The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

36th bake. 02/03/2021. 1st durum CB: 100% ww durum.

idaveindy's picture

36th bake. 02/03/2021. 1st durum CB: 100% ww durum.

Feb. 3, 2021.  For the Durum Community Bake!

I've spent over a year touting durum flour (the finely ground flour, not just the gritty durum semolina) from Indian grocery stores... so I felt I had better walk-the-walk and join this Community Bake.

I haven't done actual durum flour since getting into sourdough --  but did use some durum semolina in recent bakes. One was 100% semolina, except for the bread flour in the starter,

Here's a photo from my kitchen/stove as evidence of which variety I got, Fiber Wala, from Sher Brar Mills of Canada:


Patel Brothers grocery was all out of their house brand whole grain durum, so I bought this at $12.99 for 20 pounds.

I stopped by a friend's house on the way back from the store and gave him about 4 pounds, since it will take a while to use this up.

The package calls this "whole wheat" but I'm not convinced it is 100% extraction.


  • 553 g Fiber Wala durum flour. 3 cups, not sifted, using "scoop and sweep".
  • 11.0 g salt
  • 1.0 g instant dry yeast. 1/4 tsp.
  • 470.5 g bottled spring water. 470.5 / 553 = 85% hydration.

That it easily took 85 % hydration, I take to indicate that it is high extraction, if not 100% extraction.   I had started at 69.6% hydration (385 g water) and it was too dry, so I kept adding water until it felt right.  Fortunately, I weighed the water at each addition.

Mixed, rested it a bit, kneaded it by hand for a few minutes.  There were some small lumps that disappeared during kneading. I take this to mean that the flour should have been sifted or otherwise fluffed up before mixing.

Drizzled a little regular olive oil on the dough ball, turned to coat, covered bowl with plastic wrap and put in oven to rise.

12:40 pm.  Start bulk ferment (when yeast was wetted, not at end of mix/knead). Dough ball weighed 1014 g, not counting what stuck to the bowl and my fingers.

1:32 pm - Stretch and fold. Dough is now nicely hydrated and supple. No tearing while stretching.

2:25 pm - stretch and fold.

[ 12:40 - 3:32 pm. 2 hours 52 minutes bulk ferment. ]

3:32 pm - stretch and fold. I realized this was progressing faster than I planned. So, remembering the CB talk about short or no bulk ferment, I decided to shape and start the final proof. I put it back in the oven, as opposed to the fridge, and left to do my errands.

6:04 pm - Returned and upon inspection, I realized it might have over-proofed. Took it out of oven and started pre-heat at *475 / 450 F.

[ 3:32 - 6:50 pm. 3 hours 18 minutes final proof.]

6:50 pm. Start bake. Covered, 450 / 425 F.  15 minutes.

7:05 pm. Covered, 425 / 400 F. 15 minutes.

7:20 pm. Uncovered, 425 / 400 F. 20 minutes.

7:40 pm. Interior temperature 208.5 F. Thumps well. 

(* first number is the oven's thermostat setting, second number is temp reading of a cheap oven thermometer.  The thermometer reads 25 degrees cooler in the 400+ range.



Next bake, my #2, in the Semolina/Durum Community Bake:


idaveindy's picture

Crumb is too dense, moist and rubbery.  Likely under fermented, and/or I knocked out too much gas during shaping.

I'll try again with 12% bread flour, and less hydration.

Taste is rather neutral after getting used to the spiced and sourdough-fermented mostly whole grain loaves.

idaveindy's picture

Friday the 5th.   It tastes a lot better!

I've been cutting it up and toasting it to make croutons. But today I tried some of the untoasted bread and it is much better.

So don't give up on a bland tasting loaf of whole wheat. Give it 36 to 40 hours, and it might improve!