Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Seeded Semolina Bread + Sweet Variation

These semolina boules have been on my long list of breads to bake out of the book Tartine Bread and I'm quite pleased with the way they turned out.  I got to practice my shaping techniques and the seeded one has a nicely round shape that I can't help but stare at it in admiration LOL.  The book offers two variations to the formula -- one savory with toasted sesame, fennel and poppy seeds (I used chia) and the other one, a sweet version that makes use of golden raisins and orange rind.  Both are very good but I can't help but wish that I had put a little less fennel on the savory one than what's written in the formula.  OK I wish I omitted the fennel completely.  I guess it's not one of those flavors I'm used to eating especially in bread but I definitely think that it overpowered the delicious flavor of the sesame seeds.  The fennel however, complemented the flavors of the orange and raisins in the sweet variation so it was a perfect match.

I completely steered away from the mixing procedure of the book as my disastrous experience making the baguettes in the book told me that the kneading method using multiple turns instead of an improved mix just doesn't work for me.  I employed Hamelman's techniques (which has never failed me) by kneading the final dough in the mixer for several minutes until moderate gluten development has been achieved and then did about 3 turns during the 3- hour bulk fermentation.  Since this uses only wild yeast both the bulk fermentation and final proofing is pretty lengthy about 3-4 hours in 80 F.

The boules are each equivalent to just 1/4 the formula in the book.  Given my very short supply of durum flour, I couldn't really make the full recipe.

Seeded Semolina Bread
Adapted from Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson

Yield, 2 - 550 g boules

Leaven Build:

1/2 Tablespoon 100% hydration starter 
100 g Bread flour
100 g Water

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl, cover and let ferment for 12 hours at cool room temperature about 65 F.

Final Dough:

100 g Leaven
375 g Water
350 g Durum flour
150 g Bread flour
38 g Fennel seeds (or less if desired), toasted
38 g Sesame seeds, toasted
38 g Poppy seeds
10 g Salt
100 g Mixed seeds for coating  placed in a tray


Pour water into a mixing bowl.  Add the leaven and stir to disperse.  Add the durum and bread flour.  Mix thoroughly until no dry flour remain.  Autolyse for 25 to 40 minutes.

While the dough is resting, grind the fennel and sesame seeds in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle.  Add the poppy seeds to the mixture.

After the autolyse, add the salt and the seeds and knead the dough until moderate gluten development is reached.  Place in an oiled bowl for bulk fermentation.  Cover with plastic film and fold during the first 30, 60, and 90 minutes.  You can extend the folding period if needed.

After bulk fermentation, divide the dough in 2, pre-shape, rest for 10 minutes then shape into boules.  Dab the surface of the loaves on a very damp towel then immediately roll over the tray full of mixed seeds until the surface is completely covered.  Place in floured bannetons coated side down, cover and proof for about 4 hours or until light and airy.  

About an hour before baking, line the oven with baking stones and pre-heat to 500 F.  Place whatever equipment you use for steaming as well.

When the boules are ready, invert them on a floured peel and slash the loaves.  Place in oven and let steam for the first 20 minutes.  Continue baking for about 20 - 20 minutes more until golden brown.

Golden Raisin, Fennel Seed, and Orange Zest Variation

1 1/2 Cups Golden raisins
3/4 Tablespoon Fennel seeds, toasted and crushed
1/2 Teaspoon Coriander seeds, toasted and crushed
Recipe for semolina bread above minus the toasted seeds
Grated zest of 1/2 - 1 Valencia orange

Put the raisins in the bowl and add warm water to cover.  Soak the raisins for 30 minutes.  Drain and return to the bowl.  Add the fennel and coriander seeds and orange zest.

Add this mixture along with the salt after autolyse and bake as directed above.

*Submitting this post to YeastSpotting*

1 comment:

  1. I love these! I am a big fan of all types of western breads and would love to make a semolina one sometime.