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CB: Hamelman’s Semolina Pain au Levain with Poolish

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CB: Hamelman’s Semolina Pain au Levain with Poolish

Blog post in progress

As of Mix Day ( February 8)...

Deviated slightly from recipe on percentage levain and included a Semola poolish.

Levain Build, start 36 hours before mix

  • 3 generations x 12 hours, all Bread Flour, 125% hydration 

Poolish, 12 hours before mix

  • 200 g water, 200g Semola Rimacinata, 1/4 t ADY
  • beautiful creamy color, less bulk, denser than AP poolish

Mix target 2000 g dough for 2 batards

  • 286 g levain
  • 392 g poolish
  • 346 g Bread Flour
  • 514 g Semola Rimacinata
  • 470 g water

Machine mix 2 minutes then scrape, cut, cajole in stray flour remaining in bowl, then 2 minutes machine mix. Rest 30 minutes. Lovely butter color dough.

  • 24 g salt

Add salt then machine knead 5 minutes

Yield 2020 g dough @70dF, room @65dF. Rest 30 minutes

4 Stretch and folds @ 30 minute intervals

  • Nice loft and gluten development after just 2 S&Fs

Retard at ~6:00 PM after 4.5 hours total Bulk on counter

First bake after 11 hour retard

  • Dough nearly doubled overnight 3 liters to 5.5 liters with Benny-recommended amount of jiggle (“like jello on springs”?)
  • Pre-shaped, 30 minute rest, shape then 45 minute rest (very easy dough to handle)
  • Bake with steam @475dF for 17 minutes, then 450dF for 25


Wish I had some control of image spacing??? 

  • pretty gorgeous batard, great oven spring, nice ear
  • soft crumb with a creamy tinge
  • crispy crust
  • fairly delicate but distinct flavor
  • On toasting, crust is reminiscent of deli sour rye, crisp but thin

Will bake another from same dough batch in a few days to see if flavor develops, dough retains it’s excellent qualities. After 96 hour retard, dough is on counter rising.

Finally got around to posting results of 96 hour retard. Pre-shape, shape durations, room temperature pretty much the same as for previous batard. 

  • Dough seemed harder to handle, wetter, slacker(?”)
  • Less oven spring
  • Bake with steam @475dF for 18 minutes, then 450dF for 28
  • Good crumb, thicker crust
  • Delicate, but more complex flavor

Conclusion: 96 hours maybe a tad too long for this dough, but overall a nice bread which I will bake again as more normal 800 g batards and maybe baguettes.