The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Weekend Bakery Semolina and Sesame Baguettes, alfanso style

alfanso's picture

Weekend Bakery Semolina and Sesame Baguettes, alfanso style

Last week I was trying to enjoy my trip to NY, and I met up with The Roadside Pie King for a couple of slices of pizza (imagine that!).  But then Abe sent a link to me from the ace bakers at The Weekend Bakery and encouraged me to give it a go.  Upon returning home the other evening, I decided to do just that yesterday and a bake this morning.

But, as fate often intercedes in moments like these, alfanso decided to go almost far afield from their posted formula and do some funny stuff in an effort to "make it his own".

***Edit: Mistakenly posted as T160, but it should have read T150 - which is similar to the US Whole Wheat/UK Whole Meal.  Spreadsheet corrected as well.  The toasted sesame seeds refer only to wha is mixed in and not what is rolled onto the crust.***

I have a fair amount of the tritordeum T150 left from my trip to Barcelona in April, so I decided this would be a fine time to incorporate some into this mix.  Changes from the WE Bakery posted formula:

  • Use the tritordeum T150 "whole grain" rather than semola rimacinata.
  • Not refresh my now last-refreshed two week old levain,  as I still had a lot of it in the refrigerator begging to be used as-is. Rather use it straight away.
  • Stick with my 75% hydration AP levain rather than their 130% hydration concoction.  Just abide by their pre-fermented flour percentage.
  • "autolyse " with the levain.
  • Eliminate the IDY from the final dough as I was heck-bent on following my standard routine of retarding the dough.
  • Retard the dough both before and after divide and shape.
  • Use toasted sesame seeds in the interior and coat the exterior with them as well.
  • And, oh yeah, make these into baguettes/long batards too.

4x400g baguettes/long batards

Perhaps a more open crumb at 72% hydration?  But I'm not hung up on that sort of thang.

The formula normalized to 1000g

Semolina and Sesame loaf        
The Weekend Bakery, mod by alfanso        
     Total Flour    
 Total Dough Weight (g) 1000 Prefermented14.50%   
 Total Formula   Levain  Final Dough 
 Ingredients%Grams %Grams IngredientsGrams
 Total Flour100.00%567.5 100.00%82.3 Final Flour485.2
 AP Flour62.50%354.7 100%82.3 AP Flour272.4
 Tritordeum T15037.50%212.8 0%  Tritordeum T150212.8
 Water72.20%409.8 75%61.7 Water348.0
 Salt1.75%9.9    Salt9.9
 Toasted sesame seeds2.25%12.8    sesame seeds12.8
 Starter2.90%16.5 20%16.5   
 Totals176.20%1000.0 195%160.5  1000.0
hold back 10% water for post autolyse bassinage       
bake at 455         


not.a.crumb.left's picture

and this almost makes me want to try baguettes again....I love semolina and sesame and what a lovely way to combine it with baguettes...

What a sensory feast all around...... Kat

alfanso's picture

Heartier than a standard semolina bread.  This was my most successful T150 Tritordeum bake, and the first sine I posted the "tests" back in mid-April.  A shame that i'll run out eventually, but I can alway get more on a return visit to the old country!

Do give the baguettes another try, and perhaps like my new pal, There Roadside Pie King, you can get your chops down using a 65% hydration formula like the Hamelman Vermont SD.  I understand tat the flours in the UK are not as thirsty as those in the New World, but at 65% hydrations should be vey workable.

thanks, alan 

isand66's picture

Looks like your modifications worked out just fine.  I am not sure what the original was like, but yours would be just fine by me.  For the sesame seeds, the amount you posted goes into the dough and doesn't include what you used on the outside, right?

alfanso's picture

as per the original formula.  There is a link to it on my entry above.  The original post by the Weekend Bakery chaps, batards, doesn't do the roll in sesame seeds that I like - reminds me of the old Italian bakery gems in so many of the NY Italian bakeries I loved so much.  

A sesame semolina bread and big rich chocolate-tipped almond horn for me and a few varied almond cookies for the wife and father in law.  I don't mis very much about NY, especially being gone for 30 years now, ~36 if I count the years being in Yonkers and New Rochelle, but the Jewish and Italian delis and corresponding bakeries scene I surely do still have a place in my heart and stomach for.

