Today`s recipe for the Tuesdays with Dorie group is „Semolina Bread“, a recipe that was contributed by author, teacher and baker extraordinaire Nick Malgieri.
The recipe itself is not long and seemed rather uncomplicated. Apart from yeast, all purpose flour, salt, and olive oil, the main ingredient of the bread is semolina flour, a flour often associated with Italian breads, it is a flour milled from durum wheat, it is yellow in color and the very flour used for pasta making. The obvious store to get this flour was my favorite Italian store. I have often bought semolina flour before (I use it for pasta making and for baking cakes) but for this bread, I needed to replenish my stock.
The preparation, although somewhat of a lengthy process, was easy enough. After you prepare the sponge and wait two hours for it to rise and double in volume, you add the remaining ingredients, mix everything together for a few minutes, put the dough into an oiled bowl and then you wait for about another two hours for it all to double in volume (first rise), then you deflate and shape, transfer to a baking sheet and wait another two hours until the dough doubles in bulk again (second rise). Then you slash lines on the sides of the loaf and then you finally get to bake the bread for about 35 minutes. Of course, I had to use a really sharp kitchen knife for the “slashing” since I was fresh out of razor blades. I must say that the bread did smell wonderful while baking.
All sounds not too complicated but somehow, without a picture, I really did not know how this bread was supposed to look like. Not that I had never seen semolina bread before but this particular one was a bit of a mystery to me. I should also add that semolina bread is not a bread readily available at the bakeries around here unless you can find one of the very few bakeries that specializes in Italian breads.
So, I ended up having to bake the bread twice. The second time the semolina bread just looked better that my first try, not as flat, more bread like and a little bit more, well, photogenic.
I served the bread with a wonderful light olive oil for dipping (the same one that I used for the dough, although only one tablespoon was required) and some delicious green and black olives. The taste testers loved nibbling on this bread and agreed that I should bake this again sometime. And I will bake it again because although I was not all that happy with the "looks" of this bread, I loved the way the bread tasted, fresh and toasted, the day after it was baked.
Our gracious hosts for today's recipe are Renee of The Way to My Family´s Heart and Anna of Keep it Luce - a big Thank You to both!
To see how the other Doristas prepared the Semolina Bread, please click here.