Ahh, finally some time to relax. This past weekend was the first that I had spent in Ann Arbor since the middle of June. While I have enjoyed traveling around this summer I certainly didn’t mind having things slow down for a few days.
Although I could bake bread over the weekend, that didn’t stop me from doing it during the week either. Not having to go to work until 11 AM on Tuesday, I made good use of the time beforehand, making pain l’ancienne baguettes and hamburger buns for a friend.
I’ve been looking to get away from baking with white and whole wheat flour for a bit so naturally this 100% semolina sandwich loaf caught my eye. The other day I went flour shopping and, in addition to 4 pounds of semolina flour, came home with rye and spelt flour. Semolina has high gluten content like bread flour (though a gluten-free alternative is available) but is, unlike bread flour, very coarse. Often when in bread semolina compromises no more than 30 or 40% of the total flour weight. It can help make a nice firm, crisp crust and add a unique flavor to a loaf. This was only amplified in this loaf and made a great tasting sandwich loaf with a perfectly chewy and light crumb.
The bread tastes great fresh or toasted although the semolina flavor seems much more pronounced when toasted (it also has hints of cornbread). The loaf had a nice oven spring and in the future I think I would score the top of the loaf to help keep it from splitting a bit on the side. It can get tiring eating the same sandwich bread week in and week out, so I am very excited to add this to the rotation!
Semolina Sandwich Loaf
- 3 1/4 cups semolina flour
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and knead for 8 minutes (or 10-12 minutes if by hand). The dough will become smooth and elastic.
Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover. Let the dough rise for 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size.
Grease a loaf pan and set aside. Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and pat out to 6×8 inches. Form the loaf by rolling up the length of the dough (working from the short side). With each full rotation pinch the creases to create a bit of surface tension. As you roll it will get a bit longer as well, just make sure that when you place it in the pan it touches each edge. Place in the loaf pan and cover; let rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the dough crests the top of the pan.
Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 40 minutes, turning halfway through.
Recipe courtesy of user Zolablue on TheFreshLoaf.com