The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Semolina Bread

dabrownman's picture

I have picking teketeke's (Akikio) brain on making a yeast water starter and baking bread with it.  Akiko is a a generous person and very knowlegable about YW.  Since I have minneolas in the back yard, I started my yeast water with them and apples.  I was successful first time thanks to Akiko.  I built up a levain over 3 days and started searching for a recipe to use it on.  Zolablue's explosive spring Semolina Bread jumped out because the crumb I thought would work very well with the color of the TW.  Here is my formula,  Sorry it is not as technical as most I see on TFL.

Levain - 120 g ( 20g YW & 20g AP flour 12 hours, add 20 g YW and 20g flour 12 hours later, then 40 g AP flour 4 hours later. Kneed the final levain and let ferment 8 hours - all at 82 F

Bread dough:

semolina - 400 g

water - 300 g

sugar - 15 g

olive oil - 50 g

salt 10 g

Paddle mix levain and water in mixer until water is absorbed. Add everything else and kneed with dough hook 8 minutes  (Speed 4 on KA) until dough passes window pane. Put in oiled bowl and let rest 60 minutes. Then do 4 stretch and folds (each time in the bowl) every 30 minutes. Form into loaf and place in pan that is coated in non stick spray. Let rise until top of loaf, in the middle, is level with top of loaf pan - another 2-4 hours. Preheat oven 45 minutes at 400 F - regular bake - no convection.   Place steaming aparatus in the oven. Put bread in oven, turn down to 375 and steam for 20 minutes, remove steam and bake using convection for 20 minutes more. Take loaf out of pan and continue baking until loaf hits 200 degrees in the center.

I was really happy with the crispy crust and color of the exterior.  The crumb was soft, moist, very yellow and puffy in a good way.  The taste was straight up, pure semolina with no sour or fruit taste lingering from the YW.  Toasted, the bread really shines.  I am fond of YW now and will use it for non SD breads in the future.  Akiko makes TW Baggies!!!  That is on my list for sure if I ever learn to slash a loaf half decent!!


codruta's picture

It seems that days and weeks really flies lately and I don't have enough time to write about all the breads I bake. To get upto date, I'll make a resume with the most important breads I've baked in the last days/week:

1. I made semolina bread, in two different days (first it was a 60% semolina + 40% white flour with 67% hydration, next time it was a 70% semolina + 30% white flour and 71% hydration), inspiread by Hamelman's Semolina Bread and Giovanni's bread. I used a stiff levain and I had to add a lot of water to the dough, and I still think it was not enough. But semolina bread is one of my latest revelations, I love it's flavor so much... too bad I have only one bag of semolina left... :(

The crumb is yellow, but not as opened as it i in giovanni's bread, yet, it is a very tasty formula. It's elastic and chewy and it's wonderful sweet when toasted.

Here are pictures from the first bread:

And from the second one: (I dind't realise before how much they resemble, till I put the pictures together)

2. I make baguettes again, using the same formula as the last time, reducing the hydration to 71%. Better than the first time, but still a long way from perfection.


3. I made another rye bread, using a rye soaker and rye chops made from soaked berries, chopped and then soaked again. I started with 90g berries (140g after soaking and draining) and ended with 210g rye chops, soaked and drained.

The bread has more volume than the last time, even if the dough got stucked in the banneton in a couple of places and it deflated a bit while I forced it to come out. (mini, I did not cheat while I sliced the bread, no funny angles while cutting it, and I have 8-9 cm max... well it's better than 6 cm from last time:)

The bigger holes in the crumb are a sign of overproofing, or a sign of air or/and water incorporated in the dough while shaping?

Well, that's about it, for now. Not quite up-to-date, I still have some "san joaquin"s left that I want share with you, but this is already a too long post.



MadAboutB8's picture

Now that I finally found (the elusive) durum flour (after been making semolina bread with fine semolina all along), I wanted to find out what differences between fine semolina and durum flour would produce in a finished product. I wanted to try this with the bread that I made using fine semolina before, Semolina Bread from Jeffrey Hamelman’s Bread cookbook.

Taste-wise I couldn’t tell or feel the differences. They both have lovely flavour and nice chewy texture (though the bread I made with fine semolina was a distant memory).

The differences were more in the dough structure. I found durum flour absorb the water better and easier to work with. Fine semolina hardly absorbed any water and the dough was really wet and slack from my memory.

Bread made with durum flour also got better crumb structure, it was more open and rise well during the bake. The one made with semolina were rather flat, the crumb was relatively open and all but it just didn’t rise and dome nicely.

This bread has 60% durum flour and 67% hydration. I was surprised that the crumb wasn’t creamy and yellow as I would expect from durum flour. It was only a tad creamier than an all-wheat bread.

This bread is one of my favourite. I love the aroma and texture of sesame seeds in bread (or in anything really) and the durum flour also add sweet creamy flavour to the bread, and tender crumb. I used black sesame seeds instead of white as I find the black sesame seeds are more flavourful. I love its smoky flavour.

Full post and recipe can be found here.


MadAboutB8's picture

Somehow, durum flour eluded me. I thought that fine semolina was durum flour (given that they're both comes from durum wheat). I thought durum flour was called fine semolina in Australia. 

