I am so happy for this month long baking marathon as by the end of this I will have the best recipes for loaves of bread. I had tried out the buttermilk bread for the first time and have made it few times since then. I was very sure, that was the perfect loaf of bread I would ever be baking until I baked this Semolina bread.
I have never worked with semolina flour before in baking. Couple of months ago, there was a semolina bread that was suggested for one of the baking groups I am in, but I never got around to baking it. When looking for bread loaves to bake for this month, I came across this beautiful loaf of Semolina bread and I just could not take my eyes of it. Still I was not convinced that semolina flour could yield such a soft loaf of bread and so I just bookmarked the recipe and moved along.
When looking through the list of recipes I had baked for the marathon, I realized I still needed some bread loaves to bake. That is when I went over my bookmarked list and came back to this recipe of the semolina bread. The procedure to bake this bread could not have been any easier. All the ingredients just went into a bowl and was mixed and kneaded to make the dough.
I used the fine semolina flour from Bob’s red mill. Other than the flour, this bread had some yeast, sugar and salt along with water and olive oil. Very basic ingredients for the recipe and it yielded the most perfect loaf of bread. The bread had very soft crust (I cover my bread after it comes out of the oven) and perfect even crumbs. This is one of the breads where I sliced the loaf perfectly. My boys just ate the bread with some butter smeared the evening I baked the bread. The next afternoon, the remainder of the bread became grilled cheese for lunch. This loaf lasted for about 12 hours in my house.
Now that I found one more recipe for the best bread to add to my collection, I need to shop around for the big bag of semolina flour.
Preparation time – 15 minutes plus about 3 hours of inactive time
Cooking time – 35 – 45 minutes to bake
Difficulty level – easy
Recipe adapted from – The Fresh Loaf
Ingredients – (Makes 1 standard sandwich loaf)
- Semolina flour (Fine) – 3 ¼ cups
- Tepid water – 1 ½ cups
- Instant yeast – 1 tsp
- Granulated sugar – 1 tbsp
- Salt – 1 ½ tsp
- Olive oil – ¼ cup
Procedure – Making the dough –
- I made the bread using the stand mixer. In the bowl of the mixer, add the tepid water along with yeast, sugar, flour, olive oil and salt. Using a spatula mix everything until it comes together. The mixture will be very moist.
- Now start kneading the dough using the dough hook until it is very shiny and smooth (about 8-9 minutes). The end dough will be very soft to touch and so very wonderful to work with. If kneading by hand, mix everything with a spatula and then transfer to the work surface that is lightly dusted with semolina flour and start kneading. Knead for about 10-12 minutes until the dough is soft and smooth.
- Transfer the kneaded dough to an oiled bowl and cover with a plastic wrap. Let it rise at room temperature until double the volume. It took me about 1 ½ hours.
Shaping the dough –
- Grease a standard loaf pan with oil spray and keep it ready.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly dusted work surface. Using your hands spread the dough to form a rectangle keeping the width of the rectangle as close to the loaf pan size.
- Beginning from the far end start rolling the dough into a tight roll. Pinch the seams very well and place the loaf seam side down into the prepared loaf pan.
- Cover with the plastic wrap and let the dough proof again until it rises just above the rim of the pan. (It took me about 1 hour 15 minutes).
Baking the bread –
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Once the dough had its second rise, place it in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes until the loaf is golden brown.
- Remove the bread from the pan and cool it entirely on a rack before slicing.If you want softer crust cover the loaf loosely with foil when cooling.
- The semolina bread would stay fresh for about 3 days outside (not tested as mine disappeared within 12 hours).