The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Durum Semolina Champagne Sourdough

isand66's picture

Durum Semolina Champagne Sourdough

It's not quite New Years Eve yet, but I figured it was time to try some champagne in a sourdough bread anyway.  What goes better with champagne than some orange juice?  (I hate strawberries so that was not an option!).  I added some dried blood orange peel  to the starter and the final dough to add some nice fruity flavor.

I created a durum semolina starter and used durum flour along with some KAF French Style flour for the final dough.

The end result was a nice slightly sour bread with orange and champagne overtones.  The crust came out nice and crisp with a moist crumb.

Durum Starter

227 grams Durum Flour (KAF)

71 grams AP Seed Starter

4 grams Blood Orange Peel

151 grams Water at Room Temperature (80-90 degrees F.)

Mix ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly combined.  Cover the bowl and let it sit at room temperature for around 8 hours.  The starter should almost double when ready to proceed.  You can either mix in final dough or put in refrigerator for at most 1 day before using.

Main Dough Ingredients

425 grams Starter from above

275 grams Durum Semolina Flour

200 grams French Style Flour (KAF)

35 grams Potato Flour

25 gram stabilized Wheat Germ (KAF)

16 grams Sea Salt or Table Salt

29 grams Harvest Riesling Vinegar

25 grams Olive Oil

10 grams Blood Orange Peel

375 grams Champagne (Room temperature)


Mix the flours, stabilized wheat germ and orange peel with the champagne in your mixer or by hand for 1 minute. Let it rest covered in your bowl for 20 minutes.   Next cut the starter into small pieces and put in bowl and also add the  oil and salt.  Mix for 4 minute to incorporate all the ingredients.  The dough should form a sticky ball at the end of 4 minutes mixing.

Next take the dough out of the bowl and place it on your work surface.  Do a stretch and fold and rest the dough uncovered for 10 minutes.  After the rest do another stretch and fold and cover the dough and let it rest for 10 minutes.  Do one more stretch and fold and put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and let it sit at room temperature covered for 2 hours.  After 2 hours you can put the dough into the refrigerator for 24 hours or up to 2 days before baking.  Feel free to do some additional S & F's if you feel it is necessary.  I baked the bread about 14 hours later.

The next day (or when ready to bake) let the dough sit out at room temperature for 1.5 - 2  hours.

Next, form the dough into your desired shape and put them in floured bannetons, bowls or on a baking sheet and let them rise covered for 2 hours or until they pass the poke test.

Score the loaves as desired and prepare your oven for baking with steam.

Set your oven for 500 degrees F. at least 30 minutes before ready to bake.  When ready to bake place the loaves into your on  your oven stone with steam and lower the temperature immediately to 450 degrees.    When both loaves are golden brown and reached an internal temperature of 200 degrees F. you can remove them from the oven.

Let the loaves cool down for at least an 2 hours or so before eating as desired.


Mebake's picture

Eye catching crust! Yum, Ian 

As usual, very creative, and skillful. I'd imagine that your fridge is always out if leftovers :)

PS. I figured out the floating crumb trick ;)

Happy holidays,


isand66's picture

Thanks Khalid.

Glad to figured out my "floating crumb" trick!

Happy Holidays to you as well.



bakingbadly's picture

If you can eat it or drink it, you can put it into bread---and champagne is no exception. :)

Very nice bake, Ian. I admire your creativity.


isand66's picture

Thank you Zita for your kind words.  I am always trying to push the envelope with my bread making to see how different ingredients effect the final product. 


varda's picture

Hi Ian,   I'm struck by the color of your bread.    And the scoring is beautiful as well.   If it were me, I would drink the Champagne and eat the bread, but vive la difference.   -Varda

isand66's picture

Thanks Varda....I had enough left over for a couple of glasses so I had the best of both worlds :).


dabrownman's picture

Italian  bubbly for this Italian inspired bread.  I think this is the best looking boldly baked of yours to date.  The oil, semolina and  and the sugar in the Asti really put a nice color on the outside and the dark ridges at the slashes are primo too.   The crumb is nicely open and irregular too.   Whats not to like! 

I think I'm with Varda in preferring to drink the more expensive Asti and use a cheaper procecco...... to drink also :-)

Nice baking Ian!

isand66's picture

Thanks's not like I used Dom Perrie!

Appreciate the compliment.  I was happy how it turned out.  I've been meaning to try this for a while and I just ordered some flour from KAF so I was inspired to use the Durum flour.

Ian's picture

I never thought it was.  Asti is definitely Required Drinking w/Panettone Christmas night in our home.

But what I've really been meaning to ask is:  Do you think the fizz of the Asti significantly contributed to 'seeding' bubbles (alveoli) in the crumb?  Ever since I read Em Buehler's comment that crumb aleveoli grow by fermentation's CO2 production adding to pre-existing micro-bubbles in the dough, I've wondererd if building a dough with carbonated water (I was thinking just non-alcoholic sparkling water but why not) would promote a lighter crumb.  A mild cheat.  Indeed, are those knife-slices through some atypical crumb aleveoli that I see in your penultimate pic?

Nice one, Ian.


isand66's picture

Thanks Tom.

I thought the bubbles would make the bread lighter, but they didn't really make much of a difference.  If anything the bread is a little denser than I would have liked which may have just been because I should have increased the hydration a bit I think to compensate for so much durum flour.  The orange peel gives it a nice breakfast type flavor and it makes great toast.