Guess I sometimes meet a bread I don’t like…

DSC08262This is the Semolina (Durum) Bread from Bread:  A Baker’s Book, which I wanted to try as an alternative to the semolina bread I have been attemping (and failing) so far.

(I forgot to put sesame seeds on top and just floured before slashing.  And once again, the slashes were not deep enough!)

It’s made with a “flying” sponge – which apparently means that all the yeast is in it and makes for a faster bulk fermentation.  It is faster than the other semolina breads I’ve tried, but I guess faster isn’t always better.

I really think I did everything right with this one!  Okay, ALMOST everything. 

I admit:  I was scared of another raw-in-the-middle disaster, so I baked this a bit longer than I was supposed to.  I was planning to give it 40 minutes at 460°.  After 30 minutes, it was alarmingly dark, so I tented it and turned the temp down to 450°.

I don’t think overbaking was solely responsible for the ultimate dryness of this bread, though I will take about 20% responsibility.

The outside looked good, and we even made a good-faith effort to wait for some cooling to take place before slicing it… and waah!  The crumb is SO fine!  And the flavour, so dry!


Luckily, I was serving it with fall stew, so nobody noticed the dryness… :-)

Did I overmix it?  I used the food processor, probably for about 30 seconds.  The dough was still quite moist, though it had more structure than a no-knead dough.  I dunno…

So I’m still wondering whether I went wrong, or whether it’s just not a fantastic recipe. 

I was surprised to see it amid all of Hamelman’s slow-rise, extensively pre-fermented formulas.  If this is his nod to faster bread, the book is fine without it, in my opinion.

Here:  you can have the rest of the piece…


Hey, here’s a recipe for semolina rolls – made with gritty semolina, NOT durum flour – that look like hedgehogs.  Maybe I should add those to the list of future bake projects…


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