recipes are affected.

Bulgur has a flavor profile that is similar in ways to dark chocolate...so think about anything that goes well with chocolate, or pairs well with slightly bitter foods.

Also, while bulgur makes an excellent vegetarian dish, it also pairs well with practically any meat...even wild game such as wild duck or wild goose, which can be difficult to put in combinations, due to its flavor strength, which is similar to organ meats (heart, liver, kidneys, etc.). Domestic poultry such as chicken or turkey can pale somewhat next to bulgur, but is still pleasant, and may be served chopped into the bulgur, or served alongside. Anything herb-ey and definite in its character, such as spicy sausage or bacon, holds its own very well.

If you are not sure what goes with tasty dish, simply cook some of the grain fairly plain, with a bit of butter or oil and salt, and then experiment with test batches - small bowls of the bulgur with the herbs or seasonings you had in mind. If you wind up with something disappointing, you can rejoice that the whole meal was not destroyed...and try your next idea with another test batch.

Here's to great grains!

This Looks Good!

Questions & Answers

    © 2009 ButterflyWings

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • ButterflyWings profile imageAUTHOR

        ButterflyWings 

        8 years ago

        The actual benefits are more nutritional than anything else, though the wheat does have a different taste and texture. The taste is sweeter, as the sprouting brings sugars into play that get hidden otherwise, and the texture is more brittle, due to being allowed to be broken during sprouting, then dried.

        But the main idea is that bulgur is easier to digest than normal wheat, and you get more nutrients out of it.

        This and similar topics are extremely well explained in Sally Fallon's book, "Nourishing Traditions", which I highly recommend and which challenged even my rather open yet health conscious thinking.

      • Jarn profile image

        Jarn 

        8 years ago from Sebastian, Fl

        What are the benefits of bulgar wheat, exactly? Different taste, texture, or does it just plump up the wheat for more volume?

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, delishably.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://delishably.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)