Too much

Too much of a good thing can be wonderful! by Mae West
That's my philosophy about all things in life!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Semolina Bread

This bread brings me back home, to Brasil, where fresh loafs of semolina bread, sit inside huge baskets at  bakeries. All you need is a pad of salted butter, or a little extra virgin olive oil and it's a meal. This is a dense loaf. Also very common in Italy's bakeries.

Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day say "White, free-form loaves flavoured with semolina and sesame seeds are the fragrant products of southern Italy. Semolina is a high-protein wheat flour that gives loaves a sweetness, and an almost winey aroma. The flavour of the sesame seeds is inextricably linked to the semolina flavour (like caraway and rye). Be sure to use semolina flour that’s labelled ‘durum,’ other semolina flours won’t do as well this method."

1 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 cup warm water

1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup durum semolina flour
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour or bread flour
olive oil
1 egg for egg wash
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/4 cup cornmeal

In a large bowl whisk together yeast and warm water. Let it sit about 10 minutes until bubbly. Add semolina flour and salt and mix it until combined. It will look somewhat like scrambled eggs. Add flour and knead until smooth, use extra water and flour if needed. If kneading by hand it will take about 10 minutes, and if using a mixer with a dough attachment it will take 5 minutes. Form into a ball. Brush olive oil all over bowl and place ball of dough inside. Brush olive oil over top of dough ball. Cover bowl with plastic film and let it rest until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hour.
Place dough ball in a lightly floured surface and punch it down. Cut in half and roll it out into long baguette shapes. Wrap the pieces around each other and place in a cornmeal dusted cookie sheet.


Let dough rise for about 1 hour until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 425F and place a small baking dish with water in the bottom shelf of the oven. (this will help the crust get crunchy) 
Brush beaten egg mixed with 1 tablespoon of water all over the load and sprinkle sesame seeds all over the top. With a sharp knife or a razor blade, cut slits across the top of the loaf. 
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. It should be dark golden when ready.
Let it rest 10 minutes before slicing it.