Italian Semolina Bread

by Michelle on May 1, 2011

Italian Semolina Bread is one of my all time favorite breads. I just love the taste of semolina flour! You can find semolina flour in two varieties, course or finely ground, and either will work in this recipe. I could not find the finely ground semolina until recently and used the coarse ground variety for years in this recipe and it worked out well.

All yeast has an expiration date which is stamped on the package. I’ve not had good luck using expired yeast, so I suggest discarding any yeast that is beyond the expiration date. If the yeast is nearing expiration, you can freeze it. Generally whenever I buy yeast I automatically freeze it, even the fresh yeast. Since fresh yeast comes in a 2 oz cake, I just cut the yeast into quarters equaling 1/2 oz, wrap each slice in aluminum foil, put it in a ziplock bag and freeze it and I’ve not had any problems with my bread dough rising.

Generally if you have problems with bread not rising it is due to the yeast or flour. White flour is generally good for 2 years and after that time it is best to throw it out. For instance Whole Wheat Flour is only good for about 8 months to 1 year and after that time it is not a good idea to use it. I know it’s hard to throw out what looks like perfectly good flour but even if it’s mixed with a fresh white flour, the rise will not meet your expectations. Fresh whole wheat flour does have a naturally sour smell but if the smell is extremely strong and it’s been in your pantry for a while, it’s probably a safe bet that the flour is bad and will effect not only the rise but the taste. So even using it in a breading for say fried chicken is not a good idea.

Semolina and Rice Flours are generally good for at least 2 years same as white flour. But still, it’s best to buy small amounts so your stock is fresh and always store any kind of flour or grain in a sealed, air-tight container. You can store flours in the refrigerator or freezer but even this will not extend the freshness of whole wheat flour!

Italian Semolina Bread
Recipe developed by BigBlackDog

1 1/2 cup semolina flour
1 1/2 cup flour
1 pkg yeast or 1/2 oz fresh yeast
1 cup water
1 tsp honey
1 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil (to oil the proofing bowl)

Topping:
1 egg
Dribble of water
Sesame seeds

Makes 1 large baguette or 2 small baguettes

1. Put about 1/4 cup water in the bowl of your KA mixer and add yeast and honey.
2. When yeast has thoroughly dissolved add the flour and salt.
3. Slowly drizzle in the remaining 3/4 cup water while continuing mixing just until a soft ball of dough is formed. The dough should be slightly sticky but very easy to work with. You may or may not use all the water.
4. On a floured surface knead the ball of dough for 4-5 minutes. Form the dough into a smooth ball.
5. Put 1 tsp of olive oil into large proofing bowl. Dip a paper towel into the oil and carefully oil all sides of each bowl.
6. Take the ball of dough and place it into the oiled proofing bowl and then flip it over so that the entire ball of dough is covered with oil.
7. Cover the bowl with a plastic bag or kitchen towel and let rise until doubled about 1-2 hours.
8. When dough has doubled, remove and place on a floured surface and form the baguette(s). See below video.
9. Place the loaf(s) on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover with a light towel or plastic wrap sprayed with Pam. Let rise for about 30-45 minutes.
10. Whip egg with water and lightly brush entire loaf. Sprinkle with seeds and again lightly brush with the egg wash to adhere the seeds to the loaf.
11. Slash loaf(s) with a sharp knife to form an attractive design.
12. Bake at 350 degrees until loaves are golden brown or internal temperature is 206 degrees.
13. Remove to a cooling rack and completely cool before slicing.

And here’s another method for shaping a baguette:

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Comments

  • cooking rookie May 1, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    I have also made semolina bread and was very surprised by the taste – it is delicious! Love your photos – so lovely and delicate :-) And thanks for the baguette shaping videos – just what I needed :-)

  • theUngourmet May 2, 2011 at 12:22 am

    Thanks for the great info on the flour shelf life. Your bread looks scrumptious! I start a new job next week as a baker at a camp/conference center and this past week I had an opportunity to attend a baker’s intensive conference. I loved every minute! I’d love to try this recipe!

  • Guff May 2, 2011 at 6:20 am

    Great videos. But I am surprised none of them use 2x2s! And we need to get one of Ciril’s ovens. As you know, wheat berries will last indefinitely, so if you grind your own flour it is always fresh.

  • Barbara May 2, 2011 at 7:08 am

    Would someone please give this inexperienced baker an idea on how long I need to bake this bread as 1 large loaf ~ many thanks.

  • Barbara May 2, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Michelle…
    Would you please tell me how long you baked the loaf for?
    Thanks.

  • Delicious Links! « Chef Pandita May 2, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    [...] Michelle’s original recipe forĀ Italian Semolina BreadĀ plus videos on how to shape a [...]

  • Greg May 2, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    Great post and recipe. I ate this all the time growing up and loved it. I need to make it soon. Although, once one of my friends who was Southern and quite blunt ate some, or started too, and said wow that’s interesting. I think he expected cornbread!

  • Yuri May 2, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    I bought a package of semolina last week, was thinking semolina cake but might end up trying this bread too!

  • kat May 3, 2011 at 7:56 am

    What a gorgeous crumb on that bread!

  • tasteofbeirut May 3, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    I made a similar bread a few days ago but it was Moroccan! regardless of its origin, it was gone in a few hours! Love semolina flour which is used a lot in lebanese pastries as well.

  • Cheryl B. May 5, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Hi Michelle :)
    I keep meaning to pop over here and let you know just how good I thought this bread looked! Seriously so! In-fact, I’ve been thinking that we should bake some of it up and then use it the next time we make our Bruschetta (http://thebzhousethatlovebuilt.blogspot.com/2010/08/party-foods-3.html).

    How are you feeling friend?

  • clarice May 12, 2011 at 9:16 am

    I’ve only made the ABinFive semolina bread, which I love. I hope to try your recipe sometime, thanks! Those videos were pretty interesting. They work so fast and the dough looks so perfectly elastic. I haven’t seen these shaping techniques before. I was finally getting used to the letter-fold!

  • Cookin' Canuck May 17, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    It sounds as though this bread has a wonderful texture. I will definitely have to give this a try.

  • Pizzas Online September 5, 2011 at 7:58 am

    Homemade breads are more Fresh, more Tasty. Excellent Share !

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