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Durum/semolina brioche-like bread (or with spelt)

nicodvb's picture

Durum/semolina brioche-like bread (or with spelt)


This bread was the result of an experiment aimed at producing a durum wheat (semolina) bread that would keep soft for a long time, because all my other semolina  breads regularly turned out gummy and tough after 3 days.


I used what in italy is known as "remilled durum wheat flour", that is the second-finest grade of durum flour. Probably you call it "semolina", but in italian that word means something else, so... you decide.


This flour is very absorbent and very rich of proteins, but its gluten is very weak and delicate: wait one hour longer than necessary and you may find your dough completely crashed on the ground. I added as much liquid (whole milk) as the flour could absorb, using a bread machine because the dough was intentionally too sticky to knead by hand.


I did a poolish with 5 gr of sourdough starter (mine is a rye starter), 100 gr of whole milk and 50 gr of flour. The paste was let alone to ferment until  many bubbles appeared at the sides and on the surface. Mine took 10 hours and didn't grow a lot because it was too wet, but the bubbles were the sign of a successful fermentation.

I dissolved 8 gr of salt and 40 of sugar in 220 gr of whole milk, then mixed this liquid with the poolish and added 350 gr of semolina flour. I let the bread machine knead the dough until it became very smooth and elastic, then added 40 gr of butter cut in pieces and kneaded until the dough became smooth and elastic once again.

I put the dough in a closed box and let it rise 50% (2.5 hours), then I kneaded it again, laid it on a floured surface and made a cylinder that I put in a 12''  plum-cake form. I let the dough rise up to the rim, then cooked the bread  at 200°C starting from a preheated oven until the surface browned completely (25 minutes).

Previously I cooked this same bread starting from a cold oven for 35 minutes, and I have to say that I was more happy with the result because the top didn't form a crust (that I don't like).



This one was made with white spelt, a little less tasty but still very very good and equally soft:



The bread is extremely soft and tasty, I'd say addictive. The consistence is that of a brioche. The little sugar and butter make magic. It's fantastic either alone or  with anything on it: salted or sweet, cheese or fish (no meat for me, thanks).

I keep it in a closed nylon bag far from the light. After 9 days the one I did previously is still soft.