The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Companion Blog for the Semolina Community Bake

alfanso's picture

Companion Blog for the Semolina Community Bake

Here you will find all five breads that I’m promoting for the current CB.  All of the “rules” and general instructions can be found in the CB.

To avoid overwhelming the CB posting with too many selection of choices, I’ve included the two additional suggestions in this post.  All formulae here are my own take on the breads. 
============== the first three ===================


 Semolina "Pain au Levain".  This Jeffrey Hamelman version has a 60/40 mix of semolina/bread flour, employs a 125% hydration bread flour levain, and carries an overall hydration of 67%.

1) One of TFL’s resident Kiwis, leslieruf offers her version.

2) My own take for one of my go-to breads, on this marvelous winning delight.


Tom Cat Semolina Filone.  Maggie Glezer’s version of this on again/off again occasional TFL favorite will challenge you due to its very high hydration.  I found this bread difficult to wrangle, but it makes some of the finest toast I’ve ever had.  55.5/45.5 semolina/bread flour, 130% hydration Poolish, 89% overall hydration. 
NOTE: Due to a misunderstanding of American English/Transcription error, the original Tom Cat formula that previously was posted below carried an absurdly high overall 89% hydration.  Thanks to an email conversation with Abe, it was determined that the Poolish was incorrectly stated.  The corrected version is now in its place, with an Poolish hydration of 90% and an overall hydration of 75%.  The 45/55 % or AP/Semolina still remains.

1) semolina_man baked a delightful version of this bread.


2) As does dmsnyder, David's interpretation.

Pane di Altamura/Matera. These two neighboring towns, in the heel region of the Italian peninsula, produce rather uniquely shaped (or mis-shapen) breads. 

Altamura is 100% semolina including a 66% hydration biga, with a relatively low overall hydration of 65%.  


Matera is also 100% semolina including a 50% hydration levain / lievito madre with a 66% overall hydration.

1) Our own breadforfun’s Brad did a field trip there several years ago, and reports on his experience and bake.


2) Baker anonymous, better known as Abe, offers us his version.

EDIT.  Build 3 above should read 150g Sem., 75g Water

3) I tried my hand at this one as well.

 4) Brad (breadforfun) pointed out this Michael Wilson beauty and I thought that I'd include it here, where it seems to belong!  Michael is as serious and accomplished as it gets here on Isle TFL when it comes to Italian breads. 
============== Additional formulae ===================
Semolina Challah.  Looking quite afar, my playful merging of the enriched goodness of Maggie Glezer's popular version with my own 50/50 semolina/bread flour mix. This (heavily dosed) IDY bread carries an overall hydration of 78% when taking into account the eggs, water, neutral flavored oil and honey.  I tried variations of semolina percentages up to 100% with a levain, but personally settled on one that is a 50/50 mix with IDY.  This will also provide an opportunity to introduce you to braiding, as it did to me.  Demonstrated here by Jeffrey Hamelman with a six strand braid.
1) Early TFL star, zolablue provides a magnificent looking levain bread flour version. 
2) Recent rising star baker benito, Benny's, take on Ms. Glezer’s levain bread flour.
 Semolina with pine nuts, sultanas and fennel seeds.  For “extra credit” and for those longing to have a fruit, nut or seed to incorporate, this one has all three.  Based on a mix of both the Amy’s Bread  bakery in NYC and Susan's wildyeastblog versions.  59/41 semolina/bread flour, 100% hydration Liquid Levain, 65% overall hydration. 1) dmsnyder's version of this superb “afternoon wine and cheese” bread. 


 2) A personal favorite, it has incredible flavor and has delighted all whose tonsils have come to know it. 
============== end ===================


Benito's picture

Sneaky of you to slip this into your blog.  I love that there are several formulas to try out.  I’m not sure which I’ll try first, I’ll have to have a good go over these options.  Fun!

breadforfun's picture

I, for one, am really glad that you put this out there as a CB. Semolina breads are underappreciated, in no small part because they have lots of difficulties in working with the dough. There are lots of posts about it, and you did a good job with the examples you chose.

I would like to propose one more post for folks to look at, especially if they plan on working with 100% semola rimacinata, and that is Michael Wilson's post from late last year. I followed his method for a bake last month and was very pleased with the way it turned out. The method is different enough from all the other examples that folks new to this flour would take away many new things to try. Just my two cents.

Thanks again, Al.


alfanso's picture

Added as "what's behind door #3" to the companion blog above.

alfanso's picture