The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Semolina Sandwich Loaf

zolablue's picture

Semolina Sandwich Loaf

I’ve been so curious about semolina flour.I didn’t understand much about it and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of information regarding it.After reading as much as I could find in various bread books I decided I had to take a stab at it.So last weekend I baked this yeasted sandwich version along with another sourdough version. (I will post that one separately.)

I found the perfect, fresh durum patent flour at Heartland Mill which has been such a great source so far in providing harder-to-find flours.The shipping and handling is a bit steep but so far I can’t find a local source for this particular semolina or the wonderful Golden Buffalo high-extraction flour that is so perfect for the Thom Leonard Country French.

This bread showed the most incredible oven spring that I snapped a couple photos while still in the loaf pan for perspective to show just how high that thing ballooned.The first time I opened the oven to rotate the pan I actually gasped.Then I broke into laughter.You all know that feeling!:o)

It is such a beautiful loaf in so many ways but also very delicious and moist.This is a big keeper recipe for me and I remain intrigued by the nutty, sweet flavor of semolina.If you are looking for a very tender and flavorful sandwich loaf this is a great choice.Another plus is the recipe is quite easy and very quick.I think from beginning of initial fermentation to pulling the baked loaf from the oven was just under 4 hours.

It also makes delicious toast and, for me, the beautiful saffron colored crumb is just outstanding.

Excerpted: Leader told how he received an urgent phone call the night before he left Altamura telling him that his guide had forgotten to show him this bread – a straight dough semolina loaf made by Altamura bakers specifically for sandwiches.A loaf was quickly delivered to his hotel room and he expressed gladness when he saw the gorgeous red-gold loaf with a delicate crust and even golden crumb.He said it was unlike any sandwich bread he’d tasted and how his customers would love its rich wheat flavor and olive oil perfume.The small amount of sugar gives this bread great tenderness. As he mentions this recipe is a great introduction to the unique character of semolina flour.I agree.

More photos can be seen here:

Semolina Sandwich Loaf – Daniel Leader, Local Breads

Time:8 to 12 minutes to knead; 1 1/2 to 2 hours to ferment; 1 to 1 1/2 hours to proof; 35 to 45 minutes to bake

Makes:1 Sandwich loaf (31.2 ounces/885 grams)

300 grams (1 1/2 cups/10.6 ounces) water, tepid (70 to 78 degrees) – 60%

5 grams (1 teaspoon/0.2 ounce) instant yeast – 1%

500 grams (3 1/4 cups/17.6 ounces) fine semolina (durum) flour – 100%

15 grams (1 tablespoon/0.5 ounce) granulated sugar – 3%

50 grams (1/4 cup/1.8 ounces) extra-virgin olive oil – 10%

10 grams (1 1/2 teaspoons/0.4 ounce) sea salt – 2%

Mixing the dough:Pour the water into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.Add the yeast, flour, sugar, olive oil and salt and stir with a rubber spatula just until a rough dough forms.

Kneading – By hand:Lightly dust the counter with semolina flour.Scrape the dough out of the bowl and knead it with smooth, steady strokes until it is very smooth, shiny, and elastic, 10 to 12 minutes.

By machine:Use the dough hook and mix the dough on medium speed (4 on a KitchenAid mixer) until it is very smooth, shiny, and elastic, 8 to 9 minutes.

Fermentation:Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled container with a lid.Cover and leave to rise at room temperature (70 to 75 degrees) until it inflates into a dome, reaching double; 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Shaping loaf:Grease a loaf pan (8 1/2 x 4 1/2) with oil.Lightly dust the counter with semolina flour.Uncover the dough and turn it out onto the counter.Form the dough into a pan loaf.Nestle the loaf into the pan, seam side down, pressing it gently to fit.Lightly dust the top of the loaf with semolina flour and cover the pan with plastic wrap.

Proofing:Let the loaf rise at room temperature (70 to 75 degrees) until it crowns just above the rim of the pan, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Preparing oven:About 15 minutes before baking place rack in middle of oven.Preheat oven to 375°F.

