The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Semolina Bread w/soaker & fennel seed

geraintbakesbread's picture

Semolina Bread w/soaker & fennel seed

I made this bread as a result of having recently joined the site where members bake their way through Jeffrey Hamelman's 'Bread' book.

I love fennel seeds & really enjoyed a semolina bread I made using a Carol Field recipe (from 'The Italian Baker'), so I was looking forward to this.

I made my soaker with millet flakes, along with the wheat flakes & coarse polenta. I wasn't sure how Hamelman defines 'hot', nor how long to soak, but used water at 50oc (122F) and soaked overnight.

For the first time ever, I used the DDT formula to calculate the water temp for the dough, which again needed to be 50oc. Even so, I didn't quite reach the recipe DDT of 76F, the dough being 72F after kneading. Nevertheless, the fermentation times were fairly close to those in the recipe.

The loaves (scaled at 2x488g) came out looking great:

It has a thin chewy crust & springy chewy crumb. The flavour is intriguing - certainly not a wow - but I enjoy the little bursts of fennel & the creaminess imparted by the soaker. I will be interested to see how the flavours develop overnight & also to try it toasted.

We're having hake tonight & I think this should go quite well with it. I'm sure it would be good with a simple white bean soup.


Daisy_A's picture

Hi Geraint,

Those look good! Have tried Hamelman's semolina without fennel but should try this with. Does sound like it would go well with fish.

Best wishes, Daisy_A

geraintbakesbread's picture

Thanks Daisy.

It did go well with the hake, ate pretty much a whole loaf with it!

Best regards


Syd's picture

I missed this post.  That is a beautiful looking bread.  How did it taste?

regards, Syd

geraintbakesbread's picture

Thanks for your nice comment Syd.

Tasted pretty good. Springy chewy crumb with creaminess from the soaker & pleasing bursts of fennel. Went well with hake when just baked, & (toasted) with rainbow trout tonight.

All the best,