Semolina Bread

A great tasting bread.

Ingredients


  • 2 cup lukewarm water (105-115°f)
  • 1 packet active dry yeast (7 grams)
  • 3 cup semolina flour
  • 1 tblsp salt
  • 2 to 3 cups bread flour or unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 2 tblsp olive oil
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1 egg
  • sesame seeds (optional)

Method

  1. Pour the water into a mixing bowl, stir in the yeast, and let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Stir again to be certain all the yeast is dissolved.
  3. Add semolina flour and salt and stir well.
  4. Add 2 cups of the bread flour and stir to make a sticky dough.
  5. Turn dough out onto a work surface and let rest.
  6. Begin kneading the dough, sprinkling it with the remaining cup of bread flour as necessary to keep it from sticking to you hands.
  7. After about 10 minutes the dough will be smooth and elastic and will have absorbed more or less the last cup of flour.
  8. Shape dough into a ball and place it in the bowl.
  9. Pour the olive oil over the dough and turn it several times to coat with the oil.
  10. Cover bowl with a towel and set aside until dough has tripled in bulk.
  11. The increase in volume is more important than the time it takes; depending on room temperatures this may be 2 or more hours.
  12. Do not try to force the dough to rise more rapidly by setting it on radiators, etc.
  13. This can sour the bread. Patience is needed!
  14. Punch down the dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface knead briefly (5 minutes or less), and return it to the bowl.
  15. Cover and let rise again until doubled.
  16. Punch down the dough, cut it into thirds, and shape each third into a thin loaf about 24 inches long.
  17. Sprinkle a baking sheet with 3 to 4 tablespoons cornmeal and arrange the loaves on the sheet, leaving as much room between loaves as possible.
  18. Cover and let rise until not quite doubled, about 30 minutes.
  19. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C/Gas 7).
  20. Beat together the egg and 1 tablespoon water.
  21. When the loaves have risen, brush them well with this egg wash.
  22. Slash loaves decoratively on top with a sharp knife, making diagonal cuts and sprinkle sesame seeds to taste.
  23. Slide the baking sheet onto the middle rack of the oven and reduce heat to 375°F (190°C/Gas 5).
  24. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until loaves are brown and sound hollow when the bottoms are thumped.
  25. For a crisper bottom crust, remove loaves from the baking sheet and place them directly on the oven rack for the last 5 to 10 minutes of baking time.
  26. Remove loaves from oven and cool on a rack. Wrap when cool.




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