The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Durham wheat for making bread

jmos's picture

Durham wheat for making bread

Can one make bread with Durham wheat. Have any of you tried it? I think it may make for chewy crumb.



jmos's picture

Is it Durum or Durham?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

for a village. Most of us have heard of a hamlet or small village.  The Durhams listed are towns and that is why it sounds so familiar.  :)

Mini O

zolablue's picture

Hi, jmos, it is spelled durum.  It is called semolina flour milled from durum wheat.  I've been trying to learn more about it and have baked a beautiful sourdough bread posted here:


Sourdough Semolina - Maggie Glezer:

And I made a wonderful and very tender crumbed sandwich loaf (outstanding) posted on this thread:


Semolina Sandwich Loaf - Dan Leader:


Those recipes might give you something to start with if you are interested in baking with semolina flour.   From the things I've read about using semolina for bread is that it should be the more finely milled durum or what is also called durum patent flour.  I bought mine at Heartland Mill but you can also order it from King Arthur.


Hamelman writes in his book, Bread, pages 35 & 36, "...while durum flour has a higher percentage of protein than either winter or spring wheat, the protein is by no means all usable in the formation of the gluten matrix.  There is a tendancy for doughs containing a high proportaion of durum to break down during mixing, and the baker must keep a careful eye on the degree of development in the mixer." 


He goes on to say that generally durum (fine flour) is preferred over semolina (coarse flour) because the coarse grains in the semolina have a puncturing effect on the dough.


I did experience that very thing when I added some coarse semolina to a ciabatta recipe.  I think because the recipe called for extensive mixing the protein broke down and subsequently the dough not only didn't rise to the height it should have but it took a very quick downward plunge which I found amazing.  I still baked the bread and because it was a very high hydration ciabatta it worked and actually tasted wonderful.  But it was a good test for me to witness the differences between the behavior in bread using both types of flour.


I absolutely love the flavor of durum flour.  It creates the most flavorful and moist breads and the creamy yellow color is just beautiful.

tony's picture

Pugliese uses semolina flour.  Different recipes call for different fractions of the bread's flour.  I can't remember well enough to describe it, but dough with lots of semolina in it handles water differently.  It's some months now since I tried making Pugliese, so I'm fuzzy about it.  I think the dough needed a lot of mixing or kneading to set up some gluten.  It nourished the sourdough it was given, though.  And the bread was pretty good -- 60% semolina, 36% or so artisan white flour, and about 4% rye flour in the sourdough culture.