Sesame Semolina Baguettes au Levain no. 1
Here is my take on Alan’s (Alfanso) Sesame Semolina Baguettes. I used his formula generally but made a few changes. I added 0.07% IDY and also did an overnight Saltolyse and levain build. I forgot how low hydration this was going to be so in the future I wouldn’t do the overnight saltolyse and would instead just mix the levain IDY water and flours in the morning then add salt 20 mins later. I ended bulk at 25% rise in the aliquot jar and placed the dough en bulk in the fridge until the next afternoon. 26 hours or so after the start of cold retard the dough was divided and pre-shaped and left to rest in loose rolls for 20 mins. Shaping was a bit of a mismash of different shaping techniques but I think I like shaping ala Abel the most and will try to stick to that in the future. These were very easy to roll out to 16” and in fact with the first one I had to cut one end because it rolled out to 18” way too long for my steel. It was a challenge to roll these on the wet towel and roll them in the sesame seeds, each time I felt like I was degassing them a bit and then stretching them as well. I wonder if the next time I was to make these again, if I should proof to 20% and then after shaping let them have a bench rest at warm room temperature to try to bounce back a bit from the shaping, wetting and sesame seed applications.
Having never baked anything with semolina to such a high percentage before I didn’t know what to expect, but the dough was nice and extensible. The flavour of this baguette though, for a sesame seed fanatic is just outstanding. I’m not sure what the Semola Rimacinata is contributing for flavour but this is my favourite tasting baguette I’ve ever made. I dare say that it tastes better than the sesame baguette I used to buy at my favourite local bakery Blackbird.
The crumb has a lovely yellow hue from the Semola and is nice and tender without too much chew. The crust is very crispy with that amazing sesame flavour.
I have a line of dense crumb near the center of the baguette that when I examine it closely, I can faintly see white flour. I suspect that the dense crumb section is because of raw flour that got into the middle of this baguette when pre-shaping or shaping. I’ll need to be a better job of brushing off the excess flour. If it wasn’t for the yellow hue of the semolina I would never have seen this line in the dense area. I wonder if this causes some of the density in baguette crumb we see?
Anyhow, these baguette taste so good I just downed out plain no butter or anything for dinner.