The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Durum Loaves needed

daggaz's picture

Durum Loaves needed

Hey guys, 

Sunday is my son's baptism, and I am looking to make some rustic loaves to serve with wine, grapes and assorted cheeses, you know, for dessert =)  

I was in the shop and I picked up a huge bag of italian flour.  Literally "Semola di grano duro rimacinata".   Its the stuff I usually mix in for making pizza crusts (hence the huge bag, who doesn't love pizza?)  Now I would like to perhaps incorporate it into some nice round loaves, which immediately led me to my first question: 

This is "durum flour", right?  I spent the last hour trying to get a clear answer here. Im pretty sure it goes like this:  Durum is the type of wheat grain.  Semolina is a course substance made by crushing (not milling) the cores of the durum grains.   Semolina flour is when you mill semolina.  Durum flour is a byproduct of making semolina, or is milled durum.  "Semola" is italian for flour.  So what I have is flour of durum grains, or "durum flour".    Right??


That out of the way, any nice recipes people can offer?  Im trying this one now: but I wouldn't mind any other ideas, specially considering this one didnt want me to knead the primary ferment.  Im hoping for an open, chewy (but not too chewy) crumb with a rich, nutty flavor.  One of the reasons I would like to include the italian flour is because so far my experiences with danish varieties have been less than admirable.  The climate is much colder and less sunny than many areas, and the gluten content often suffers.  Most breads, even following artisan-preferment methods, tend to end up with a small, soft crumb much like enriched bread.   At least, that has been my experience so far.  

Any advice is welcome, thanks on the for-hand =)


kallisto's picture
kallisto (not verified)


how about the "Pane con semola di grando duro di rimacinata"

Salilah's picture

Search for DMSnyder's Pugliese recipes - these are brilliant!  When I can get the durum flour, I vary the amount from 110g to 170g - I love it!  makes the dough really soft and smooth, and the taste is great -- and if I'm lucky (not usually) I can get the loaf to open up rather than slash it <grin>  Whichever way, the taste is superb!!  Good luck's picture

You're in luck Ian.  Varda just posted a gorgeous classic Altamura durum formula with tasty pictures here.  I've also seen a very pretty (very yellow) durum loaf pictured (linked) in the "ALSO ON THE FRESH LOAF" column down the right side of this site.  Maybe that was Franko's.  It's not always there -- menu over ther rotates.

You might wait for Varda or Franko another durum expert to pass judgement on the flour you bought.  That one's above my pay grade :-)

Congratulations on your happy day on Sunday.



mrfrost's picture

My personal searching and researching has led me to conclude that many(most, all. ?) "Semolina" Bread recipes(meaning the recipe is named/titled "semolina", seem to usually call for durum flour. Typically, what the recipe's author is calling for(durum flour), is different than semolina, semolina flour, semola, etc. Durum flour is very fine and powdery as one expects a "flour" to be(like all purpose flour, for example). A good example of this "Semolina Bread" phenomena is the somewhat popular Semolina Sandwich Loaf here at TFL(The Fresh Loaf):

Semolina, semolina flour, semola, etc, are all "gritty", to some degree. Do people(and Italians) make breads with semolina flours, etc.? Yes. As you can see in the thread linked above, most people seem to be only able to find semolina. Some have very good success with that (myself included); a few, not so good.

The moral: if you come across one of these "Semolina Bread" recipes that call for durum flour, get the durum flour if you can. If you can only get semolina flour, consider it an experiment.

Why do "all of these" so named Semolina Bread recipes call for durum flour? Well, I can't really answer that one. Just a tradition, I guess.

Good luck. Post how things work out for you.

ps: After looking more closely at your recipe and seeing that it includes half ap flour, I suspect that things will work quite well, even if you use semolina.

eliabel's picture

¨Durum is the type of wheat grain.  Semolina is a course substance made by crushing (not milling) the cores of the durum grains.   Semolina flour is when you mill semolina.  Durum flour is a byproduct of making semolina, or is milled durum.  "Semola" is italian for flour.  So what I have is flour of durum grains, or "durum flour".    Right??¨


The flour in Italian is "farina". Semolino is a gritty product used for some South Italian cakes (il migliaccio). Semola is used for the pasta-making. Semola di trigo duro rimancinata is twice milled Durum flour. There are South Italian breads made entirely from Semola di trigo rimancinata, like the wonderful il Pane di Matera:

or these two breads of an outstanding Italian baker Adriano Continisio:


mrfrost's picture

Is it gritty, or is it "powdery", like a "flour"? My experience has always been if the product is labeled semolina, or even semola, it was still a little gritty. Admitedly, I'm not familiar with the product you have. I have "semolina flour". It is a little gritty, like fine sand, but still worked fine in the all durum flour specified semolina sandwich bread recipe here.

Anyway, for the recipe you posted in your original post, even if it is a little gritty, since there is still plenty of all purpose flour in the recipe, you should be fine.

SylviaH's picture

loaf formulated and baked by Shiao Ping is a very lovely and interesting looking duram flour loaf.  I usually just refer to the grain grind as either semolina grind and duram flour.  Just type the title in search and you can see Shiao Ping's lovely bake.


daggaz's picture

Wow -Thank you for all the responses!  =)

That first link, as well as the pugliese loaves from DMSnyder, look to be pretty much what I am after.  I am doing everything by hand tho (no mixers n such), so I am curious about a few steps in the first recipe.  

10-stroke .. this is a setting on a mixer, yes?  How best to approximate this by hand?

stretch and fold.. ok I found a quick youtube video of Reinhart showing this technique..  but was does simply folding mean later in the recipe?  Is there any big difference there?

When you proof in a bowl, do you for example shape the dough, set it in the bowl (I assume oiled or well-floured), and let it do its second rise before flipping it out onto your baking sheet?  Won't it go flat if you have to knock it out like that?

Sorry for all the questions, I am already doing food for 40+ people plus all the shopping and prep and etc etc..  (mom has the baby, now THATS a lot of work!), so I am running short on time here.    I appreciate your help tho!

PS: I get a 5kg bag of that flour for 85 kr danish at the Metro shop.  That is actually cheaper than most of the AP flour in the regular stores.  (in case there are any danes reading and wondering)


daggaz's picture

Just a little update:

I finished the bread from the recipe I linked to in my first post.  Followed it pretty much to the T, except I kept it for 12 hours in my very cold fridge once it had lifted, and then I proofed it a little longer to allow the dough time to warm back up, maybe 2 or 2.5 hours total.  Got a beautiful golden loaf, the taste is very nice.  But the crumb, tho bubbly, is still missing those really big gaps and is not quite chewy.    I handled it extremely carefully the whole time and scarcely touched it when I shaped it into a ball, which I let proof on a dusted baking pan.   

Sorry I dont have a digital camera for pics. =('s picture

Congratulations on your durum adventure.  I admire your courage to envision taking up a novel baking challenge for such an auspicious event.  But it sounds as though you've succeeded.  Fantastic.  Surely there will be cameras at the baptism.  Maybe one can be pointed at your product before it disappears, as surely it will!