Is bulgur wheat different to cracked wheat and is it a whole grain?
Bulgur wheat is different to cracked wheat. Cracked wheat is usually always whole grain, whereas small amounts of bran may sometimes be removed from bulgur; although many still class bulgur as a whole grain as it is only small amounts that are removed.
Bulgur (also called bulgar or bulghur) is a wheat product made from whole wheat grains that have been cleaned, steamed/parboiled, dried/toasted so that they develop a rich, nutty flavour, and then cracked/ground/crushed/cut into grains of several distinct sizes (typically available in four grain sizes: fine, medium, coarse and whole). It may be made from any variety of wheat, but durum is the most common. The processing of wheat into bulgur is believed to have begun in the Mediterranean and has been part of the Middle Eastern diet for millennia.
As bulgur wheat is pre-cooked it requires minimal preparation and is ready-to-eat after just ten minutes of boiling (roughly the same amount of time it takes to prepare pasta). Finely ground bulgur can be used for hot breakfast cereals and desserts. Medium-ground can be used for tabbouleh and other salads, stews, veggie burgers, multigrain breads and other baked goods. Coarsely ground can be used for pilafs, casseroles, stuffing and salads. Whole bulgur grains can be added to baked goods or used in soups and stews.
Cracked wheat is similar other than it is not usually precooked (steamed or parboiled). Cracked wheat is a wheat product made from whole wheat grains that have been cracked/ground/crushed/cut into smaller pieces.
Many people use cracked wheat as a base, like couscous, serving vegetables or meats alongside it. It can also be used in grain pilafs and multi-grain bread, pancakes, and other grain dishes