Baking:Place the loaf on the middle rack of the oven.Bake until the loaf pulls away from the sides of the pan and the crust is a deep golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes.

Cooling and storing:Remove loaf from pan and allow to cool, right side up.Cool bread completely before slicing, about 1 hour.Store the cut loaf in a resealable plastic bag at room temperature.It will stay fresh for about 3 days.For longer storage, freeze in a resealable plastic bag for up to 1 month.


kim's picture

Hi Akiko,

Your semolina bread looks good to me and right now you are making me to test bake a loaf to see how my flour performs in this particular recipe. Maybe I will bake them soon. Thanks.


teketeke's picture

Thank you, too Kimmy :) I will be interested in your result when you try.



teketeke's picture

 Here is the second try of this loaf..

I had oven spring but I have a problem with shaping the loaf, which Japanese call  " One loaf".  I don't know what I should call this shape here..  I will try Jmonkey's and the one that I found in  a Japanese baking book when I try this shape again. it will be very soon.

Thank you, Jeanne, mrfrost, Kimmy and zolablue with all my heart,

Happy baking,


clbailey1963's picture

This was fantastic--and so super easy!

chefscook's picture

I am going to make this bread this weekend and just hope it comes out like yours they are beauitful you did a good job on the breads you should be proud of yourself

                                                                          Thank you


dabrownman's picture

organic semolina to make no egg pasta but am now going to make this great looking bread instead.  ZB, your baking skills are magnificent!  Thanks for the fine pictures too.

blinsen's picture

So I love most to bake on the rainy, chilly days, and today was perfect for trying your semolina bread, Zolablue.  Possibly it was just really humid, but the dough ended up more of a batter.  I doubled it, with 500g and 680g packages of semolina flour.  I ultimately needed all of both packages, plus another half cup of AP flour to get the dough workable, albeit pretty soft.  The bread is gorgeous, and the oven spring was truly amazing!  It's almost cool enough to slice and taste, a chore which my children are only too happy to put their backs into - for the good of the order, you understand.  If it tastes anything like the aroma with which it filled the house, I think we've got a new addition to the bread rotation! Love that.  Any idea why, other than extreme humidity (not actually raining in my kitchen!) the dough was so wet?  The only other change I made was 1/2 & 1/2 olive oil to melted sweet butter, since I ran out of olive oil.  Don't tell my mother about that, I may lose my Italian License... I can't see how sweet butter would add enough liquid to so drastically change the hydration.  Thoughts?

mrfrost's picture

I'm guessing that you used the volume measurement for water as listed as opposed to the weight?

The volume measurement(1.5 cups) is wrong.

dwfender's picture

Has anyone tried using this recipe to make some torpedo rolls/heros/subs/hoagies or whatever your region calls them? It looks like it would make a delicious italian hero sprinkled with some sesame seeds....

dwfender's picture

Has anyone tried using this recipe to make some torpedo rolls/heros/subs/hoagies or whatever your region calls them? It looks like it would make a delicious italian hero sprinkled with some sesame seeds....

seddy5's picture

Thanks for this recipe! I've never used this kind of flour before but I'll be making this loaf again!

The only change I made is that I used 1/2 olive oil and 1/2 canola oil because I was low on olive oil.

I was worried that my dough had over-fermented because it was giving out a bit of the over-fremented smell as it was baking. However, it came out beautifully and tastes delicious. I love the bit of crunch the the end pieces have in the crust.

Here's a shot of the loaf. I'll add a crumb shot once I get some good light again tomorrow morning.


