The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Semolina Filone

Franko's picture
Franko

Semolina Filone

 

A few weeks back I went looking to find a source for Fancy or Extra Fancy Durum flour here in B.C. or Western Canada but drew a complete blank with all my usual local retailers. Durum Atta flour for chapatti and other Indian baking is readily available but the x-fancy is nowhere to be found...at least for now. Fortunately breadsong http://www.thefreshloaf.com/user/breadsong  was able to give me a hand and put me in touch with one of her contacts at Giusto's in San Francisco who was quite happy to fill my 1 bag order. The shipping cost was fairly steep, but now at least I had 25lbs of beautiful, finely milled durum flour that I could use while I try to source something a little closer to home. One of the several breads that I wanted the flour for is a recipe from Maggie Glezer's 'Artisan Baking' called Tom Cat's Semolina Filone. David Snyder as well as many others on this forum have posted on it, but it was David's post of his bake of this bread that really inspired me to give it a try. Link to David’s post below:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/8114/tom-cat039s-semolina-filone-maggie-glezer039s-quotartisan-breadsquot

I won't go into a step by step of the procedure since David has already covered that thoroughly in his post, with our methods and experiences with the dough being almost identical. The one notable difference being that I didn't find I needed to add any extra flour because of the dough being “gloppy” during the initial mixing. This may be because I was using a blend of Canadian AP and Bread flour, likely with a higher gluten content than the KA-AP that David used.

This is a really nice dough to work with and an easy mix by hand for the quantities given in Glezer's formula. After a 3 hour bulk ferment the dough is soft, supple, and very extensible with it's 33% prefermented flour from the poolish allowing for easy molding. Very similar to a baguette dough I thought, and something I'll try molding this dough as in future mixes. There will certainly be future mixes since this is a great tasting bread in all respects. I love toasted sesame seeds, so any bread covered in them is going to taste wonderful to me, but the crumb and crust just on their own work perfectly together, creating a good crunch from the crust with, to borrow one of David's terms, a nutty flavour. I didn't notice the nut flavour so much in the crumb as he did, rather I found a very slight acidity highlighting the mixed grain flavours. I know that several folks on this forum have noted the lack of flavour that durum flour has but whatever contribution it makes overall to this formula surely must be positive. The texture of the crumb is almost feathery soft but has good chew somehow as well, which surprised me. Again, possibly a factor of the flour combination used in this mix, and not something I'd want to change in future mixes. This bread being a natural for open faced sandwiches with fresh tomato and cheese or dry salami and pepperoncini with a little EVOO drizzled over, that's exactly what I had for a very enjoyable lunch this afternoon.

Franko


Comments

varda's picture
varda

that looks great!   And the salami pushes it over the top.  -Varda

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks Varda! Glad you like the loaf.

All the best,

Franko

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I'm glad you enjoyed it.

The feel of this dough is unique in my (bread) experience, and I'm not sure exactly why. Maybe it's the combination of the high percentage of prefermented flour and the high hydration. It is very gassy and pillowy soft. Very sensual to handle with lovely mouth feel to the crumb.

Yours looks delicious.

David

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi David,

Thank you for showing me the way with your own beautiful bake of this loaf. Maggie Glezer's book doesn't have a full photo of what the bread should look like and I found your post very helpful for that, as well as your baking notes. While I was waiting for the flour to be delivered I played around with trying to make a starter from BRM semolina flour. It turns out I didn't have to try that hard. I've never seen anything turn into active starter so quickly! Spelt flour goes active in 48hrs or less, but the semolina flour took about 26-27 hrs. I used it to make a typical wheat leavan and tried it in a mix.

The dough didn't get a proper fermentation (my fault) but it did show me that semolina makes a very quick and active starter. What I gather from this is that durum, which is known for having an abundance of protein, although it's low quality protein, must also have a good deal of starch and amylase since yeast of either strain thrives when it comes in contact with durum and water at fermentation temperatures. This is what I think you and I noticed with the feel of our Filone doughs being unusually gassy and supple. I've been trying to track down some more definitive information on durum properties to see if I'm on track with this or not, but nothing so far. The young starter has a fairly pleasant, almost toasty smell to it, but as it matures it takes on a cheesy aroma that I find a little rank...however once it's baked in a loaf it gives a definite tang to the finished loaf that I think you might appreciate. The starter is easy to over-ripen, so if you were to try making some in your warmer climate you'd have to monitor it closely and feed it often. Thought I'd pass along my observations so far in case it's of any interest to you.

Thanks again David,

Franko

Syd's picture
Syd

Looks absolutely delicious, Franko! :)  What was the final hydration of the dough? And that is very little yeast (only a 1/4 of a teaspoon apart from the 1/16 of a teaspoon in the poolish), but it rose very well.  It is lunch time now, but I haven't eaten yet and I am craving a bite of that open sandwich.  -:) Lovely post.

Best,

Syd

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks Syd!

Well I would have sent you a sandwich or two but I'm still feeling the effects of shipping cost anxiety from the durum flour delivery. I'd probably need a 2nd mortgage to send anything to Taiwan. If you make this bread at some point I think you'll appreciate how much flavour you get back from it for the small amount of effort it takes to make it, compared to some of the marvelous breads you've made and posted on your blog.