Even last week in NY I didn't get to any of them - too many family things to keep me overly occupied, not even a stop at  a Maison Keyser bakery which I passed by and looked longingly at - they were already closed down for the night.

Gotta take the LIRR into the city to get an old-time and new artisan fix of the bakery scene in the city Ian.  

thanks, alan

Danni3ll3's picture

never fail to make me smile! Love these!

alfanso's picture

I passed the bake pics and info onto my new Barcelona Tritordeum HQ friends and they were both appreciative and interested in the methodology.  That gave me a boost, yes it did!

thanks, alan 

Elsie_iu's picture

I only get more impressed by how yours turn out. The surface of mine looks so bad that I won't dare calling it a baguette :) (for evidence you might read the bottom part of my latest post) Sigh... Scoring is definitely not my strength. Retarding the dough might help to some extent but that would take up far too much freeze space. Practice, I know. 

Though I don't use seeds a lot due to their tendency to overwhelm other flavors, I have to admit they make a gorgeous looking crust. Pieces of art, again.  

alfanso's picture

And for the majority of us, that is the answer.  Your crumb looks good, so there is a start for you.  For a current reference, and maybe inspiration, you can see The Roadside Pie King's recent journey toward making baguettes.  T65 flour may be a better alternative to shaping and giving the dough a bit more strength.  Cool dough is certainly easier to score that room temp dough (unless you live in an igloo).

As for the seeds - the sesame on semolina breads bring me back to childhood (and adult) memories and tastes which appeal to me, as does caraway seeds in rye breads.  I'm not big on additions to my FWS&Levain base, with few exceptions.  Recently I've been rolling the dough in wheat bran.  It doesn't seem to have any/much discernible taste, but it surely makes the bread look pretty.

Your food always looks fantastic.  Do you only cook/bake at home?


thanks, alan

Elsie_iu's picture

Aesthetic counts when it comes to bread, especially for baguettes. I don't like eating bran on its own because of its blandness and dryness. It contributes to both the look and texture (only pleasant after toasted in my opinion) though. 

Unfortunately I have yet built myself a igloo... But of course you know that already. Actually I didn't plan to use T55 but my regular bread flour instead. I just happened to come across it one day and decided to try it. Thanks for the comments and suggestions for my bread, Alan.

Yes I only cook and bake at home. The thought of washing piles of dishes after cooking for a crowd alone gives me a serious headache... 

DanAyo's picture

Alan, what techniques are you using to strengthen the dough? Semolina Rimacinata possesses unique characteristics, as you know. Are you using stretch and folds? If so, how many and are you resting in between? Stretch and folds? Etc, etc...

Please elaborate on the special qualities of this flour as it relates to baking bread. I am eager to learn and would like to make as few mistakes as possible. I am amazed at how different this dough feels. I describe it as soft Play Dough.

I want the whole scoop.

I followed your link in the initial post to The Weekend Bakery. Would you agree that Slap & Folds would be better than their rendition of Stretch & Folds? It looks down right sloppy to me.

Abe, my Bread Professor has assigned this Neapolitan Peasant Bread. And as an eager student, I submit...



alfanso's picture

I have a by now long-standing and boring method for sough development and only go off the program on occasion. 

In the past year or two I’ve become a quasi adherent to including the levain in the autolyse.  Haven’t encountered much of a reason to not, especially with the “Hamelman” style of high hydration levains. 

Due to including the levain up front I may shorten the time for the autolyse from  30 to 20 minutes.

Then my standard inclusion of salt and perhaps a 10-15% bassinage. 

Then usually 300 French Folds, 150, a 5 min. Covered rest and then a final 150 FFs. Depending on the dough I will follow with Letter Folds at 45 min.or 1 hr. Intervals. 

This is “exactly” the same as what I do on the Marizio baguette video I made a little year or two ago.

semola rimacinata acts differently at differing percentages . The higher the  percentage of semola on the total flour, the less open the crumb and the more the Play Dough feel to the dough.  This formula, as you can see is ~63/37 AP/semola.  

I have no opinion on the Weekend Bakery’s method vs. slap and fold. Just my standard “boring “ way that I abide by. 

I can’t be more specific without my notes which I have no access to view now, again being far from home.