The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Semolina Sesame Braid

gaaarp's picture
gaaarp

Semolina Sesame Braid

I made Nick Malgieri's Semolina Sesame Braid from The Modern Baker this weekend. You can read about it here. I wasn't crazy about this bread. It was OK, but didn't impress me that much. I found the same thing to be true of the semolina recipes in BBA.


Which has me wondering: am I not trying the right recipes, or could it be I just don't like semolina bread?


I know some of you have made it using sourdough starter, and that I might like that better. But to be honest, I'm not racing to try another semolina recipe. Unless anyone has a great semolina bread that differs significantly and pleasantly from NM's and PR's recipes.

wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)

I love the BBA's Pane Siciliano.


The crust and crumb look a lot like your braid, so it might rate similarly.


It's nowhere near 95% hydration, though.

gaaarp's picture
gaaarp

I don't think NM's is supposed to be so high, either. He only gives volumetric measurements, so it's impossible to really tell. But there's no way to braid a dough that wet without a lot of extra flour.


I didn't care for PR's Pane Siciliano, either. So maybe I'm just not a semolina guy.

CelesteU's picture
CelesteU

Leader's "Local Breads" has a nice chapter on pane di Altamura, the DOC bread of Altamura.  It's a semolina sourdough.  I like the sandwich-loaf (pane in cassetta, p 251 in LB) version of pane Altamura the best.

wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)

Leader's Pane di Altamura is a bread that's defeated me on three different occasions. I fear it.

CelesteU's picture
CelesteU

How did it defeat you?  FYI, the Altamura pane in cassetta isn't sourdough, so it's a tad easier than the big altamura loaf.

lief's picture
lief

I'll second the motion for Pane Siciliano from BBA.  However, I also have to say that ever since I made my own semolina recipe that is a sourdough, I have not baked Pane Siciliano.  I think it's true of most breads though... sourdough is just plain better.  It sounds like you just aren't a semolina kind of guy though, gaaarp.

Boboshempy's picture
Boboshempy

What don't you like about the breads?  Please explain?  I have made many different kinds of semolina breads inculding Pane Siciliano from BBA.


Nick

gaaarp's picture
gaaarp

Nick,


I don't care for the taste or texture of bread made with semolina.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, gaaarp.


I haven't been that fond of the semolina breads i've baked from "Bread" and BBA) either. However, I have liked sourdough breads with 20-25% durum flour subbed for AP or BF.


Earlier this week I baked a sourdough Italian bread with 20% durum flour that everyone (10 votes) thought was fabulous. It was based on the formula in this post: Sourdough Italian Bread and Sandwich Rolls.


I made the following modifications:


1. Used AP rather than BF.


2. Substituted 20% durum flour for an equal amount of AP.


3. I mixed entirely by hand. (Mix all ingredients except salt and biga. Autolyse x 20 min. Add biga and salt. S&F in the bowl -30 strokes x 3 every 20 minutes. Rest 45 min. S&F on the board. Repeat rest x 45 min and another S&F on the board. Proceed with bulk fermentation, etc.)


David

gaaarp's picture
gaaarp

David,


Thanks for the recipe. This looks good enough to make me want to give semolina one last try. When I finish the Breads section in The Modern Baker I'll have a few weeks before we start the next section, so maybe I'll try it then.


Phyl

gaaarp's picture
gaaarp

David,


Finally, an edible semolia bread! Thanks for the recipe. I suspect it's the combination of the biga and relatively small percentage of semolina flour that made it palatable to me.


Thanks again, David.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

A couple of my relatives claim the SD Italian Bread is "the best bread (I) make." I don't agree, but chacun a son gout, as we Americans say.


David

paulav's picture
paulav

You are not alone in feeling underwhelmed by this type of bread.  I've made a recipe using a biga... it was enjoyed by others and looked beautiful, but was not my favorite.  I decided to save the sesame seeds for other recipes and skip the semolina.  paulav