Servings: Makes 3 small loaves
Pour 1 1/2 cups boiling water into a bowl with the cracked wheat and let stand 45 minutes to soften. Drain and squeeze out excess water.
Sprinkle yeast and sugar into a bowl with 1/4 cup warm water. Stir to dissolve and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
Combine buttermilk, molasses, honey, and 4 Tbsp. butter in a small bowl.
In a large bowl, combine salt, sesame and sunflower seeds, and whole wheat flour. Add yeast and buttermilk mixtures and stir until smooth. Add drained cracked wheat and stir to combine.
Using a wooden spoon to mix, add all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Stir until soft dough forms (you may need to use your hands to blend it well). Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead until dough is soft and springy, about 7 or 8 minutes. Add more flour, 1 Tbsp. at a time, if needed. The dough will be a bit sticky.
Place dough in a greased bowl; turn it in the bowl to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Prepare 2 baking sheets by lightly greasing and topping with a thin layer of cornmeal. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350°. Gently deflate dough; turn out onto lightly floured surface; divide into 3 equal portions and shape into 3 round or oval loaves. Place on prepared pans. Melt and cool remaining Tbsp. butter and spread over tops of loaves. Sprinkle with a few sunflower seeds. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise 30 minutes.
Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes until brown. Cool on racks and eat warm.
From the February 2001 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
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