The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

semolina/durum flour

sannimiti's picture

semolina/durum flour

Hi, I'm sanni and new here. I just love this site. I'm located in schleswig-holstein (maybe holstein cattle mean anything to you) and i've beenbaking half-professional for a long time, learning my basics from the internet and peter reinharts books.

so here'S my question: i'd like to make the semolina toast, i think on thegreenbakers site - it seems to be very close to my favorite white bread from a local bakery. but i can't get durum flour here, europe's soils are so worn out you can only grow soft wheat. the only hard wheat thing i get is "hartweizengrieß" which is made from hard wheat but has the texture of fine polenta, so it'S not flour rather grits. in crust and crumb there's a sicilian bread using 50% regular flour and 50% semolina which i love. so iwonder if i should make the bread using 100% semolina or 50/50 or other percentages. can anyone help on this??? i don't really understand baker'S percentage so gram measures would be great.

happy to have found this site, thanks, sanni 

JERSK's picture

    Semolina and durum flours, though they come from the same grain, aren't exactly alike. Durum wheat is the hardest wheat and durum flour is the finely ground flour from it. It is slightly yellow colored and is sometimes called golden durum flour. Semolina is chipped away, not ground, from the heart of the grain, Durum flour integrale, is whole grain ground durum. So semolina does have a gritty, polenta type texture. Semolina flour is ground semolina. Some sources suggest taking semolina and grinding it in a food processor. Others say that good bread can be made from coarse semolina by first soaking it for at least twenty minutes. You would just take the water you would use in your bread recipe and soak the semolina first, before adding other ingredients. The gritty hard wheat flour you've found may be very similar to semolina. You should just try it and see how it works.

Baker's percentages aren't difficult to understand and are a handy tool in developing and scaling out recipes. The total flour in a recipe is always 100%. So say you have a recipe that calls for 1000 gms. of flour with 50% semolina and 50% white flour. Than it would be 500 gms. semolina and 500 gms. white flour. if the hydration is 65%, than the amount of water would be 650 gms., or 65% 0f 1000. If the salt was 2%, than it would be 20 gms. or 2% of 1000. So with these percentages you could easily adjust your recipe by 1/2 double or whatever. you can also play with the percentages to develop your own recipes with consistent results.

iain's picture

Hello just joined this site to post here.

500g duram flour (Krupczatka from most Polish shops)

2 or 3 tsp salt (to your taste)

1 1/2 dry yeast ( i use Mauripan instant from Casteggio  Leiviti)

Mix the lot together and knead for about 4 to 6 mins depending on how much effort you use,

back into the bowl and cover until just over double in size.

Turn out and knead in a small handful of fresh chopped Dill herb,

shape into your bread pan and leave to rise overnight, or if you are not waiting over night, untill its big enough for you (i put a plastic carrier bag over the top like a tent)

pre warm oven to 170c (I have a big fan oven)

gently put dough in and bake until it looks about right,

it will crust all round so if it doesn't sound right when you turn it out, just pop it back in for a few mins,

it will have a light crunchy crust, a bit of crumb, nice even air, look and smell like a good loaf and eat like a well made ciabatta but with crunch.


although it will keep all day, dont let it go cold as this seems a waste




MissyErin's picture

thank you for that explanation of durum vs semolina. I bought some hard durum grain to mill and had googled that same topic with very little clarification. What are your recommendations for durum flour? I got it at the suggestion for pasta, but I'm still having to do a lot of fine-tuning to make it, how shall we say, edible. :)

Thanks again for the great and helpful explanation!

Melissa in Atlanta

JERSK's picture

    I'm not sure if you can use whole grain durum for pasta. The Italians don't, that should say something, They do have some whole wheat pastas. I try them once and a while and they always seem a little mealy and crumbly to me. I'll just stick with whole grain breads and white pasta. has a good explanation on durum and semolina. It's basically a website devoted to Italian breads and some other Italian cooking. It has in depth, if not a bit heady,  information on flours and milling. The section on Sicilian breads has a lot of information on semolina.

If you do want to try fresh milled durum for pasta, I would suggest, grinding it as fine as possible. then, You would want to sieve out as much bran as you can. Kind of defeats the purpose of whole grain, but it may come out better. Have you made fresh pasta before? I found it maddening at first, but now think it's rather simple. Also, are you making egg pasta? It's much easier. The Italians make fresh egg pasta for home use, but generally buy the straight flour pastas. There is special equipment used in making those. Except for orecchiette, "little ears", they're usually made with just flour and water and are an easy and fun shape to make.

sannimiti's picture

morning Jersk and all of you, thank you so much for explaining bakerS percentage and semolina to me. i'll have a look at that artisan baking site now and try the bread with semolina. as we say "versuch macht klug", i'll keep posting about my results!


fleur-de-liz's picture

Martine: Heartland Mill carries organic durum patent in 25 and 50 lb sizes and organic durum in 25 lb bags. I have used the organic durum patent for semolina sourdough bread and it is excellent (in fact, my favorite durum patent semolina flour).

Here is the link for the semolina flours:

All their flours are outstanding. Since shipping costs decrease with quanity, you might also try their Golden Buffalo if you use whole wheat flours. It's quite exceptional and unusual.

Hope this helps,