The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Semolina Sourdough Bread

Dave Cee's picture
Dave Cee

Semolina Sourdough Bread

After reading several older posts about using semolina and sourdough I attempted my own entry-level version. About 26% semolina and the rest white bread flour. Next experiment I will up the semolina to about 40%. The finished loaf turned out good but the flavor is great! The crust is crunchy/chewy and the crumb is moist and tender but hearty. Just a hint of yellow coloration from the semolina. Try adding semolina to your regular sourdough recipe in place of some of the white bread flour and/or other flours. The Red Mill semolina flour I used is actually very fine "meal" and not really flour.

Sic Semper Panem!

idaveindy's picture

In case you're interested, real durum flour (not fine meal) can be had at Indian/Pakistani grocery stores. (Pls excuse if you already saw my plug on that previous semolina/durum thread.)  (And semolina is durum, for those who didn't know.)

I've seen three varieties so far at Indian/Pakistani stores:

1) Temple brand durum atta.  This is not 100% whole grain, because in the ingredient list, you can see they add in the vitamins that are normally added into AP/bread flour, and they add in some _bran_. So, supposedly, it's missing the germ, and might be missing some bran.  I've seen it in 10-pound bags.

2) Sher brand durum, "Desi Style." I contacted the mill, and this is refined flour, having most of germ and bran removed.  I've seen 20-pound bags.

3) Sher brand durum, "Fiber Wala."  Again, from the mill, they say this has "more" bran than Desi Style, but they have not yet responded to my inquiry about what the extraction rate actually is.  The package says "whole grain", but not "100% whole grain."  So, my guess is that it has a certain percentage of germ and bran, but whether it is 100%, I can't tell so far. Based on how it bakes up, I'm _guessing_ it is less than 100% extraction.  I have purchased it in 20-pound bags.

Not all stores carry both brands.  There is another brand of durum flour from "Swad" which I have seen online, but not in my nearby store.

Both Desi Style and Fiber Wala is true flour, not "mealy" like semolina, so it may not be best for sliding loaves or pizzas off of a peel.

Sher Brar Mills is in Canada,

I have made yeasted loaves with both Temple brand, and the Sher Fiber Wala, using 100% durum, no added AP/bread flour.  I thought they were decent.  For a better crumb, I'm gonna try 70% durum/30% bread flour.

By using a true flour grind of durum (as opposed to fine meal durum/semolina) you can easily go at least 50% durum in your loaf.

Durum flour is also great for tortillas, pizza crusts, and focaccia; i.e. flatbreads.

DanAyo's picture

Just bought some Semolina Rimacinata flour. I have never baked with this, but Abe recommended I try it.

How does the flour alter that taste? What concerns should I have when using this flour? I plan to bake with portion of this flour.


Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Does not bring out the tang in a sourdough. Try as you might you'll end up with a slightly sweet bread. Which will be complimented when toasted and eaten with olive oil and tomatoes. Also suits cheeses such as mozzarella which is why these toppings are traditional where durum flour is normally used for breads. But a tangy bread you will not get. That is for 100% durum flour. The higher the percentage, when used with other flours, the less tang you'll get but it brings a lovely texture and colour. You will have to play around with the percentages and perhaps to really appreciate this fine flour I advise you try 100% first to know what you're dealing with before mixing. Be careful though as it's a fine line between a perfectly fermented durum flour dough and over fermented. It can degrade rapidly. Traditional Italian breads don't make use of an autolyse and perhaps this is the reason why as the salt being added at the beginning helps bring strength to the dough. Despite what you have heard you can get a great rise from durum flour. 

Dave Cee's picture
Dave Cee

are of a nutty/buttery flavor to the crumb, even at such a low percentage of semolina as I used. I can still detect the sourdough 'tang' but taste can be very subjective, especially for me.

I had no problems with mixing, bulk ferment, retarding or shaping. The only significant defect in my loaf is lack of large holes and is probably due to my inexperience.

Full disclosure: I am only a novice sourdough baker and have only achieved some of the basics during the past 18 months. I am constrained a bit in my experimentations by the fact that I can only bake about every 3 or 4 weeks.

I really just wanted to share my sourdough joy. Thanks and best wishes. Dave

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I returned home to find a 800g bag of mystery fine meal "gries" waiting for me.  It looks like light yellow semolina. Fits the description when looking up the label.  So why not ride this semolina rise going on here lately.  Must be the warm fall colors as the weather turns. Or is it that golden crust peeking out from an open score that is so alluring?

In Beth Hensperiger's yeasted recipe (p 124 in her "The Bread Bible") Semolina Sesame Seed Twist, she recommends putting fine meal into a processor turning it into fine flour before using it.  Hmm, as this is a volume recipe, I may convert it to grams before processing the semolina as often, processing will add volume.  

Maybe I'll just skip all that and use a 1,2,3 SD recipe and hold back a little water to see how it goes together.  With yeast it's a 2.5:3,5 dough. What do you think?  

SabineGrandma's picture

I think I would stick with the 1,2,3 SD recipe. Do you intend to use all semolina or just a percentage? I haven't had good results with store-bought semolina, but since I splurged and bought my mockmill attachment to the KitchenAid I have been milling my own durum flour and that works wonderfully. I still use about half bread flour and half home milled grains, mix and match, but so far they all come out nicely. This one here was Kamut, Durum, Breadflour and Belgian Trippel strong ale for liquid. . Durum Kamut with Belgian Trippel