Kefir Rimacinata Bread

Kefir Rimacinata Bread I was invited to join in a post by Karin recently to create ‘a bread worthy of Götz von Berlichingen, the Knight With the Iron Hand’. and so far I have come up with a Kefir Rimacinata Bread – which might just have a bit more bite and oomph and hopefully would appeal to such a forceful character.

I made this bread using the milk kefir variety of levain as per the formula below, (if anyone using BreadStorm wants the .bun file please let me know in the comments and I will email it to the email address you use to comment with, as I have now purchased the desktop version of the software as I like it so much).  One could easily use yoghurt and yeast instead and leave out the date syrup if not using the milk kefir.

crumbshotIt yields a warm and lightly lactic sour golden loaf with a soft and slightly chewy crumb and a nice thin crust with a bit of bite to it. Excellent with marmalade, Swedish fish paste or almond butter, just as it is without toasting –  and I am sure you could slap a couple of slices together with some mortadella, Black Forest Ham or cheese from the breakfast table and pop it in your chain mail pouch as you go off to pillage somewhere,  or sling it in your saddlebag for a horseback sandwich as you gallop down dappled country lanes – it is a reasonably robust loaf.

If I get a chance I will make a yeasted version of the dough and put it in a pullman and see how it works as a pullman loaf for square sandwiches and toast, but I quite like miche profile sandwiches these days !

A note on the flour and some links that might be useful if you haven’t come across this flour before:-

When I was doing the Mellow Bakers project I went on a quest and found the flour In Bristol, imported and always stocked by Licatas in Picton Street. I made my version of a Semolina Rimacinata Loaf then with toasted sesame seeds and sesame seed crust and the quality of the crumb made me think this is a bread for Götz’s breakfast, not as fluffy as a traditional white sandwich loaf but not as heavy and hearty as a full-on multi grain bread.

This particular flour is not that easy to get hold of because it is an import. Celia @ Figjam and Lime Cordial is also very fond of this flour and regularly uses it in her baking. Sally has used it very successfully too, have a look at the Bewitching Kitchen’s Semolina Sourdough Boule.

Euan, aka signor biscotti, writes about the differences between semola di grano duro rimacinata and the semolina sold in the shops in the UK and demonstrates that you can make a lovely bread using pudding semolina in Pudding Semolina Bread on his blog and writes eloquently about the confusion surrounding the word semolina, as he says the word semolina  ‘…is used to refer to a number of different things’.

However, I had a quick look this morning and found this brand  Divella Semola Rimacinata  online from Matta’s International Foods; there may well be other online stockists and suppliers or if you have an Italian Delicatessen in your town or city, it is always worth asking them or as Euan suggests, have a go with the semolina you can buy in the supermarket!

Guten Appetit Herr Götz! Hoffentlich haben Sie etwas Leckeres zum Frühstück von Karin und ihren Freunden gefunden! (my school German attempt at saying, ‘Hope you find something tasty for your breakfast Mr Götz from Karin and her friends’)


Kefir Bread with Semola Grano Duro Rimacinata (weights)



  • Make a  kefir based levain as per formula above with flour, kefir, water and date syrup. You can make a kefir preferment without added sugar but it takes longer to ferment and is not as vigorous. Optionally add a spike of dried active yeast to speed everything up.
  • Mix the levain 18-24 hours before preparing the final dough.
  • The preferment should be  bubbling vigorously at the ideal point to mix the final dough  but can be mixed successfully if it has started to separate providing it still looks bubbly and not a pool of slithery gunk. Use your nose and your judgement on this!

Dough mixing notes:

  • Mix final dough using a stand mixer or by hand. These notes are for mixing with a stand mixer:-
  • Melt and allow butter to cool.
  • Use room temperature water to mix dough unless you are planning to retard the dough after mixing in which case cooler water is appropriate.
  • Mix levain and water together first. Hold back 50g of the water to start with.
  • Mix the flours together before adding to the dough if you remember.
  • Mix on slow speed till no visible flour is left and the mixture looks sticky and is beginning to come away from the sides of the bowl.  If it forms a big lump round the dough hook, add extra water.
  • Leave for 15 minutes for the flour to absorb all the water and start to develop. If it looks very tight, add up to 50 ml more water
  • Sprinkle salt on the top of the dough and mix in at low speed.
  • Dribble the melted butter in and mix till incorporated.
  • Turn dough out and check that is is quite soft and beginning to develop.
  • Place in a bowl and cover.
  • Prove for  2.5-4 hours depending on room temperature. I stretch and fold the dough twice during this time.
  • When dough has increased in volume by about half and shows good aeration on cutting, scale and shape as required.
  • The final prove is quite slow if you are relying on the milk kefir alone to raise the dough. On a warm afternoon it needed another four hours or so before it was ready to bake.
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven with steam at 220 C for about 40 minutes and reduce the oven temperature  by 10 degrees or so for another 20 minutes of the bake if you are baking a large loaf like this.



