Sunday, March 2, 2008

Juila Child's Semolina Bread

After making homemade pizza dough last week, I was really wanting to make more bread. It didn't help that my google reader this week was filled with homemade French Bread recipes from the Daring Baker's Challenge. I had some time on my hands this weekend, so I pulled out my Baking with Julia Cookbook. I found a recipe for Semolina Bread that was perfect. I had all the ingredients on hand and it wasn't overly complicated. The process of making the bread takes 6 hours. The end result was a beautiful artisan style bread that rivals any bread I have had served in an Italian restaurant. I can't wait to make this for my next dinner party or event.

Semolina Bread
Recipe as Adapted from Baking with Julia

The Sponge

1 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour

Pour the warm water into a medium bowl and whisk in the yeast. When the yeast has dissolved and is cream, about 5 minutes, stir in the flour.

Cover the bowl and let it rest at room temperature until the sponge doubles in volume, about 2 hours.

The Dough

The Sponge (above)
1/2 to 3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup semolina flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 tbsp olive oil

To Make the Dough in a Mixer Fitted with the Dough Hook, scrape the sponge into the bowl and add 1/2 cup of the all-purpose flour and the remaining ingredients. Mix on medium speed until you have a dough that is smooth and elastic but somewhat sticky, about 5 minutes. If the dough is too soft, add up to 1/4 cup more all purpose flour, a tablespoon at a time.

Turn the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let dough rest at room temperature until it doubles in volume, about 2 hours.

Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and deflate it by flattening int with your palms. Pat the dough into a rough oval and then roll it, from one long side to the other to form a plump loaf. tuck the ends under and transfer the loaf to a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover it lightly with oiled plastic wrap and allow it to rest until it doubles in bulk again, about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400. Holding a single-edge razor blade (I used a sharp knife) at a 30 degree angle to the loaf, slash lines on each side of the loaf from top to bottom. The slashes should be at an angle and each should be about 1 inch away from the last. Make sure the lines don't meet in the center of the loaf.

Bake for about 35 minutes, until deeply golden brown. Transfer to a rack and cool completely before cutting.

The bread can be kept at room temperature for a day, cover it loosely with plastic wrap. For longer storage, wrap it airtight and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw, still wrapped, at room temperature.


Jen said...

Mmmmm - looks yummy!

Cara said...

that looks great, I would love to try making it too!