Crumb shot

This makes some great toast! The outside gets really crispy and crunchy and the inside stays soft. Making it again this week and doubling the recipe

HeidiH's picture

I used the stretch-and-fold method to make this -- 3 s&f at 45 minute intervals -- and GM Patent Durum Flour from  It is a beautiful loaf of sandwich bread.  We had pulled pork (no-sauce), lettuce & mayo sandwiches on it while it was still warm.  Hubby declared it "scrumptious," a word I don't think I've ever heard out of his mouth before.    If it lasts until tomorrow morning, we will toast some.  ;-)

dabrownman's picture

and will remain one of my all time favorites.  A shame Zola doesnt post any more it seems.

rayel's picture

I made this some time ago, but thought posting  it here would make more sense, than when originally posted.  I loved the way it turned out and had no trouble using the Durum wheat flour. Delicious sunny flavor. 


mimi7107's picture

I made this bread this weekend and it came out great!  Did the kneading by hand since I love to knead.   I've already bought more durum flour.  The bread has a lovely light flavor and beautiful color.  A neighbor's 8 year old son who is very picky about bread said, "this bread is amazing!"

rjerden's picture

If you have an IndoPak grocery store in your region,  you might be able to find the Golden Temple Fine Semolina flour at a very good price. The one you want comes in a green and yellow package, usually in 10 and 20 lb bags. See attached image. I use it for both baking and pasta making. It contains a small amount of bran, but not enough to make a difference.

fmlyhntr's picture

I had bought semolina flour from a grocery store, but was at Whole Foods the other day and this time bought Durum flour. It was coarser than the semolina I had bought (and used up) earlier. Now I read here that durum is "supposed" to be finer...But I have enjoyed the texture of the coarser one.

So is there really a standard?


mimi7107's picture

Hi Christina,  I don't have a clue about the standard you asked for.  I'm sure one of the posters here will be able to help you.  My flour came from King Arthur and didn't mention any particular "grind" on the bag, as occurs with cornmeal, etc.   Now you've got me curious!  Happy baking in 2013!

dwfender's picture

I have a durum wheat that is pretty fine. Not as fine as my caputo 00 though. I have semolina that is coarser than the durum and the same grind. I think it all depends on where you are getting it processed from and what you're looking for or comfortable using. I use the coarse to dust my peels and when I make creamed corn and things like that. Fine goes into my pasta flour blend and other loafs. 

Just buy the smaller bags until you are comfortable with what you are looking to do and what works well for your recipes. Good luck!


BKSinAZ's picture

Greetings.... I saw your loaf and this weekend I am going to try to make this.

I just bought some semolina flour from a bulk bin at a local supermarket here in Tucson Arizona and I was wondering how fine the semolina needs to be. Out of the bin, it seems to be as course a sand. It that fine enough?

mrfrost's picture

The recipe, even though called "semolina", actually calls for "durum" flour. That is what was used in the original post. Durum flour is just that; a fine flour. It is not the same as semolina.

Results may vary with "semolina" flour. I had very good results with the very fine(sand like) semolina I used.

Good luck.

rjerden's picture

Just some things to keep in mind when you use durum wheat flours. All else being equal, durum wheat flour has more protein, but less gluten than a typical US hard wheat flour used in bread making.

Also, the gluten components are different as gliadin is the predominent protein rather than glutenin. (Gliadin is the culprit in celiac disease BTW.) This means that the dough will be much more estensible (higher and faster rise), but will have more difficulty holding its shape, hence loaf pans are perfect, as the dough will spread out more in a free-form loaf than in a loaf pan. If you want a free-form loaf, adding some vital wheat gluten will give the flour more strength and allow the loaf to retain its shape better.

It's also more absorbent than white flour, but only in the beginning. Don't be fooled into adding more water. It will eventually absorb. Semolina and fancy patent durum flour are the endosperm of the same type of wheat, only the grind is different. I wish they sold it all finely ground as it's fine for both pasta and bread-making. Semolina is nice for dusting the bottom of pizza, but I'd just rather use the fine stuff all the time. It is harder to mill and I guess that's why it costs more.

nicodvb's picture

Rjerder, you made me really curious with your claim that durum wheat has more gliadins than glutenins. I remembered very different figures and I was also convinced of the opposite based on the observation of my doughs (durum dough -that I prepare very often- are so tenacious that they are hard to process, thus convincing me of the higher presence of glutenins).

I found this study (in particular this table) where the gli/glu ratio is almost always < 1 by a large amount for both bread and durum flours. Unfortunately there's no information about soft wheat.

