A great tasting bread.


  • 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)


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

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