Having finally found the right flour I made two lots of bread on the same day with it to celebrate!
First I mixed up Celia’s yummy ciabatta style bread which uses fridge cold water and a mixture of bread flour and rimacinata. This chilly dough naturally takes a long time to prove in the English climate, almost like retarding the dough in the fridge overnight.
I marked the bowl it was proving in so that I could see when it had doubled. It took about eight hours in all at an ambient temperature of 21º C. I mixed it before the other bread and I baked it last – once I had reheated the oven and brought it to the higher temperature that Celia suggests to start the baking off.
It made a chewy and tasty bread, with huge holes and a crisp crust. The recipe can be found on Celia’s blog FigjamandLimeCordial.
We used it to make little toasted slices, slathered in oil and sprinkled with Za’atar and piled up with Misk’s tasty pork patties plus dry-fried left over mashed potatoes, red mustard and cherry tomatoes for lunch. It was very good!
We don’t eat a lot of ciabatta as I am not brilliant at handling these wet doughs, but this one was a bit easier than some others, I think because the rimacinata absorbs a lot of water; so even though the dough was a fairly wet one, it didn’t handle like the puddles of dough I have created before wrestling with ciabatta.
At the same time I revisited Jeffrey Hamelman’s Semolina bread with levain which I wrote about here and wanted to have another crack at baking. This time I made it exactly the way it is written, toasted sesame seeds included in the dough, as well as decorating the crust and with the correct proportions of flours. It came out looking like this and I was really happy with it.
The only small mistake I made was not pressing the dough into the seeds after shaping as Hamelman instructs, before it settled down for its last prove. It was quite hard to press a fragile, damp and almost fully proved dough into a plate of sesame seeds, I don’t recommend doing it that way as the loaf is liable to deflate.
I loved the extra nuttiness that the sesame seeds imparted to the golden bread and this is definitely a flour to look out for and a bread to make again. There is a noticeable difference in the way the dough handles using this finer flour, it is more elastic and smoother and though you do have to be careful not to overmix or overknead it, it was easy to work with as I am not the world’s most enthusiastic kneader!
Lets hope that this flour becomes more easily obtainable in future. Flour suppliers and millers please take note!
Just thought I’d mention that Syd on the Fresh Loaf has posted some gorgeous pictures of his pane con semola and written a lovely post about it and the complete recipe is up on that site, so if you want to make it and haven’t bought Bread by Jeffrey Hamelman yet, you will find it there. Mellow Bakers have moved on to other breads for July and I am lagging behind but it’s not too late to join in if you fancy baking along with the group. Summertime and the baking is easy…..
Bread with Semola di Grano Duro
Licatas The Quest for Semola di Grano Duro Rimacinata
I’m glad that you tried my pork patties, and liked them in combination with all of those other delicious offerings on that plate. By the way, marking the bowl like that to check when the dough has doubled is … well, simplicity itself. Clever clogs, you! And that loaf with the sesame seeds covering it is gorgeous! Well done! :D
Thanks Misk! The only trouble is that I used a permanent marker on the bowl… (ahem)
LOL!! That’s very good.
Both breads look very good but I particularly like the look of your Semolina loaf, I love the flavour of those seeds. I was down in Bristol a few weeks ago, my g/daughter spent six and a half weeks in the Bristol Heart Unit, thank god she is out of there now after having more surgery. Is that shop any where near the area where the hospital is situated?
I’m a big fan of sesame seeds and tahini and all things sesame too.
Jeanette I would say that Picton Street is about a mile from the Bristol Royal Infirmary or the Children’s Hospital if that is where your g/ daughter was being treated. I am glad to hear she is out of there now. It must have been a very anxious time for you and your family.
The semolina loaf from Bread (take 2) is gorgeous…I totally forgot to add the sesame seeds, but I can see where it would be challenging to dip a fully-proofed loaf…maybe just spritz and sprinkle and gently press them in…? Would that work?
Thanks Abby! Either way you do it there are seeds flying everywhere, this way you get a denser layer of seeds – even more to fall off later ;)
Looks so good!
I’m sure it smells and tastes- perfect!
I love a strong sesame cover- especially toasted sesame/
It smells just great Heidi, thanks!
All looks fantastic! Glad you found the flour, and thanks for trying the recipe! :)
Thankyou for the recipe once again Celia :D
i aspire to make such beautiful loaves but at the moment i can only get vicarious pleasure from yours..jane
Hi Jane, the new camera is hard at work making the bread look pretty, glad to hear you enjoy the post :)
Lovely looking loaves! I quite like sesame all on the edges.
Sesame has become the seed of choice here, Mr Fussy is not fond of poppyseed, sunflower seeds etc… So If I make the multiseeded loaves I tend to be the only one who eats them…
The semolina bread looks spectacular Joanna!! I hope that someday I can find some of that flour too. I think there are probably many more small little shops that carry specialty items in Europe than are to be found here in the states. Maybe I’m wrong. The air pockets in the picture of the slice almost look as if they’re trying to reach upwards. Kinda neat! Hope you enjoyed the taste of the loaf as well.
Mel, Thanks! I think the best place to find out where to source speciality flours in the States might be on The Fresh Loaf forum. For a cost of course, you can buy it from KAF, where Jeffrey Hamelman is based but I don’t know what delivery charges are, I imagine, like here, it would double the cost easily…. I love that look too when the crumb looks like a slice through the centre of a volcano. I think you’re right, it’s the yeasts in the sourdough having one final gasp of frantic activity as they heat up and the bubbles get bigger. It tastes good too, the crumb is pretty firm even though it has good holes, it’s not a soft bread by any means, but then it’s made from a very hard wheat so that must be the reason.
Very curious to see whether I can find this flour now, Joanna; these are beautiful loaves! We have a nice Italian deli here but the only Italian flour they carry is Barilla 00… at something like £4 a kg. Bah.
Maybe you could ask them to order some from their supplier? Offer to bake them some bread in exchange. You never know!
Hey, good thought – maybe they have a proper oven!
I found some! My favorite Middle-Eastern-plus-everything-else shop had DeCecco, in a proper 1.5-kg package. The lovely bread will be mine, mine, all mine! x
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