The Fresh Loaf

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Sicilian Semolina Bread

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SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Sicilian Semolina Bread

I thought I would try D.T. DiMuzio's recipe from his book 'bread baking' for Sicilian Semolina Bread.  Everything went according to plan and the dough tested close to the goal Temperature of 77F.  Things could not have looked better...then I realized...Oh My Gosh!...I forgot to put in the Olive Oil...I knew I should have had it measured and ready to go....because if I don't have ingredients right in front of me...this happens!  I didn't even have the bottle of oil out on the counter...so much for earlier thoughts about the oil!  Oh it would probably be great even without the oil...but no...I wanted my oil.  No matter what!!  In it went.. all of it...slooooshing all around the dough...not mixing in very well ...what now!  I picked up about a Tablespoon of flour tossed it in around the dough and things seemed to come to together pretty good.  I don't think I will ever forget my oil again...lesson learned!  Things looked pretty good...other than I had a very puffy wet dough to try and form into an S...so I did the best I could and made 2 scrolls..one with a backward S and one batard.  We had several slices with dinner and we thought the flavor was great.  So good in fact I thought I would take the one S out of the frig that I was going to retard for tomorrow.  I thought I would let it proof a little longer and see if that would help the S not to get so blown away as in the first loaf.  The first two were done on a pan with added steam>my new Lava Rocks!...I would do this last loaf in my Bell Cloche and see if there was any difference.  Well, not really anything that noticable..they looked pretty much the same both even had the S pretty much blown away...I think my dough was a little on the wet side...then maybe again it was the oil being added later on made the dough slack...Any comment on this will be greatly appreciated.  This was a first forgetting to add the oil and Im sure it must affect the gluten formation some how..so any comments and advice are very much appreciated.


2 S Scrolls - One S and Batard baked with steamed oven - One S  in a La Cloche



Goal Temperature is 77F    This is when I realized I had forgotten the Oil! :>/



Olive Oil has been added and Temperature holding at 77.7   Im thinking I need these lucky numbers!



Batard was nearly all eaten! It had a very nice buttery flavor from the duram flour...we are not crazy on the seeds..but I wanted to stick with tradition and they did add a nice toasty flavor. Things had turned out better than I thought  adding the oil so late didn't seem to do to much harm.



S on the Left was Oven Steamed                                               S on Right was baked in the Bell Cloche and retarded for about 2 hrs. in the frig.


                                                                                             longer before baking.



Crumb on Batard


Sylvia


 


 


 

Comments

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I just got Dan's book yesterday. I haven't even looked at the recipes yet. That looks like a good one. (Tip to self: Mis en place! N'oubliez-pas l'huile d'olive! Or whatever the Italian equivalent might be.)


David 

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Thank you, David!  This one really snuck by me...a senior moment as you say...I couldn't believe I remembered I forgot it..especially with no clues in site, like a big bottle of olive oil!  I'm really enjoying Dan's book!


Sylvia

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

looks lovely! It looks delicious. your pictures please the palate!


I, too, do practice Mis en place for very good reasons!


Betty

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Thank you, Betty!  It wasn't in it's place so I definately missed it ; )


Sylvia

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Lovely bread, Sylvia.  Isn't it great when you hit the desired dough temp?  Nicely done!  I was just thinking of using the semolina flour I've had stashed in the fridge.  Dan's recipe looks like it would work well.


That said - I checked the expiration date on the semolina and it says January 2009.  I wonder if it is still good (it has been in the cooler all the time).  Gads, I'm going to have to inventory the flours in the refrigerator and stick the list to the door.


Ah...mis en place.  Some day I'll tell the story about the plastic bag of high gluten flour sitting on my dryer because I skipped mis en place one night.  

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Hi Lindy and thank you!  Dan's instructions make it pretty easy to hit that temp. I made sure the starting temp. of the water was what he instructed and it worked out great!  Your flour should still be ok since it was refrigerated.  I have to mail order my duram flour.  I can get a pretty fine semolina but it's not as finely ground as the duram flour from K.A.