Regarding the yeast question: I'm guessing that "1/16 of a teaspoon" you refer to is either a typo or a misread. David's rendering of Maggie Glezer's formula is correct in that 1/4 tsp is used for the poolish, and another 1/4 tsp for the final dough. Considering the nature of durum flour and yeast ( see my comment to David) you could probably use less yeast in the final dough and have the same or similar result, perhaps with even more flavour. Certainly worth trying. The final hydration of the dough per the formula is 75.5% . The dough that I mixed was what I would call of a slack but cohesive consistency, with very moderate gluten development to it. From there on it's the same as what David has posted in his blog for procedure.

Thanks again for your comments Syd, much appreciated.

Best to you as well,

Franko

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

You couldn't have picked a nicer loaf for your duram flour.  David was also a big influence for me to try this bread and why I ordered MG book.  Your loaf looks delicious and your sandwich is making me hungry.  Beautiful bake!

Sylvia

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Sylvia,

Good to hear from you and thanks very much about the loaf and the sandwich. MG's book was the 1st one I bought after joining TFL and the Filone has been on my list since then. Hammelman's book arrived shortly after that and sidetracked me for the better part of a year, so it was good to have the opportunity to finally do a bake of it. Wish I hadn't waited so long though.

Franko

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Franko,
Glad your flour arrived, and boy, did you ever put it to good use!
I hope you are happy with the flour's performance.
Your loaf opened up beautifully during the bake, and that's a delicious-looking sesame-coated crust.
I love the soft, creamy color of the crumb, too.
How lovely to see this semolina filone!
:^) from breadsong

Franko's picture
Franko

Thank you breadsong for the comments on the loaf and as well for helping me to aquire some of this lovely flour.

The flour is wonderful to work with, not at all what I was expecting from some of the things I've read about it being difficult or tricky to handle....so far.

All the best,

Franko

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Franko,

you really put to good use your durum flour. Your breads looks like one of the typical sicilian breads, so beautifully covered by sesame seeds. The crumb looks the same, too. If this is the beginning I'm looking forward to see the rest!

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Nico,

Thanks very much! I've always loved making Italian style breads so hearing that from you is indeed a fine compliment  to receive.

All the best,

Franko

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Franko,

Outstanding bread, as Nico has noted.   Beautiful crumb, in particular.   And, I have to say I am really taken with the yellowish tinge to that soft crust lurking under that ear!

Clearly you have some top flour

Best wishes

Andy

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Andy,

Many thanks for the compliments on the loaf! I'm glad that the pale yellow showed up on the photo. I wasn't sure it would with the light conditions I had yesterday, but it came through pretty clear I thought. Nice to have a different flour to work with other than the same old-same old and have a chance to learn some new things. The flour is lovely, and as you say, of top quality, so I'll try to use it to it's best advantage in upcoming bakes.

Cheers,

Franko

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

That Filone looks delicious.

Sesame does make almost anything better.

Glenn

Franko's picture
Franko

Thank you Glenn!

Aren't those little seeds a treat? I've baked a few bricks over the years that if they hadn't been covered in sesame seeds would have gone to the landfill.

Franko

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

What's up next with all that durum flour?

Paul

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Paul,

Thanks very much!

 Up next? Hmmm... well I have a project on the go but it's a little early right now to say if it'll be next or not. I will tell you that the durum flour is intended primarily for making certain Italian breads, rolls and flat breads, some items of which I've wanted to make for a long time but lacked the right flour till now. I'd like to get a better handle on this flour before I go making any confident statements about what I can produce with it next, so it's a 'wait and see' for now. Thanks for your interest Paul, I appreciate it!

Franko

 

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Franko,

That really is a delicious looking loaf. Such a golden crust and open, translucent crumb! It looks such a winner with the salami and salad. 

Good durum isn't so easy to get in the UK, either, but this has inspired me to go looking again, particularly as I have one of Jan Hedh's books and it is also used traditionally in his Swedish-influenced formulae.

Thanks for sharing!

Daisy_A

 

Franko's picture
Franko

So nice to hear from you Daisy,

Thank you for the nice compliments on the Filone. It was a pleasure to make as well as eat! Fancy durum flour  appears to be an extremely 'niche' market in our two countries, which is a shame since it's such a nutrient rich grain. The cost of milling this hard grain is surely a factor in why we find it so hard to come across, but maybe that will change over time with the public's new interest in 'real food'. That's my hope at least.

Very best wishes,

Franko 

teketeke's picture
teketeke

 Hi Franko,

Thank you for sharing your another nice loaf!  I was looking for something new recipe to try with semolina flour that I recently bought.  David's semolina felone looks delicious ,too.   I also thank you to show us your nice open faced sandwich that is helpful for me to introduce to my family who has tired of my daily sandwiches.

Best wishes,

Akiko

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Akiko,

Thank you for the nice comments on the loaf and sandwich, very kind. I think this is a loaf your entire family could enjoy. Hope you try it sometime.

Best Wishes,

Franko