Please, can you tell me the source of your numbers?

rjerden's picture

The ratios of gliadin to glutenin in the table bear out your premise. I can't find the source of my statement as I read it several years ago. My experience with durum flour for baking has been primarily to make Pane di Altamura. I use a Canadian Golden Temple product sold in Indian markets as it is a fine grind, but does contain a bit of bran, which can be sifted out if needed. I have tried several times to make a 100% durum wheat ciabatta, at about 90% hydration or higher. I never get the open crumb structure that I do with hard spring wheat unless I add some vital wheat gluten. The ciabatta spreads, but doen't get a lot of oven spring otherwise. I also find durum wheat doughs hard to process at low hydrations, particularly for straight doughs, but that is not the case if I use a very long preferment, which allows the flour to absorb the water over a long period of time. The lack of oven spring and the spreading may be due to other factors and not because of the relative protein ratios.

Salvia's picture

I just mixed up the dough for this and it's the most sumptuous dough I've ever felt. I can't wait to see the rest of this process. Will update as I go.

BKSinAZ's picture

Does anyone know if Zolablue (made very top loaf)  autolysed his durum? I don't see that in the instructions... I am doing this loaf now and dough is going through second rise. I did not do a autolyse.

BKSinAZ's picture

NEED HELP PLEASE   after reading, please see pictures below.

Rise Disappointment: My loaf just came out of the oven and the rise was only ¾ of an inch. Taste and texture were, what I thought, perfect. Where did I go wrong?

I followed the recipe as close as possible (mods listed below). Because the recipe did not instruct me to do so, I did not do an autolyse. However,  I did let the dough sit for about 2 minutes before I hand kneaded for 10 minutes. I did not use a machine.                                                                                                                                                                   

My fermentation was for exactly 1 ½ hours and the dough seemed to be doubled…. maybe a smidgen more than double.                                                                                                                                                                                                

The proofing was exactly 1 hour and the dough had just risen slightly over the top of the bread pan.

Speaking of bread pan… I used the Calphalon Nonstick loaf pan 5 X 10 size. I am wondering if the pan was too big. I also greased it slightly per the recipe instructions.                                                                                                       

Picture of pan:

My only MODS were….                                                                                                                                                                

*I accidently bought semolina from the local grocery store in the bulk section. However, I did use my “Country Living Mill” to grind down the semolina to a much finer texture.                                                                                         

*Another modification was I did not have ‘instant yeast’ so I used Active dry yeast, but I did multiply the 5 grams called for in the  recipe by 1.25 and put in 6.25 grams of Active yeast. I might have actually gone slightly over the 6.25 by maybe .25 gram…. If that much!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

*My last mod was the water. After adding in the 300 grams of water, the dough mixture was still very dry. Maybe it was due to the Arizona climate or altitude? So I then added in an additional 1.5 tablespoons of water.

Baking time was 40 minutes.

Where did I go wrong?


pmccool's picture

why do you think something went wrong?!!

All kidding aside, there is one small problem in your process: you relied on the clock.  Yes, you noticed the dough, "maybe a smidgeon more than double", but you based your actions on what the clock was telling you instead of on what the dough was telling you.  From the photos and your writeup, it appears that the dough was right on the edge of being over-proofed.  Luckily, it didn't go over the edge and you have some very nice bread to enjoy.

For future bakes, remember that yeast can't tell time and therefore can't be bothered with schedules.  Let the dough tell you when it's ready.  If you are unsure how to do that, use the Search tool at the upper left corner of the page to look for the term "finger poke test" or "poke test".  You won't need the quotation marks.

And you may be right about the dough quantity being insufficient for the size of the pan.  I find I have best results with at least 4 cups of flour per loaf in a 9x5 pan.  Since your pan is larger, it will hold even more.

Enjoy that beautiful loaf!


mrfrost's picture

I bet if you do the math, that 10 X 5" pan holds a significantly larger volume than the prescribed 8.5 x 4.5" pan.