Thank to Sylvia (SylviaH) for pointing it out in her blog post together with pictures that they're totally different. I then just knew that I had made semolina bread all along with fine semolina thinking that I got the right ingredient (mind you, the breads tasted lovely and the crumb strucdture was fine with fine semolina as well). 

So, I was very excited when I finally found the durum flour at an Italian grocer. First recipe that comes to my mind was pugliese.

I used the recipe from Peter Rienhart's BBA, with 40% durum flour. The dough hydration is 77% without considering mashed potato. I also included about 20% mashed potato in the recipe (recipe only calls for 12% but I got the more from the left-over). So, the effective hydration could very well be close to 90% if taking into account the liquid from mashed potato.

This was the wettest dough I worked with so far. It was far too wet to knead, so I had to do the stretch and fold in the bowl for a number of times to develop the dough strength. It was fascinating to see the dough structure changed from pancake-like structure, to develop membrane and bond together. Ahh, the wonder of wheat!

The bread was lovely and chewy. Semolina tasted somewhat different from wheat, it's nuttier and sweeter. I also wonder what the flavour profile would be like if made using sourdough culture instead of yeast?

For full blog post and recipe, you can find it here.


MadAboutB8's picture

JH Semolina Bread...with a tumor

July 4, 2010 - 10:20pm -- MadAboutB8

Hi to all the lovely The Fresh Loaf members....

I'm new to the bread making and sourdough...just started about 3 months ago with both bread and sourdough making. So far, I'm totally obsessed with it. I learned a lot through this web site and found it's very encouraging. I also purchased few books about bread making. My first is Peter Reinhart's BBA which I found to be very good for novice bread enthusiast.

zoltan szabo's picture
zoltan szabo

Hi to everyone,

this is my first post. I would like to share my recipe for semolina bread roll. I use the same recipe to bake larger loafs and fougasse as well.

In the restaurant I serve with this roll's pates and terrines or just simply serve as part of a bread basket.

Hope you guys like it as much as I do.

Happy baking! Zoltan

semolina rolls



  • 500gr fine semolina
  • 11gr salt
  • 50gr butter
  • 25gr yeast
  • 300ml luke warm water

1. Mix all the dry ingredients together, add the yeast.

2. Add the warm water and mix until a smooth soft elastic dough become together.

3. Place the dough somewhere warm to proof for 45 minutes.

4. When the dough is proofed knock it back and work on it for 5 minutes. Shape and devide into 30gr rolls.

5. Let it proof again then slash the top and bake with steam on 200C for 15-20 minutes until golden and hollow the noise when you knock the bottom of it.

6. When ready place on wire rack and brush with olive oil.


korish's picture

Semolina sourdough baked in my wood burning oven.


This is my first bread ever so I'm proud of my achievement, beginning of this year I set out on a new adventure of bread baking in wood burning oven. About a month ago I completed my wood oven and 3 weeks ago started my starter going. Yesterday was the glories day of baking, the bread turned out OK had a great pop in the oven and tastes great. Had it with dinner yesterday, made French toast today and enjoying a slice of bread and honey with my tea.

xaipete's picture

When I was cleaning out my pantries a couple of weekends ago, I discovered a number of bags of various specialty flours. One of the bags was Bob's Red Mill Durum Wheat Semolina Flour. I was looking around today for a way to use this flour and found a recipe on the King Arthur site for 100% semolina bread. I adapted my bread from the recipe found in Judith and Evan Jones' "The Book of Bread".
It is a moist bread with a nice even crumb and a mild taste of semolina. Very easy to make, I'm sure it would be well accepted by children because of its slight cake-like texture. It's kind of like corn bread with out tasting like corn (sounds strange, I know, but that's the way it strikes me). I think this bread would make great stuffing for turkeys and pork chops (see my comments below).

It did make great toast and go well with bacon, lettuce & tomato.

9 g instant yeast

340 g water

28 g soft butter (olive oil would work fine too) 28 g nonfat dry milk 8 g salt 600 g Durum wheat semolina flour (I used Bob's Red Mill Durum Wheat Semolina Flour)
Place all ingredients in bowl of mixer and mix with the paddle for a minute to incorporate all ingredients. Switch to dough hook. Knead on speed 2 for 4 minutes--dough should clean to bowl and pass the window pane test.
Place dough in an oiled 2 qt. container, cover and let rise until nearly triple, about 1 1/2 hours.
Deflate dough and divide into two 18 ounce pieces, for 8 1/2 x 4 inch loaf pans, or four 9 ounce pieces for mini loaf pans. Roll each piece of dough into a rectangle and then roll up tightly, cigar-style.
Place loaves in oiled bread pans, cover with oiled plastic wrap, and let rise until nearly double, about 1 hour.
Bake in center of preheated 350º oven until bread is a light golden brown and internal temperature reaches 190ºF, about 30 minutes. Turn loaves out onto a rack and let cool.
Would I make it again? Probably not. It is a little boring for my tastes, but I'm sure it will make great toast for breakfast. But it serves a two-fold purpose: I needed to use up this sack of semolina and I'm out of bread (my SD starter won't be ready to go until tomorrow.)



Subscribe to RSS - Semolina Bread