Monday, 27 December 2010

Semolina Bread with Fennel

This is a hearty and nicely textured loaf, enriched with cornmeal, wheat flakes and millet. The added fennel seeds make it a great accompaniment to cheeses and cured meats, grilled veggies and strong mustards. You likely won't be wanting to make PB&J with it, but those jars can wait for the next loaf.

There is the option of retarding the dough in the fridge overnight and, after doing a side-by-side experiment, I suggest you try that option. The dough has a bit more maturity, a nice little tang. 

Hamelman has you shape into rounds and ovals, but many of us who baked through Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice - couldn't help making an S shape.

Semolina Bread with a Soaker and Fennel Seed
adapted from Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread
for the Mellow Bakers

Early Morning: Soaker

Millet- 2.6 oz
Wheat flakes- 2.6 oz
Coarse cornmeal- 1.3 oz
Hot water- 8 0z

Stir all together in a medium heat-proof bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand at least 4 hours.

Final Dough

Durum flour- 1lb, 3.2 oz
Bread flour- 12.8 oz
Fennel seeds, toasted- 2T
Water- 1 lb, 2.2 oz
Salt- 3½ tsp
Instant dry yeast- 1¾ tsp
Soaker- all

  • Place everything in the stand mixer bowl. With dough hook, mix on first speed for 3 minutes to incorporate all the ingredients thoroughly. Then mix at second speed for 3 minutes. 
  • Ferment 2 hours or overnight. (I did one at the two hours and two at the overnight - I preferred the taste of the overnight loaves.)
  • Fold the dough once during the 2 hour fermentation. 
  • Divide dough into 3 equal pieces. Preshape lightly into rounds and place on floured surface, seams up. Let rest 10-20 mins. 
  • Shape into rounds or ovals or even an S shape as I have done (thank you Peter!).
  • Cover and let rise one hour. If you have bannetons or brotforms, you may want to let your dough rise in them. 
  • Preheat oven to 460°F.
  • Bake at 460° for about 30 minutes, or until nicely browned and baked through. 
  • Let cool on wire racks
This bread has been Yeastspotted!