The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Semolina Sandwich Bread Update

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susanna_hammond's picture
susanna_hammond

Semolina Sandwich Bread Update

I have adapted the recipe for Daniel Leader's Semolina Sandwich Bread (as posted here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/4213/semolina-sandwich-loaf) to an overnight rise by reducing the yeast to 1/4 teaspoon. I just mix all the ingredients with a knife in a large bowl until a rough dough forms, cover the bowl with cling film and leave the bowl on the kitchen bench overnight (anywhere from 10-14 hours) to rise.


There is no need to knead :) or to oil the bowl, as the dough itself is so oily. Next day, I punch it down and knead it, briefly, then shape it and leave it to rise until at least doubled in size. The rising time will vary according how cold the kitchen gets overnight. In the winter, if the overnight temperature has been really low and the dough is very cold, I will punch it down in the bowl, leave it for an hour or two, and then punch it down again before shaping. I bake it for 40 minutes at 200 celsius in my electric fan-forced oven.


I have found that the slow rise produces an even more intense flavour than the original, and use this method with many other breads, particularly if I want a close-to-100% whole wheat. And you get those beautiful golden dots all over the crust.

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

Where do you fid semolina flour? I have a couple recipes I want to try, but I don't know where to find the flour!

msbreadbaker's picture
msbreadbaker

King Arthur has semolina flour, is on line or catalog.


Jean P. (VA)

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Look the Bob's Red Mill section of the grocery stores where you shop. It may be with the health/natural foods. Typically, there will be some semolina. If there is no semolina, they almost certainly can order some. Both the large regional grocers(Kroger, Publix) in my area carry Bob's Red Mill products in all of their stores.


Also check in Asian/Hispanic/International stores and markets. They typically carry it.


Be sure and check for freshness at all these suggested locations.


Lastly, check in your local health/natural food type stores and co-ops.

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

The semolina I see at the grocery store (and I buy it to make european style egg dumplings for soup) uses semolina flour. it has a bit of a grit to it - way finer than cornmeal, but much courser than traditional flour. Plus, it's expensive as all get out.. I can buy 6 pounds online for over $15. That's an expensive bread!


http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/p_10151_10104_033V002388207000P?vName=Food%20&%20Grocery&cName=BakingSupplies&sName=Dry%20Goods%20&%20Spices&sid=KDx2007092...


 


 

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Yes, if (packaged)BRM is all you can find, it is expensive.


Otherwise, you will need to check your health/natural food stores/co-ops and Asian/Latin/International markets for semolina at more normal prices. Most larger cities should have plently of these type stores in the metro area. There are several of these type stores in the Atlanta Ga area. I get semolina for 69 cents a pound at a large International market here. Although not quite as cheap, but I have seen semolina flour at the three International type markets that I frequent here.


I'm also pretty certain that a health/natural food co-op that I don't visit has semolina flour. Check Whole Foods in the bulk section too. They usually have it.


And yes, semolina(flour) is gritty. It is not as finely ground as other flours, and some are more fine than others. When the semolina is ground as finely(or almost so) as your typical flour, it is called durum flour, or fancy durum flour. Sometimes even extra fancy.


But as seen in the thread linked in the op, semolina can often be substituted successfully even for bread recipes that specifically call for using only fancy durum flour. I have a post and pictures in that thread of my bread made using semolina instead of fancy durum flour. In fact most of the breads in that thread were made with semolina instead of durum, although granted, some were not so successful. Many were though.


 

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

I have international markets all around me and I went looking at their flours recently and I don't know what's what. So, if I see a flour that says "durum" I can use that, it's semolina? Or only "fancy durum?"


There were so many kinds and I wasn't looking for anything in particular at the time, so I just skipped on. Maybe I'll check it out today as I'm in desperate need of groceries.


 


 

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Semolina, if that is what you want, will usually say that in the product name. Semolina is made from durum wheat though, so you may see durum somewhere on the packaging.


I have yet to see any actual durum flour at the stores I shop, but almost certainly if the product name says durum flour, fancy durum, or extra fancy durum flour, these are all flours ground as finely as your typical flour. If it says semolina, it will be gritty.


One final note: If you go out shopping for the flour in the recipe that the op is referring to, you want one of the durum flours mentioned(any one, they are all the same). If you cannot find durum flour and you still wish to try the recipe, get the most finely ground semolina you can find.


It is confusing, but most "semolina" bread recipes call for using durum flour, so calling them semolina breads is somewhat of a misnomer.

susanna_hammond's picture
susanna_hammond

Now I live in Australia, so have no idea how hard/easy it is to find bread making products in the US, Canada or Europe or how expensive things are. I can pay between AUD10.00 and AUD30.00 for 10 kg of bread making flour (white, whole wheat, atta, rye , semolina...). But I hunt around and find the cheapest source.


Try contacting some flour mills/manufacturers and ask them what they recommend for specific purposes and who distributes their products. For example, I found the folks at Laucke to be really helpful when I couldn't remember the particular type of semolina flour I had (accidentally :D) bought initially. They have a great list of their flours, but none of them seemed to match, so I emaled them with my query. Turns out it is a 'speciality' product called Laucke 'Sharps' flour which has a protein content of 12.2%.


Best get off my soap box now, as this is probably totally useless information for most of you :)


However, I would like to say, that bread making should be FUN! Unless you are a professional baker (and I bet they have their failures occasionally), it's not an exact science (Amongst other things, moisture in the the atmosphere  can vary, as can temperatures in the house/kitchen and the protein, moisture and ash content of different brands of what is ostensibly the same kind of flour. Oven performance is also widely variable, and the type of tin you use can change the baking time.


But I have found that bread making is so much more 'forgiving' than cake making. You learn to 'see' and 'feel' the dough. What we call now 'artisan' breads, were, once upon a time, made by people who had no thermometers or scales and who certainly had no way of measuring the moisture content of their flour. They were probably like my mother, who could tell how much flour  she had emptied onto the bench top and knew exactly when the dough 'felt' right.


ENJOY!