Sourdough Semolina Bread
I just posted the Semolina Sandwich Loaf ( http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/4213/semolina-sandwich-loaf ) and wanted to share my experience making this sourdough version of Maggie Glezer’s.
This was really a nice little loaf with a great crust and also a very moist and beautiful crumb. It surprised me with the nice oven spring it had for such a seemingly small loaf.
The crumb has a beautiful yellow cast as well but the recipe uses AP flour in addition to the semolina (durum patent flour) so it was not as intensely yellow as the sandwich loaf which was 100% semolina flour.
I only proofed these loaves for 4 hours, rather than the 5 estimated by Glezer but I generally have a fast starter or it could have been the room temp that day. They were not large loaves and I goofed and preheated my oven to about 550 as I normally do but would not repeat that. I ended up baking them about 40 minutes but I did cover them at the end to keep them from getting even darker. Preheating the oven to the correct temp for this type of loaf would be much better.
I have to say again, this bread was wonderful. My neighbor who got the other loaf just loved it. I baked this bread the same day (last weekend) as the semolina sandwich loaf and it is still extremely moist. It was delicious last night used to sop up sauce from eggplant parmesan served with juicy grilled chicken (yum!).
This was, again, what I felt was a straight forward and rather easy recipe. Most of the time you spend is waiting but it was really fun to mix up and so easy to make into little loaves. I loved it and it you try it I hope you like it, too.
More photos here:
Sourdough Semolina Bread – Maggie Glezer, A Blessing of Bread
Skill Level: Expert
Time: About 20 hours (about 8 1/2 hours on baking day)
Makes: Two 1-pound (450 gram) breads
Recipe Synopsis: Make a sourdough starter and let it ferment overnight for 8 to 12 hours. The next day, mix the dough and let it ferment for 2 hours. Shape the dough and let it proof for 5 hours. Bake the breads for about 45 minutes.
For sourdough starter:
2 tablespoons (30 grams/1.1 ounces) very active, fully fermented firm sourdough starter, refreshed 8 to 12 hours earlier
1/3 cup (80 grams/2.8 ounces) warm water
About 1 cup (135 grams/4.8 ounces) unbleached AP flour
For final dough:
1 1/3 cups (225 grams/7.9 ounces) fine semolina flour
1 2/3 cups (225 grams/7.9 ounces) unbleached AP flour
1 1/3 cups (300 grams/10.6 ounces) warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons (11 grams/0.4 ounce) table salt
1 tablespoon (18 grams/0.6 ounce) mild honey or 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons (21 grams/0.8 ounce) granulated sugar
Fully fermented starter
EVENING BEFORE BAKING
Mixing the sourdough starter: Rub starter into water until it is partially dissolved, then stir in the flour. Knead this firm dough until it is smooth. Remove 2/3 cup (135 grams/4.8 ounces) of the starter and place it in a sealed container at least four times its volume, to use in the final dough. (Place the remaining starter in a sealed container and refrigerate to use in the next bake.) Let the starter ferment until it has tripled in volume and is just starting to deflate, 8 to 12 hours.
Mixing the autolyze: In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the semolina and AP flour. With the paddle attachment on low speed, stir in the warm water until well combined. The dough will look very granular and wet. Let the dough rest covered for 20 minutes.
Mixing the dough: Add the salt, honey or sugar, and starter to the dough and mix on medium speed with the dough hook for about 10 minutes, or until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl and becomes very extensible. If you did not weigh your flour to measure it, be prepared to adjust the consistency of the dough. The consistency will also be profoundly influenced by the degree to which the semolina was milled and its freshness. Add at least a tablespoon or two of water if the dough is very firm, or at least a tablespoon or two of flour if the dough is impossibly sticky and does not clean the sides of the bowl. The dough should feel very soft and tacky but be easy to handle and have a smooth sheen; it should clean the bowl at the beginning of kneading.
Fermenting: Place the dough in a large bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Let the dough ferment for about 2 hours. It will probably not rise much, if at all.
Shaping and proofing: Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or oil it, or flour two linen-lined bannetons. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half. Shape it into simple rounds or long shapes and position the loaves seam side down on the prepared sheet or in the bannetons. Cover well with plastic wrap and proof at room temperature. It should triple in size; about 5 hours.
Preheating the oven: One hour before baking, position an oven rack in the upper third position and remove any racks above it. Place a baking stone on it, if desired, and preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C/gas mark 7).
Baking: When the loaves have tripled and do not push back when gently pressed with your finger but remain indented, they are ready to bake. If you have proofed them in bannetons, flip each one onto your hand first, then flip it seam side down onto an oiled baking sheet or, if using a baking stone, onto a semolina-sprinkled peel. Score the loaves with a single-edged razor blade in a decorative pattern. Spray or brush them with water and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until very well browned. After the first 30 minutes of baking, switch the loaves from front to back so that they brown evenly. When the loaves are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool on a rack.