23 thoughts on “Kefir Rimacinata Bread

  1. lindaswildlifegarden

    Thank you for such a lovely post I am just waiting for my sourdough to do it 2nd prove before baking and called my sourdough starter june after my middle name have blessed day

  2. frandough

    Hi Joanna,   Curious to semolina  Rimacinata is that a particular brand. Hope you are well and Brian and the lovely Zeb and Lulu. More later as at work   Fran xx

    1. Joanna Post author

      Rimacinata means ‘remilled’- it is a very fine semolina flour – more later as I am out x

  3. Karin Anderson

    Wonderful, Joanna! And thanks for participating! I will soon round up all the great contributions of my Fresh Loaf and blogging friends. Götz kann sich wirklich freuen!!! (Ich wusste gar nicht, wie gut du Deutsch sprichst :)

    1. Joanna Post author

      I have sent you the .bunfile just now. B liked the bread and had several slices for his breakfast, so that was my ‘test’ to see if it had manly acceptability ;)

  4. sallybr

    Great production, Joanna! You do know your way around bread!

    and thanks so much for the link back to the Bewitching, I feel absolutely honored!

    1. Joanna Post author

      That’s very kind of you Sally – I haven’t baked much recently, so it was nice to see the loaf rise (even though I forgot it several times, these slow levains are meant for people like me :) )

  5. Euan

    This loaf looks and sounds lovely Joanna. And thanks for the mention of my post. You’ve reminded me it’s high time I made semolina bread again. I can vouch for the Divella brand of rimacinata. It is a lovely lemony yellow colour and tastes very good too. I also bought mine from Mattas. Postage was quite steep so I ordered lots!

    1. Joanna Post author

      Thank you Euan, it is such nice bread to make, I like the way it makes the dough feel when you handle it too. It makes a change from my usual wheat/wholemeal/rye combos and good to hear you like the Divella brand. Licata’s sell it by the kg, I think they split the bigger bags but one can get bigger bags from them too. It is a shame flours are so expensive to post/

  6. Ann

    What a lovely looking loaf! I can easily get the rimacinata flour here in the Italian deli but I don’t have kefir so will try one of the other versions. I’ll probably put some date syrup in though – I love it and end up putting some in most loaves these days

    1. Joanna Post author

      If you make one with yeast then do tell us how it comes out Ann! I reckon if one made a pre ferment with a pinch of yeast and half and half rimacinata and wheat, took some out of the total weights of flour and water and then left that overnight, it would work very well. That was what I was going to try next. I am very fond of the date syrup, when used with the kefir it mostly gets ‘eaten up’ so the final bread is really hardly sweet at all.

  7. heidiannie

    Love this post- and the bread is so tempting. If you make it yeasted, I would love to try the loaf as well. I made bread today- whole wheat turtles and bears and cats- for our Independence day celebration tomorrow! The children are so happy with little bread animals. And I made adult bread, too- stars with sesame seeds exploding all over!

    1. Joanna Post author

      I hope you had a great celebration day for 4th July Heidi! I think your breads sound such fun, love the idea of stars with sesame seeds! Hooray!

  8. Sincerely, Emily

    Hello! Hello! I knew I would see beautiful bread photos when I came to visit. That bread looks amazing!!! I am trying to catch up on some blog reading. I am now so hungry that I won’t get very far at all. Bread, Mangos, Nettles… oh my. Love Bread. Love Mangos. Getting more and more into nettles. I was up in Minnesota recently and was forgaing around for all sorts of wonderful wild herbs and things. Nettles was one of them. From experience in my younger years, I wore gloves and was super-duper careful when harvesting at my mom’s place. Then I visited a friend and we were checking out her garden, and I found more. This time I wasn’t as careful and I still didn’t have a reaction. I transplanted some in our back yards earlier this spring, but I am afraid they didn’t make it. I will find out next spring. To add to the patch I will also start some seeds. Most of my friends think I am crazy (not the herby ones), but they just don’t know what they are missing! Have a great day.

    1. Joanna Post author

      Hello Emily! Lovely to hear from you. I can’t quite believe you transplanted nettles but hey why not? They do make fabulous soups and that pizza topping was lovely too – wonderful compost liquid I am told, though I haven’t made that. I love that you are doing all this and you sound great, much love xxx

  9. narf77

    Looks delicious, incredibly rustic, hearty and full of probiotics to keep a body regular and satiated for the long haul. I love that you are still working with the kefir and date mix. When I used my non-dairy kefir I really didn’t expect much of it but the results were stellar and certainly worth the experiment. Not sure I would slather fish paste on it but then that sounds like something that your protagonist would be prone to do and most probably prior to cooking the fish ;). A “Hail fellow, well met!” kind of bread if ever I saw one and would be scrumptious with that almond butter :)

    1. Joanna Post author

      The fish paste is made out of roe, and is a sort of Swedish equivalen of marmite, salty and a bit fishy, and comes in a squeezy tube. You could maybe have broad bean spread on the bread? There are bb’s everywhere here right now. I am getting addicted to almond butter, only found it recently, recommended by your namesake, my other friend Fran who lives in Leeds :) I have water kefir now and it fizzes like crazy and is a very hungry and overexcited ferment. I have only made bread with it once as I am not baking so much these days and the recipes are queuing up on my mental list of things to make.

  10. chocveg

    Hi Joanna, that looks great and it is time I tried Kefir! Are you able to send me some please? I have Wild Fermentation to progress with. Hope you’re both well.
    Allison x

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