Tuesdays with dorie: semolina bread

This week’s assignment is to make Semolina Bread. Semolina is also called ‘durum wheat’ and can be used to make pasta. I was lucky enough to find it in the bulk bin of my local organic supermarket, so I was able to just buy what I needed for the recipe, otherwise I’d be stuck with a bag of this, and not really have plans for what to do with the rest. The bread was good, but time consuming, so I’m not sure that it will go into my regular rotation of bread recipes.

Even though it was time consuming–3 rises, each 2 hours long–none of the steps were complicated, and they were each completed in about 5 minutes. I just had to be around to do it.

First, there was a sponge to make. A cup of water, a cup of flour and some yeast all went into the bowl, mixed and covered….and then it sat for 2 hours. Here’s the before and after:
DSC_0016 DSC_0024
Big change, huh? Once it was bubbly and active, I stirred in semolina flour, a little bit more white flour, salt and olive oil and started kneading. Since I was only making one loaf and the quantities were so small, I didn’t even bother with my mixer or cuisinart. They’re both so big that this tiny loaf of bread would have gotten lost. I ended up needing to add more flour than the recipe called for. It said that the dough would be sticky, but I didn’t want it to end up like a pancake once I shaped it for the 3nd rise. Here it is, all mixed and kneaded and ready to rise for two hours
DSC_0027 I picked my daughter up from Art Camp and had some frozen yogurt and then came back home to shape it and let it rise again. DSC_0028 The recipe instructs us to slash the loaf with a single edge razor blade….which I don’t have, so I used a knife. Big mistake. I should have just skipped it. the knife pulled the dough and partially deflated my beautiful loaf. It could have been worse. You can see the damage I inflicted in the finished loaf:DSC_0031. It was delicious, and the kids enjoyed it too. I served this with a big salad and a bowl of pasta with some really great tomato sauce.
The only change I made was to decrease the salt to 1T. The recipe called for two, but some of the people who baked it before me were reporting that it was very salty. With half the salt, it was fine, I don’t think I would want more salt in this bread.

Our hosts for this recipe are Renee at The Way to My Family’s Heart and Anna at Keep it Luce. They’ll both have the complete recipe on their websites. You can also check out everyone else’s semolina breads at the Tuesdays With Dorie website

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