I used a 9 x 5"(nominal, it's probably actualy a little larger) and increased my ingredients by about 10%. Proportionally, to the original recipe and pan, I think it would have called for a bit more. I was still very pleased with my results, pictured in a couple of posts higher up.

I also used a fine semolina, which I blitzed in a cheap food processor(I don't think it did a bit of good in trying to make it finer).

Sheretta123's picture

Im trying this new adventure of making breads  but this is the 4 loaf and it came out not rising maybe not using enough yeast.... Huuuuuuh I jus don't know Im following the reciep but my bread is too doughy.

mrfrost's picture

In my opinion, this is not a good recipe for beginners. Among other things, if you happened to go by the volume measurements listed in the original post, you only used about half the amount of yeast the recipe really calls for.

It still could turn out ok, even with only that half amount of yeast, but will take much, much longer to rise, especially if your your water temperature and proofing temperature was in the lower ends of the range prescribed in the recipe. The volume measurement listed for water is also off, so your dough may have been too slack(loose, soft, etc.), unless you are familiar with adjusting the ingredients(water and flour) to achieve the desired dough consistency.

All that said, I made the recipe as a beginner and was very satisfied with the results. I also used only 1 teaspoon of yeast and after about 2+ hours at 70ºF with very little final rise, I put the loaf in the refrigerator for about 12 hours or so. Then another hour+ or so at room temp the next day. By then I had a very good rise. My results are shown in posts higher up in the thread.

handymanchef's picture

The concept of semolina bread is very new to me - only being a fledgling baker myself.

I had a go at making an 'alternative' at the weekend. Check it out on my blog at:-

and see what you think. Any comments and followers would be very much appreciated.


rose_in_the_raw's picture

I can't see the recipe, only a picture. Anyone have a suggestion? Am I missing something obvious?

dstroy's picture

Sorry rose - Another bug brought about by the migration made this post not render right.  it should be fixed now.

Shuttleloaf's picture

I tried making this with Priors semolina flour from Bakery Bits I'm very ew to all this, the flour was very grainy and the ough heavy. I've now seen that the website says this is not or making fine bread.  Can anyone tell me what flour is available in the UK that would work?  

bodhi54's picture

I got mine in Sainsburys, it's their own brand.

ileencuccaro's picture

Just baked this bread, I will wait till it cools to taste it, but the dough was beautiful, like silk, rose great and plenty of rise in oven, I doubled the recipe to make 2 loaves. When I taste it I will post back

ileencuccaro's picture

I used King Arthur Durum flour, the recipe is a little tricky if you are not familiar with the types of flour, King Arthur also make a semolina flour but is grainier, I use to for the bottom of pizza and and coating the pans for bread, This durum is the texture of real flour, so that is probably why some folks were confused, I also added some potato flour, it make it last longer also make the dough nicer to work with. I can not wait for it to cool to try it

bodhi54's picture

Just took a loaf of this delicious looking bread out of the oven, I do so much want to try it but unfortunately I have to let it cool down, it looks and smells delicious. Thank you for sharing the recipe, looks like it is one I am going to be making quite often.

chitvish's picture

I tried the semolina bread. Rose well, brushed with milk and baked. A nice dome has formed, but is lop sided! What can be the reason?

SandSquid's picture

It appears that the side of the dome ruptured due to lack of scoring, which controls the direction in which the loaf expands during the rapid oven spring. See:

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

is on sale at Ferraro's in Trail, BC.  They have one kilo bags for 99c each and a few bags left.  I was sooooo tempted!  14% protein.  :)

SandSquid's picture

Rich S's picture
Rich S

i'm making this bread today and will post pics it absolutely looks fantastic for a sandwich bread or snacking for that matter.I live in a senior living complex and lots do not get bread for one reason or another but when I leave it on a table it somehow disappears as I'm sure this will too!

zolablue did you by chance put Saffron in? It has that colour.

zolablue thank you for this great recipie!

keukaharv's picture

Why use an 8 1/2 inch pan for an almost 2 pound loaf? Oven spring is good to a point (think ciabatta), but I think a 9 inch pan works much better for this recipe.