My favorite Semolina Bread.
The formula and procedures I used are here: Tom Cat's Semolina Filone (from Glezer's Artisan Breads)
My first reaction was to reach out and touch the softness of the crumb. Looks wonderful, as all your breads do, David.
I've never baked out of Glezer's book. Looks like I'm going to have to start a bucket list of breads.
This bread does have a very soft crumb. It is just a little chewy. It almost melts in your mouth. It wouldn't be half as nice without the contrast of the crispy crust and the little flavor sparks provided by the sesame seeds.
It makes lovely toast, BTW. I'm going to try it as French Toast in the morning, along with what's left of the sourdough baguette with which I made croutons for tonight's Soupe à l'Oignon Gratiinée.
Glezer's book is a good read. I've made about 5 breads from it. This Semolina Filone is the only one so far that has become a "best of class" in my book. There are several more recipes on my "to bake list." We know about those, don't we? ;-)
What a nice loaf of bread. I bet it tastes delicious. Can't wait to hear more tomorrow.
There's not a lot more to say about this bread that I haven't said in previous posts about it. It's my favorite Semolina bread.
However, tomorrow you might see something about the Hamelman Seeded Sourdough, 3 loaves of which are retarding for tomorrow's baking. They will be competing for oven time with my wife's lemon cookies. Our lemons need using. Next summer's crop is already in bloom. I might have to make some lemon tartlets too.
Your Tom Cat's definatley got some lovely ears!! Almost forgot, did you try out your Lava Rocks?
I used them as recommended. They gave a very impressive burst of steam. I couldn't resist taking the skillet with the rocks out after 12 minutes, and, as advertised, there was no water left in the skillet.
I have a new favorite oven steaming method!
I guess I'll have to pick some up next trip to Home Depot...I thought they might carry them! Im cleaning my oven tonight...since it's been going all day I thought I may as well. I have an overflow of lemons too.. The the Lemon Curd is easy to make and tastes nice on breads or biscuits small scones..it's popular served with tea..high tea as the English might have...before 4pm to hold them over for dinner. Anyway, it's something to do with all those lemons. The cookies your wife is making sound wonderful..so make sure she gets full oven priorities tomorrow ; )
Great photos, David, and what a terrific filone! I bet the sprinkled sesame seeds add a lot of flavour to each bite.
Yes! The sesame seeds are the predominant flavor element, in fact.
I've never tried or seen semolina bread before so it was nice to see the close up. I have Glezer's book so now that I know what it is supposed to look like I have no excuses not to try making it.
The photo of the crumb in the original post, above, was from the end of the loaf. The more typical appearance is much more open. See my first post on this recipe,a link to which is in the first message above.
Here is a photo of the crumb in the middle of this loaf:
The most important tip I can give you is to be prepared to deal with a very wet dough. Also, it needs a lot of mixing, and the stretch and folds are essential to develop the gluten. If you follow the procedure and handle the dough very gently, you will be amazed by the result.
Thanks so much for the extra pic! I also went back an looked at the picture from the first post and both were very informative. I take it that the large holes are indicative of the wetness of the dough. I appreciate the warning about the mixing as well.
That looks fabulous, David!
I got stuck at Acme's Rustic Baguettes in her book - it's our favourite bread and even though I keep vowing to try others, I find myself making the Acme bread....
We DO have semolina flour though. And I've been informed that bread IS required. Tom Cat's Semolina Filone calls to me. Especially if there's French onion soup waiting in the wings.
P.S. Lava rocks! What a great idea!
<sigh> If you are referring to the Acme baguettes in "Artisan Breads," they are on my "to bake list."
The lava rocks were an idea I got from Debra Wink. See Steam confessions. They really do generate an incredible burst of steam - much more than pouring boiling water into an empty, hot cast iron skillet. I'm a convert!
French onion soup was last night's dinner chez nous! Very good with garlic croutons made with sourdough Bouabsa baguette and cave aged gruyere.
Well as promised, here I am to report on my Filone of the day - however it will be half a report as I was invited to friends and I brought the bread to them; they oohed and aahed but didnt't cut it so I don't know, it looks great and I was dying to see the crumb but no luck..so a second batch of poolish on the way for a second loaf tomorrow, patience pays,
Anyhow as far as preparation is concerned following your instructions I was prepared to for a "gloppy" dough but it turned out to be quite easy and it did form a nice ball around the paddle having come clear from the sides of the bowl at about 7 minutes mixing. Preforming and forming is a bit of a delicate affair as the dough is quite fragile and sticky but it is beautifullly silky and a joy to handle.
