P & Q: Semolina Bread

It’s like an oven outside today (101 at my house this afternoon), so it’s hard to think about bread baking.  What do I do here?

37 thoughts on “P & Q: Semolina Bread

  1. I made 2 loaves of this bread the other day and didn’t have wonderful success. First, I was surprised at the long rising times -6 hours total! I skimped a little bit on the rise times because I was in a hurry, but even after 5 hours, the loaves seemed small and “mushy”. I baked them up anyway.

    We found the texture fine, but the bread was very salty and that was the dominant flavour.

    I have some semolina left, so I’m considering trying again with less salt.. Has anyone had similar issues?

  2. Hi, I made them last week and I fully agree with thursdaywithgranny: MUCH TOOOO SALTY!
    I’ve remade them with only 1 1/2 tablespoon of salt and it was much better.

    first breads (Ive doubled the recipe!):
    I let them rise (second rise) on the baking sheet but in my opinion they’ve expanded too much loosing on height.
    second breads: I’ve put them into a rectangular baking pan (the one I use for cakes), alined with parchment paper and they were much better.
    (I will post both version)

    I will hardly have any internet access during the next two weeks.
    I have already written the post about Semolina Bread and I have scheduled it to be “automatically posted” on Tuesday the 17th (hope it works. I’ve never done it before).

    IS THERE A GOOD SOUL among you who’d be willing to post my link as soon as
    the LYL for Semolina Bread will show up?
    It would be sooo sweet of you!
    Thank you for letting me know!

    Enjoy your bread!
    The taste was good (but not my favourite)

  3. The dough is extremely sticky – don’t let that discourage you from continuing with the recipe:) If you are going to serve the bread with salty foods, I would also recommend reducing the salt to 1tsp. I baked the bread on a baking sheet (no issues with expansion), rising times were around 5 – 5.5 hours for me. Enjoyed the final product big time!

  4. Strange, but I didn’t find the bread salty at all (and I eat very little salt…). The dough ‘was’ very sticky, and mine baked very flat, possibly due to the oil. It was a very “liquidy” dough. A plus: it makes excellent toast! I took half of the loaf to my dad and he thought it was some of the best toast he’s had.

    • * Rising: yes, it took longer to rise than the recipe said – I ended up using my oven’s proofing function to speed things up. It’s definitely an “all-day-bread” – but worth it!

  5. I’d like to ask what kind of semolina flour you guys used? In some of my recipe books, the authors specify “extra-fancy durum flour” which is also sometimes called semolina (hence the confusion between the 2) and it’s as fine as bread flour and not the coarser and yellower pasta flour called “Semolina.” I wonder if there would be a significant difference with the results.

  6. Well, I’m back after a bit of an absence. Classes that required my full attention and a couple of family things…so I missed a few posts…I actually baked the hazelnut biscotti and experienced a baking disaster (forgot to add the sugar and then tried to add it after everything was mixed…don’t try this at home…it doesn’t work!!!). However, I did bake the semolina bread and it was a success. I used Bob’s Red Mill semolina flour, which by the way, is the same as durum wheat flour. You need to be reading a good book for this one…3 long rises provide plenty of time in between tasks for knocking off a chapter or two. I found that I did not need to go the whole two hours each time…1.5 hours was plenty. This could be due to the hot climate here (also 101 in the shade right now). I did the free-form loaf as directed in the recipe. My only small problem was I don’t own a slashing tool (razor tool) to slash. I used a very sharp knife, but it did not make what I thought were deep enough slashes. I thought the flavor of this bread was excellent and I didn’t find it too salty. Very nice smeared with butter and jam.

    • I have my bread in the oven now. I slashed with a knife, since I don’t have a razor blade on hand. it deflated the loaf. not so pretty. perhaps kitchen shears might have been a better idea. I don’t really know.

      • Thank you for your help!! I too used a knife and found that it deflated the loaf…it did look much better without the slashes. I think next time I would do without…I am thinking it was just for looks right? :)

    • If you have a thin razor that’s the best thing to use…..or a sharp serrated knife. The slashing should be at an angle…about 30 degrees.

    • I was a bit shy with the slashing and regret it a bit. I used an old fashioned razor blade. Next time I will attach it to a pen or something so I could slash the bread instead of worrying of slashing myself :)

      • Thank you for your help!! I wish there would have been a picture in the cookbook :) I guess I needed visual help! I used a knife and it seemed to deflate my loaf…maybe that is part of the plan…sure tasted great!

  7. made this this morning. it’s summer here and i don’t have air-con so the proofing times for me were quite a bit shorter than the recipe states. was a good thing though, b/c my bread was done before lunchtime! i used the food processor method, waiting to add the salt to the dough until after the five minute rest period in the processor. I decreased the salt to 1 3/4 tsp, based on above comments.

  8. Delicious bread! I didn’t find the bread too sticky–and I didn’t add the full amount of flour. I did cut the salt down to 1 1/2 teaspoons.
    It was 100 degrees outside but thanks to the wonders of AC my house is quite comfortable! I let it raise the full amount of time. It was a beautiful loaf–perfect toasted with cream of broccoli soup.
    I’ll make it again–I don’t know what else to do with the remaining flour!!

  9. i’m confused-saw that someone mentioned the salt, 1 tablespoon or more, is too much. my copy of the book (as well as nick malgieri’s book, how to bake) list the salt as 2 teaspoons. did everybody reduce the salt??? i am planning to bake mine saturday and am wondering if i should also reduce the salt. having used nick’s book, “how to bake” many times for bread, i can honestly say that the amount of salt called for has never been an issue.

  10. Ok, my bread was delicious, not too salty and I had NO idea which direction I was supposed to slash it in! But I will definitely be making it again. Only problem I’m having is that I am hosting this week and my husband has scheduled a camping trip for Mon-Wed (I know, just terrible!). Would anybody be willing to post my link on the LYL page? I’ll have it on my blog late Monday evening, I just need someone to copy and paste the link for me here. Thanks!

  11. Made the Semolina Bread yesterday, 7/14. It was a long process with the rises. It didn’t seem to rise high enough. I made slight slashes to the bread with a sharp knife instead of a razor. As a result, the slashes are faint in the final product. The bread didn’t rise much. Would I repeat this recipe? No. I didn’t get the ‘wow ‘factor from this bread. Onto another bread recipe…

    I’ll be making pasta with the leftover semolina flour I now have in my pantry…


  12. I made this recipe just like in the book, with the 2 teaspoons of salt. I did let it rise for much longer both times – the second time it rose for about 6 hours and then was put in the fridge overnight! I didn’t do it on purpose, i just wasn’t home at the right times… it worked out really well, I absolutely loved this bread.

  13. Must have done something wrong because my dough was super wet even after I added the full amount of flour from the recipe. When it was in its final proof. before going in the oven, it flattened out like a pancake. I’m still baking it but I think it’s going to look more like a squat ciabatta. Hopefully it tastes good!

  14. made the bread yesterday-absolutely no issues with the salt level. very tasty and perfect loaf that we completely consumed with tomatoes and arugula from the garden. BEST. BLTs. EVER!!!!

  15. I made my bread on Saturday and it was great! I made sure to use coarse kosher salt and had no trouble with the saltiness. My rise times were about half of what the recipe said they would be–probably because it is warm here and I use instant yeast. I agree that a picture would have helped with the slashing bit. I think I may have overslashed.

  16. Pingback: TWD: Semolina Bread « lapetitemiette

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