Semolina and Sesame Bread

Semolina and Sesame Bread

This bread is traditionally made during spring as a welcome to returning sun at Macrina café in Seattle. Well, I baked it as a goodbye to the central star of the Solar System. Forecast doesn’t sound promising at all. Once the rain gets started here it won’t stop until very late spring. I’m afraid I finally have to accept the fact the summer is over. And I don’t like autumn…

Semolina and Sesame Bread

I am sending this photo to the CLICK Crust event.

Makes one round loaf

For the seed dough:

Makes about 2 ¼ pounds of seed dough (more than you will need for this bread)

  • 2 cups filtered water, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp dried yeast
  • 4 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

For the bread:

  • 8 oz Seed Dough, 1 day old, at room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups filtered water, at room temperature
  • 2 ½ cups semolina flour
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp raw sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • Spray bottle of water

Make the seed dough:

Place the water in a bowl of the stand mixer and sprinkle yeast on the top. Mix with a whisk until the yeast is completely dissolved. Add 2 cups of the flour and mix with a whisk until smooth, about 3 minutes. Let uncovered bowl rest at room temperature, about 70F, for 2 hours.

Place the bowl onto the stand mixer base. Add the remaining flour and mix with the paddle attachment until fully incorporated, about 1 minute. Switch to the hook attachment and mix on medium speed for 7 minutes. The dough will remain quite wet and underdeveloped. It will lack elasticity and will break easily if stretched.

Coat your hands with some flour and transfer the dough to an oiled, medium bowl and cover with oiled plastic wrap. Set the bowl in a warm room, 70 to 75F, and let rise for 2 hours. The dough will double in size.

Store the covered bowl in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours or overnight. The Seed Dough is best used when it is 1 day old, but it can be stored for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.

Make the bread:

Divide the seed dough into 5 pieces and place in the bowl of your stand mixer. Add the water, semolina flour, and kosher salt and mix with the paddle attachment for 1 to 2 minutes on low speed. Switch to the hook and mix on medium speed for 8 to 10 minutes. The dough will form a ball at the base of the hook and sides of the bowl will be clean.

Place the dough in an oiled, medium bowl and cover with oiled plastic wrap. Set the bowl in a warm room, 70 to 75F, and let proof for 2 hours. The dough will almost double in size.

Pull the dough from the bowl onto a floured surface and flatten it with your hands. Form the dough into a ball by pulling the edges up and towards the center of the mass. Repeat this motion until you have a tight ball, then let it rest, seam side down, for 1 minute. Line a medium bowl with a floured dish towel and place the loaf, seam side up, in the center. Fold the ends of the towel over the top of the loaf to prevent a skin from forming on the surface. Let proof at room temperature for 2 hours. The loaf will rise 50 percent in size.

Transfer the bowl to the refrigerator and let sit for 3 hours. The fermentation process will continue during this time and the loaf will develop more flavor.

Place a baking stone on the center rack of the oven and preheat to 400F.

Remove the bowl from the refrigerator and place the loaf, seam side down, on a baker’s peel. I like to use parchment paper here and slide the loaf quickly into the oven on the parchment. Using a sharp knife, score a shallow triangle across the top of the loaf. Mist the top of the loaf with a spray bottle water and sprinkle with the sesame seeds and sea salt. Moving quickly, place the loaf in the center of the baking stone and mist inside of the oven with water. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, misting the oven twice more during the first 15 minutes. The finished loaf will be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.

Semolina and Sesame Bread

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21 Responses to “Semolina and Sesame Bread”

  1. you don’t like autumn? it my fav season. :D
    beautiful crust indeed. thanks for your entry.

  2. Beautiful bread! I grew up in Portland, and remember when the forecasts went from sunny and partly cloudy to rain EVERY DAY…and it’s tough when you know the good weather won’t be around for a good six months. I still miss the rain now that I’m in California though.

  3. That is a gorgeous bread! I’m more of a summe girl myself also…

  4. Beautiful bread!! And I don’t like autumn either, if not fro the produce!!

  5. This bread looks wonderfully satisfying! Especially, on a cool day like today.

  6. I love the rain! We have had beautiful clouds looming overhead for weeks now with a few promises of thunderstorms from the weather forecasters, (who are never right here in Southern California) I am so looking forward to Autumn. :)
    But i’m sure our Autumns are much more mild compared to Washington’s or Canada’s! :)
    The bread looks beautiful and it has a gorgeous crust.. another photo worthy capture! :)
    Hey Vera, I just bought a bag of Spelt.. any ideas with what I can do with it?
    Ciao :)

  7. Vera, this looks delicious! The weather has changed here in St.Paul too, and I’m in the mood to bake bread!

  8. Can’t believe you don’t like Autumn! I’d happily swap seasons with you any time of the year ! :)

  9. Vera, despiyte my luck of living in a place where I have nice wheather for half of the year I still hate the first cold day. Let’s strike autumn’s arrival and have our revenge with this beautiful bread!!!
    Ps. I swear I’m doing everything I can to send you “our” recipe as soon as I can… Please don’t get mad with me…

  10. No autumn? I love to see the leaves change when we take our vacations to the mountains!!!
    I love your bread..and what beautiful photos!

  11. Bee, thanks for the complement. Yes, alas, I don’t like autumn :) We all have our own preferences, I guess…

    Cate, thank you! Rain or sun, it all can be enjoyed but in reasonable proportion :)

    Rita, thank you! I’m glad you are with me on this one :)

    Christy, thank you! I’m glad I’m not the only one :)

    Laurie, I don’t mind rain much if I can stay at home, or better yet – in bed :)
    Thank you for the complement!
    As for spelt, I don’t use it often. But if you use it along with all-purpose flour in the breakfast pancakes they will certainly become healthier :)

    Eileen, thank you very much! The bread baking does make us feel better, doesn’t it? :)

    Y, you can believe me, I said the truth :) But I’m not so sure I want to switch places :) I guess, I’m hard to please :)

    Leonor, thank you very much! I’m so glad you understand me! I feel so blue…
    I’m so far from getting mad at you! Please, take your time. There’s no rush, at least, for me :)

    Leslie, there’s no much color changing here. And if there’s some, it’s hard to enjoy when it’s pouring.
    Thank you for your kind words!

  12. such fantastic pictures… and your bread simply looks amazing… :)

  13. Nice looking loaf! I feel like I hardly had a summer so I know what you mean. Where I live (Toronto), fall is a wonderful, glorious season but it is followed by winter. The real kind with snow, not rain. Brrr!

  14. this looks like some hearty, delicious bread, vera. let it soothe you. :)

  15. Your bread looks amazing. The crust is so pretty with all the different textures… a wonderful sight.

  16. wow really nice photos and delicious bread. I m hopeless with bread recipes.:(

  17. Mikky, thank you very much!

    Dana, thank you! The real winter is certainly… brrr :)

    Grace, thank you for your words!

    Alexa, thank you very much!

    Natalie, thank you! It’s hard to believe you are hopeless here:) You decorate such amazing cakes. Bread is much easier :)

  18. Beautiful crust and lovely recipe – thanks.

  19. Arundathi, thank YOU!

  20. Such a nice crust. Love the detail of the seeds in your photography.

  21. I love semolina bread! I have some in my freezer that I bought last week from a great bakery but would love to try to make my own.

    I’m going to make french toast this weekend with my

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