Friday, July 2, 2010

What's Cooking?: Golden Semolina Loaves

This appeared in the July 2010 edition of the Left Hand Valley Courier in my What’s Cooking? column.

I use durum flour (or semolina) quite often when I make white bread, so this recipe interested me. Instead of using a percentage of durum, this bread is all durum.

Durum and semolina are the same type of wheat, but semolina is a coarser grind. This recipe requires the finer-ground durum. If you can’t find it locally, you can order it from King Arthur Flour.

Like most of the recipes in this book, this one has a lot of steps, but it was one of the simplest. I’ve simplified it even further to shorten it for my newspaper column, but the results are still exceptional.

Golden Italian Semolina Loaves
Adapted from “Amy’s Bread” by Amy Scherber & Toy Kim Dupree

1/4 cup very warm water
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
4 cups durum flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups cool water (more if needed)

Mix the yeast and warm water and stir to dissolve the yeast. Set aside for three minutes.

Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl add the mixture and mix with your fingertips until it’s a shaggy mass.

Sprinkle some flour on your work surface and move the dough there. Knead for about four minutes. If the dough seems dry, knead in more water, a little at a time. The dough should be stretchy and feel smooth and supple.

Put the dough back into the mixing bowl, cover with oiled plastic wrap, and let it rest for 20 minutes.

Flour the work surface lightly again, and knead the dough for 5-7 minutes until it’s no longer sticky and is stretchy and supple.

Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside to rise until doubled, about 60-90 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and sprinkle cornmeal on a baking sheet. Put an oven-safe metal pan on the bottom rack of your oven.

Lightly flour your work surface and divide your dough in half. Form it into two baguette shapes. Move the loaves to the baking sheet, cover with oiled plastic wrap, and set aside to rise until almost doubled, about 45-60 minutes.

About 10 minutes before the loaves are ready to go into the oven, boil about boil about a cup of water; this will be going into the pan in the oven to create moisture in the oven when you bake.

When the loaves have risen, make shallow slashes in the top of the dough, holding the knife at about a 30 degree angle. Mist the loaves with some water, Put the loaves in the oven and pour the boiling water into the pan. Close the oven door, wait about a minute, then mist the loaves with water again.

Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 400 degrees and bake another 25 minutes, until the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Remove the loaves from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.

This has been submitted to Yeastspotting.

1 comment:

Mimi said...

Lots of holes in the texture of that bread. I bet it tasted so good!

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