The loaf with the sesame seeds looks beautiful - caramelized to an ideal golden brown color but I have no lava stones, maybe I should ask my wife who is now in Canada to pay a visit to Home Depot! Imagine travelling with stones in your luggage!
Thanks again for a great recipe.
Yes, I am referring to the Acme baguettes in "Artisan Breads", David. Do give the recipe a try; it's wonderful! I think it has something to do with making two preferments - a firm biga-like one and a poolish-style.
I just lent my copy of Glezer's artisan bread to a friend but as soon as I get it back, I will try making the semolina bread (if I can manage to get the book NOT to open and stay open at the Acme baguette page... ;-)).
Your Semoliina filone looks amazing. I don't have Semolina at home but I thought I'd give it try with a new flour that I recently bought. The supplier claims that this flour, at 11.7% gluten, is most suitalbe for any artisan breads that the home bakers are gamed to try. I adjusted the hydration level to 69% (from your 89%+) to suit my flour (I get the idea that durum flour is very thirsty). I basically followed your procedure (but no baking stone which is on its way from America, no lava rocks either; and the scoring was terrible and the shape was pretty free-style - but I used Celtic sea salt!). Here is my result:
My children absolutely adored it. The sesame seeds compliment the bread beautifully.
Thank you again, David.
I think your loaf is very nice. I like the shape, and the scoring is fine.
If you want more of an "ear," you need to tilt the knife blade so it is at a shallow angle to the loaf when you make your cut.
I understand that Indian groceries usually carry Semolina flour, although they call it by the name in their language, not the Italian name. The topic "Hello from Islamabad" has information about this.
Look for "sooji" (the spelling might vary). We buy finely ground sooji. It's far less expensive than semolina flour in Italian grocery stores and as far as I know, is exactly the same thing.
Hi David and Elizabeth, thank you.
I got my copy of Glezer's book back and was just looking at the recipe for Tom Cat's Semolina Filone. I see that the instructions are to use durum flour and NOT semolina because "semolina won't work". Now I'm confused. Clearly, David's bread has worked very very well!
David, do you use semolina or durum flour when you make this bread?
Aha. So you are NOT using sooji at all? (Interesting that the bread is called "semolina filone" when it calls for durum flour) As wonderful as it looks, this bread is on hold for now as we don't have any durum flour right now - only unbleached all-purpose wheat, unbleached bread (wheat), all-purpose whole wheat, white corn, semolina (sooji) and rice flours.
I think it will be pita tomorrow instead (or should I make acme baguettes once again? ;-)).
2010-01-22: I made this bread for the first time.
I started the Poolish Friday evening before bed. Lots of bubbles on Saturday morning from such a small amount of yeast water!
-I used Red Mill Durum Wheat Semolina Flour (very fine grains)
- Eagle Mills AP Unbleached (purchased at Costco)
- Red Star granulated yeast
- bottled water
- kosher salt.
When measuring the salt in, I observed at 4 gms that it seemed a lot of salt, so I stopped at 6 gms. Dough tastes quite salty so I might reduce it to 4gms next time, though after baking, the saltiness was not so evident.
Mixing the first part by hand (flour and water), 60 min autolyse, mixing in remainder of ingredients with my 350W KitchenAid on first speed for 7 min and 3 hr rise time, folding 3 times.
I split the dough into 2, let it rest 20 min, shaped, rolled in sesame seed ( not 2 cups!) and let the second rise go in oil sprayed parchment lined couche shaped double baker covered loosely with a wet tea towel. I preheated the oven [extra time] with a pan full of water for the steam effect and did the first bake 15 min then turned and baked 15, then turned again for 15 min finish. Removed from the oven for cooling.
I did add 7 more rounded Tblsp of AP flour as the dough was very wet. I think maybe 7 is a bit too much. Now that I am familiar with this recipe, I will cut back to 4 or 5. It is a very wet dough. Additionally, for 2 loaves, I will shorten the bake time by 5-7 minutes. I spray misted twice over the loaves in the oven during the first 15 minutes.
This bread is beautiful. Served with Peking Style Rotisserie Duck, Hoisin/Major Grey Chutney, shredded green onions and hot rice. I used the bread sliced thin, rather than the Chinese pancake. Oh la la, so wonderful.