Women can leave things in the darndest places!  It must be all that multitasking we do.  At least it wasn't in the dryer!


Sylvia

dghdctr's picture
dghdctr

Hi Lindy,


I wouldn't hesitate to use the flour if it smells OK.  Those expiration dates are required by the government, I think.  They don't always suggest a moment of crisis.


--Dan

jleung's picture
jleung

I've forgotten the sugar (yes, ALL OF IT) in banana bread and scones before. Thank goodness for things like chocolate chips and raisins.


I think your loaves look wonderful! :)

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Thank you,  jleung!  I think I've done that too!


Sylvia

xaipete's picture
xaipete

It's on my list too. I can't wait.


--Pamela

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Hi and Thank You, Pamela, I'm a real lover of the Italian breads and the duram flour is just wonderful in the loaves and I also love semolina pasta flour in breads.  That I can easily find locally.  The scroll shape was fun and a new shape for me to try.


Sylvia

dghdctr's picture
dghdctr

Sylvia said: "I think my dough was a little on the wet side...then maybe again it was the oil being added later on made the dough slack..."


I think you're spot-on with your impressions there, Sylvia.  I think your bread looks fabulous -- you definitely nailed the gluten development.


Notice how high the loaf rose in the oven despite what you say was its slack condition?  That was because of the strength of the biga and your instincts in mixing for moderate gluten development without over-mixing.  That's critical with breads that are high in semolina or the finer durum flour.  Durum is higher in protein than many bread wheats, but it's gluten isn't as tolerant of long mixing times.  You can have a great dough one minute and have a floppy one a minute later -- that's why the recommended mixing time was on the short side.


If you want more definition, just use 1 or 2 percentage points less water next time.  That's likely to make more defined seams in the S-coil or sharper cuts on a batard.  I'll tell you though, if you don't mind the looks (and I sure don't), I'd leave it as it is. What a beautiful crumb structure.


--Dan DiMuzio

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Hello Dan!  Thank you for the very nice compliment and the great lessons!  I followed your directions very closely 'till I got to adding the oil' .  I try to pay very close attention to my dough, watching and checking.  This was my third recipe to try with duram flour and I have read how it can turn to mush, I think I must get awful close to that point!  I made R.L. Beranbaum's Pugliese and 3X the recipe hand mixed and it turned out nice, but I think close!  The crumb was very much the same as these loaves.  I did get some great oven spring.  I baked these loaves so different by placing them on a pan and one in a la coche.  I almost always bake directly on the hot stones.  So I was a little worried about getting the nice oven spring.  I didn't notice a difference!  But then I also tried a different type of steaming with the lava stones and the loaves where moist from adding the sesame seeds.  I have 2 stones that came with my convection on or off oven..useing one stone is to small and both stones cover the complete shelf.  I wanted the steaming pan of stones to sit under the bread so I used a pan that was big enough for my loaves and gave enough room for the steam to rise up through the shelf.  When I use both my stones I have to either cover the loaves and inject steam or I have not tried placeing the steaming pan above the stones yet.  Do you advise to turn the convection feature off and go to regular oven bake or leave the convection feature on while the oven is steaming?  I'm very much enjoying your new book!


Sylvia   


 


 


 

dghdctr's picture
dghdctr

Hi Sylvia,


Thanks again for your kind words.


I've never baked extensively with home models of convection ovens.  I've done tons and tons of baking with commercial models (some can take 1 to 4 entire  5' speedracks full of bread all at once), but my observations there might not have immediate application to your situation.


But OK -- I'll tell you what I've experienced with large ovens that use similar principles.  Most commercial convection ovens I've used that are steam equipped seem to shut down the blower when you press the steam button -- you don't always even get a choice to leave it on.  I think that may be because they actually want gravity to play a role in depositing the steam as condensation on the loaves.  Perhaps the engineers think the fan will interfere with that process, but I don't know this for a fact.  Eventually, the forced hot air in the oven can dry the crust quickly, so it is important that the loaf accomplish some significant growth before that happens.


