The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Tom Cat's Semolina Filone

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varda's picture
varda

Tom Cat's Semolina Filone

Some time ago Franko did a great post on Tom Cat's Semolina Filone.   I pretended to make it but in fact I didn't because I used starter instead of poolish and whole durum instead of extra fancy.   Now following Karin's excellent no-discrimination policy I decided to cook from books lying under my nose, and what book could be greater (or more underutilized by  me) than Maggie Glezer's Artisan Baking.    This time I followed directions to the letter (see page 124.)  This bread is so good that someone should post on it every few months or so.   With this post, I've done my part.   

Bonus bread lessons:

1.  Different flour,  different bread.

2.  If you bake bread from a formula without following directions you haven't yet made that formula. 

 

Comments

ananda's picture
ananda

Awesome bread Varda, and great that lessons are learned too!

But both roots you have used have validity.   Experimenting with whole durum and leaven is a totally legitimate bread to make...but, agreed, it's not Maggie Glezer's recipe, of course.

This looks lovely!   Is it as tasty as your previous variations?

Best wishes

Andy

varda's picture
varda

Thanks for checking in.   I agree nothing wrong with experimentation - I do it all the time.   But sometimes I kid myself into thinking I'm making one thing when I'm actually doing another.   The other thing for a relatively inexperienced baker such as myself, following someone else's directions (from time to time) can be a great way for expanding what you know and so giving you more to experiment with.   As for differences between the breads - percentage of durum in this formula is 56%.   Using whole durum that translates into a fairly dense, tight crumb bread, but with a lot of flavor since whole durum just has so much of it.    With extra fancy durum it's about the texture which is light and airy.   The taste is much more mild.   This bread reminds me of what you might get in an old-school Italian bakery maybe called Scali.   So really my two attempts are as different from each other as 100% white bread would be from 50% whole wheat.   Thanks so much for your comments.  -Varda  

jcking's picture
jcking

Nice work Varda!

Since I love sesame seeds I like to add a Tablespoon of dark sesame oil to this one.

Great alveoli and pix. ~ Jim

varda's picture
varda

Jim, That sounds delicious.   Thanks so much for your comments.   (And now I know what alveoli are!)  -Varda

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Fantastic Varda!

I have often thought of baking this ... somehow the name of it resonates with me.

Your bake is a great example and now I am even more keen to have a go.

Cheers,
Phil 

varda's picture
varda

Hi Phil,   I agree it's a nice name for a good bread.    The dough has a mind of its own during shaping, and so best not to be too fussy about it.   I hope you give it a try.   If you look at Franko's post, he shows it in a nice salami sandwich.   I think I'll make a turkey cacciatore for tonight's dinner to accompany the bread.  :-)   Thanks for your comments.  -Varda

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

You baked TCSF beautifully.  What a lovely crumb shot and the crust looks devine, also with a very nice coating of sesame seeds.  Your kitchen must smell wonderful. You picked a real winner.  The durum flour flavour comes through so delicious in this bread.  I also love and baked a lot of Scali loaves, delicious but different tasting without the durum flour.  Your bake has reminded me that I want to do TCSF full scale size 1 kilo and is 28" long, in my wfo oven.  It would bake up beautifully and full of flavor in a wfo.  It is a loaf well worth the extra scribbing of formula scaling all over my MG filone page : )  It is a wet dough to score, but you can see the ones pictured in MG book are also 'rustic' in their scoring and rather flatish in height, but shaped nicely.  This bread is in my top 10 favorites...must be that durum flour!  When does your wfo come out of hyberation..it's over 80 here today, the warm air comes with Santa Ana winds and seems to rain every week-end.

Sylvia

 

varda's picture
varda

Thanks so much.   I actually scaled up by 4/3 and baked two 600g loaves.   Not as dramatic as one long one.    I think Lynnebiz told me that authentic Scali loaves do have durum in them, but heck, I'm not Italian, so anyone could tell me anything.   I think the main difference between this formula and your Pugliese is the Pugliese is a lot wetter.   That does change the character of the loaf.   So this one is scorable whereas that one basically isn't (as I recall.)  I love durum too.   And just can't bake enough with the King Arthur stuff.   But had a total flop the other day which collapsed in the oven - just a waste of good durum flour.  My oven comes out of hibernation when it's warm and dry enough to bake without being unpleasant.   That is at earliest late April maybe May.   I used to visit my mother in the San Diego area in December and it always irritated me to see people jogging on the beach at that time of year.   So don't tell me about no stinkin 80 degrees.   Always enjoy your comments!  -Varda

lumos's picture
lumos

What a lovely crumb you got! 

