The Fresh Loaf

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Kamut Semolina Sourdough Hokkaido Milk Bread

Benito's picture

Kamut Semolina Sourdough Hokkaido Milk Bread

I ran out of bread, hard to believe since I’m semi retired with more time to bake, but it happened.  I found a bit of whole kamut in the back of the closet so that gave me the idea of combining it with some semola rimacinata (semolina) since they are related and both have a great yellow colour.  I decided to try doing a cold retard after shaping.  I’ve never done this with a milk bread that I can recall.  This is the reason for the blisters on the crust, which for this type of bread I’m not a huge fan of.  The bread ended up being super soft and fluffy with a gorgeous yellow crumb and buttery crisp crust.  Really perfect for sandwiches which is what we did with the first slices for dinner tonight.

For 1 9x4x4” Pullman pan




Mix the levain ingredients in a jar or pyrex container with space for at least 300% growth. 

Press down with your knuckles or silicone spatula to create a uniform surface and to push out air.

At a temperature of 76-78ºF, it typically takes up to 10-12 hours for this sweet stiff levain to be at peak.  For my starter I typically see 3-3.5 times increase in size at peak.  The levain will smell sweet with only a mild tang.


In a sauce pan set on medium heat, stir the milk and Whole Kamut flour until blended. Then cook for several minutes until well thickened, stirring regularly with a spoon or heat-resistant spatula. Let cool in the pan or, for faster results, in a new bowl.  Theoretically it should reach 65ºC (149ºF) but I don’t find I need to measure the temperature as the tangzhong gelatinizes at this temperature.  You can prepare this the night before and refrigerate it, ensure that it is covered to prevent it from drying out.


If you plan on using a stand mixer to mix this dough, set up a Bain Marie and use your stand mixer’s bowl to prepare the tangzhong.



In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the milk (consider holding back 10 g of milk and adding later if this is the first time you’re making this), egg, tangzhong, salt, sugar and levain.  Mix and then break up the levain into many smaller pieces.  Next add the flours.  I like to use my spatula to mix until there aren’t many dry areas.  Allow the flour to hydrate (fermentolyse) for 20-30 minutes.  Mix on low speed and then medium speed until moderate gluten development this may take 5-10 mins.  You may want to scrape the sides of the bowl during the first 5 minutes of mixing.  Next add room temperature butter one pat at a time.  The dough may come apart, be patient, continue to mix until it comes together before adding in more butter.  Once all the butter has been added and incorporated increase the speed gradually to medium. Mix at medium speed until the gluten is well developed, approximately 10 mins.  You will want to check gluten development by windowpane during this time and stop mixing when you get a good windowpane.  


On the counter, shape the dough into a tight ball, cover in the bowl and ferment for 2 - 3 hours at 82ºF.  There should be some rise visible at this stage.


You can next place the dough into the fridge to chill the dough for about 1.5 hours, this makes rolling the dough easier to shape.  Remember, if you do so the final proof will take longer.  Alternatively, you can do a cold retard in the fridge overnight, however, you may find that this increases the tang in your bread.


Prepare your pans by greasing them with butter or line with parchment paper.  


Lightly oil the countertop and your scraper. Scrape the dough out onto the oiled clean counter top and divide it into four. I like to weigh them to have equal sized lobes. Shape each tightly into a boule, allow to rest 5 mins. Using a lightly oiled rolling pin and hands, 4roll and each ball out and then letterfold. Turn 90* and using a rolling pin roll each out to at least 8”. Letterfold again from the sides so you have a long narrow dough. Then using a rolling pin, roll flatter but keeping the dough relatively narrow.  The reason to do this extra letterfold is that the shorter fatter rolls when placed in the pan will not touch the sides of the pan.  This allows the swirled ends to rise during final proof, this is only done for appearance sake and is not necessary.  Next roll each into a tight roll with some tension. Arrange the rolls of dough inside your lined pan alternating the direction of the swirls. This should allow a greater rise during proof and in the oven.


Cover and let proof for  4-6 hours at a warm temperature.  I proof at 82°F.  You will need longer than 4-6 hours if you chilled your dough for shaping. I proof until the top of the dough comes to within 1 cm of the top edge of the pan.


Preheat the oven to 350F and brush the dough with the egg-milk wash.  Just prior to baking brush with the egg-milk wash again.


Bake the loaves for 50 minutes or until the internal temperature is at least 190ºF, rotating as needed to get even browning. Shield your loaf if it gets brown early in the baking process. After 50 mins remove the bread from the pan and bake a further 10 mins by placing the loaf directly in the oven on the rack with the oven turned down to 325ºF. You can brush the top of the loaf with butter if you wish at this point while the bread is still hot to keep the top crust soft.

My index of bakes.



Benito's picture

Here are the photos of the lovely soft yellow crumb.

Isand66's picture

Beautiful loaf and I bet it tasted great!

Happy baking.


Benito's picture

Thank you Ian, after doing mostly 100% whole grain versions of this bread I forgot how soft and fluffy it is with less whole grain.

Happy Baking


rgreenberg2000's picture

Your "random" chuck some leftover stuff in a Hokkaido loaf looks so much more awesome than my last attempt at the 75% loaf! 🤣🤣 Just a lovely bread, Benny, and a testament to your skills as a baker that you can create something so beautiful "off the cuff"!

Did you use the Ank?  Getting more comfortable with it?


Benito's picture

Thank you Rich, yes I did use my Ankarsrum Assistent.  I think I am gradually getting a bit more accustomed to using it.  I love that I can walk away from it when it is mixing and not worry that it’ll walk off my counter.  This bake I was successful in being able to add the butter by making sure it was very soft.  I placed the pats of butter in the proofing box at 82°F.  I was able to incorporate the butter and not have to switch to the dough hook like I did the first time, I was able to stick with the roller.