Right now I have a conventional oven, and together with a baking stone it will simulate a pro deck oven in many respects.  When I need steam, I pre-heat a large iron skillet on a rack below the rack that holds the stone, at the same time that I heat the stone, for maybe 2 hours.  Then I toss in a quarter cup or so of cold water right after I place the loaf on the hot stone (if the oven is at 450 degrees or so, you don't need to risk using boiling water).  Obviously, some caution and quick movement is necessary to capture the steam in the oven without burning yourself.


I tape over the vents in my electric oven before pre-heating it, and I remove the tape after 10 minutes of baking.  Typically, a bakery will have ovens that can have large vents opened by a lever to accomplish the evacuation of steam when desired. Don't try covering your vents if the oven is a gas oven, or you may blow out the flames. 


Try your oven both ways -- with the fan off during steaming, and another time with it on, baking the exact same type of bread at the same size, etc.  If you see "blow-outs" or poor crust color in one method but not the other, that tells you which one to abandon.  I'd be curious to hear what you discover if you do the comparison.  In either case, once the loaf has started to brown a tiny bit, it probably won't grow any more and you can vent the steam.  That's usually only 10-15 minutes into the bake with loaves, and maybe 5 minutes with rolls.


--Dan DiMuzio

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Dan, Thank you for all the information you have given me about your steaming methods.  I have steamed with the convection fan on and the loaves baked on the sheet pan above where steamed with the fan off.  Personally I think the results are very close but favoring the fan off! I think the results are little nicer.  When you said you taped over the vents while steaming that made a lot of sense.  I have not tried that and Iam looking forward to seeing the results.  I will have to steam from above because of the size and shape of my two stones that fit across the entire rack made for them...I have not done a lot of steaming by tossing in the water.  I became so leary of cracking my glass...I just started doing all my steaming with a lid and steam injector.  It is so fast and easy and the results are satisfactory to me.  I do feel more confident now...I just throw a big towel over the glass and that seems to work fine. 


I have watched some video's where they are useing wood fired ovens and there is a hole that is made to set a pot into that is holding boiling water releasing steam...I have some small pots with metal handles...one is very handy for pouring water into my oven because of it's small size and long handle.  I use it sometimes to add steam and warmth to my microwave or my countertop oven when I'm proofing in them.  I get plenty of steam..it runs down the glass and I wondering why can't pots of boiling water just be sat in the oven for steaming and then removed?  I'm sure someone in TFL must have tried that by now .  I plan on trying it and see the results. 


Sylvia  

dghdctr's picture
dghdctr

Hi Sylvia,


Would you be willing to post a photo of your oven and/or steam apparatus?  I'd be curious to see it.


--Dan DiMuzio

SteveB's picture
SteveB

Hi Dan,


Excuse me for jumping in here, but I think Sylvia might be using the same steaming technique shown in the video here:


http://www.breadcetera.com/?p=85


If not, then I apologize for unintentionally hijacking the thread.


SteveB


http://www.breadcetera.com


 

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Hi Steve, Thanks for posting your video...that's the one! 


Sylvia

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

  I think many have been made using a buffet tray and drilling a hole and attaching a handle. The steam injector is easily found and purchased.  Unfortunately, no one around my house is that handy!  So I ordered this one in the Largest size.  My personal opionion is I think steaming the oven directly makes for a nicer browning and crust!  But there's a lot to be said for the convenience of this device!



I have 2 stones that sit into a sunken rack that supports them.



note my glass door.  No worries about cracking the glass with this device!


Sylvia 


 

Marni's picture
Marni

Sylvia, what can I say followingthe above comment other than wow!  Really just beautiful!  And you did that even with the oil glitch - impressive.


Marni

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Thank you, Marni...I hope to never do that again with the oil...though..that little addition of flour was what did the trick!  It seemed to give the oil that little bit of grab it needed...otherwise I think it would have just slooshed around on the nice smooth dough!


Sylvia