I'm often so guilty of adjusting a recipe to suit my need and convenience by improvising with different ingredients, leavens, hydration, temperature,  etc., rather than following the original formula religiously.  Thank you for sharing your experience...and making me feel even more guilty!! :p

 

varda's picture
varda

Hey Lumos,   If you lay that guilt on my doorstep it makes me feel guilty.   No one could play around more with formulas than I do.   This is my rare foray into following the instructions.    It must be something I ate.   Anyhow, thanks for your comments, and hope to see a post from you soon.  -Varda

Franko's picture
Franko

Another wonderful Tom Cat's Filone Varda!

I thought the first one you made back in May using a leaven was excellent, but the crumb on this one is truly outstanding, along with the golden cracking crust you've achieved.  Now that you've tasted one with leaven and one with poolish, which do you prefer for flavour? I've thought about doing one using leaven since your May post but I enjoyed the taste so much of the original poolish version I decided not to bother messing with a good thing. Gorgeous loaf Varda, I really wish I had a slice of it in front of me right now...even if I don't have any salami in the fridge. :^) Thanks for linking to my blog, very kind of you!

Cheers,

varda's picture
varda

Hi Franko,  Thank you so much for your generous comments.   As far as which one I prefer for flavor, I'd say nowadays this one.   I think I sort of burned myself out on whole durum flavor and now find it somewhat cloying.   Perhaps if I stay away from it for awhile, its charms will resurface.    I also think that starters tend toward a somewhat more compacted structure than poolishes although maybe that's just me.   If I were to try this again with a starter, I'd stick with the refined durum.   And of course it was your interest in baking with the extra fancy durum that got me going in this direction.  -Varda

holds99's picture
holds99

Varda,

Lovely bread, crust and crumb appear to be perfect.  It's always fun to do a bit of experimenting.  That being said, it's also a good practice to follow the formula the first time around so as to have a benchmark.

A while back you mentioned that you purchased Golden Temple durum flour.  I would appreciate knowing where you purchased it.

Thanks,

Howard

varda's picture
varda

your comments.  Hope all is well.   I bought a 20 lb bag of the Golden Temple brand whole durum at a Korean supermarket.   Then I bought bag of Golden Temple number 1 Atta at an Indian grocery store.   I still have some of that.    Lately I've become disenchanted with using it for bread but I do augment my pizza dough with it.   The whole durum has a very strong flavor which I got sick of toward the bottom of the bag.   I think that quality-wise the whole durum is a better product, as the number 1 Atta doughs are vulnerable to too much enzymatic activity.   It would probably be perfect for paratha though which I haven't tried.   Hope you are able to find it.  -Varda

holds99's picture
holds99

Varda,

Thanks so much for your reply.  All is well on this end.  I really appreciate your advice and suggestions.  I have been using K.A. durum flour and it works great, but it's a bit pricy for 3 lb bags.  I remembered you had bought some Golden Temple Atta.  I saw a 20 lb bag of Golden Temple on Amazon from one of their approved vendors, but I had a bad experience with an Amazon vendor a while back.  I ended up with 25 lbs of Bob's Red Mill whole wheat pastry flour instead of what I ordered.  The return policy was so complicated it was not worth the effort.  The good news is I use the Bob's Red Mill whole wheat pastry flour where I need whole wheat in my formula(s) and it works terrific.  As for durum flour I guess I'll stick with K.A., at least for the time being. 

Thanks again and best wishes,

Howard

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

This is a delicious bread. The flavor is wonderful, but, for me, it's the soft, cool yet chewy texture of the crumb that is most special. Yours looks wonderful!

David

varda's picture
varda

David,   I think your description is right on target.   I was just taking a look at the version you posted awhile ago that inspired Franko.   I love this site.   Thanks so much for your comments.  -Varda

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Varda,
Congratulations on this most beautiful loaf - love the close-up pictures of the perfect crumb, and sesame-coated crust.
That bread looks so delicious.
:^) from breadsong

varda's picture
varda

To get those close up shots I was running around the house with the camera dangling around my neck  and the bread in hand trying to find someplace bright enough.   Fortunately no one was around to see me.   Of course you were the one who taught me not to be shy about putting on the sesame seeds, I can't remember which post.   So happy to see your comments.  -Varda