Semolina (Durum) Bread with a Whole-Grain Soaker

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Dough Yield: About

    27

    loaves at 1.5 lb each

Appears in

Bread

By Jeffrey Hamelman

Published 2004

  • About

Here is Another Semolina Bread, this one made with a grain-and-seed soaker. Like the preceding bread, it incorporates a flying sponge. The yeast percentage is slightly higher to accommodate the presence of the soaker, but the sugar is eliminated in this formula; as a result, the sponge ripens in just about the same time as in the preceding semolina bread.

Pre-Fermented Flour: 40%

Ingredients

Overall Formula

U.S. Metric Home Baker’s %
Durum Flour 10 lb 5 kg 1 lb 50 %
Bread Flour 10 lb 5 kg 1 lb 50 %
Coarse Cornmeal 1.6 lb .8 kg 2.6 oz 8 %
Millet 1.2 lb .6 kg 1.9 oz 6 %
Sesame Seeds 1.2 lb .6 kg 1.9 oz 6 %
Water 15.8 lb 7.9 kg 1 lb, 9.3 oz 79 %
Salt .44 lb .22 kg .7 oz 2.2 %
Yeast .34 lb, fresh .17 kg, fresh .17 oz, instant dry 1.7 %
Total Yield 40.58 lb 20.29 kg 4 lb, .6 oz 202.9 %

Soaker

Coarse Cornmeal 1.6 lb .8 kg 2.6 oz ( cup) 40 %
Millet 1.2 lb .6 kg 1.9 oz ( cup) 30 %
Sesame Seeds 1.2 lb .6 kg 1.9 oz ( cup) 30 %
Water, Boiling 5 lb 2.5 kg 8 oz (1 cup) 125 %
Total 9 lb 4.5 kg 14.4 oz

Sponge

U.S. Metric Home Baker’s %
Durum Flour 4 lb 2 kg 6.4 oz ( cups) 50 %
Bread Flour 4 lb 2 kg 6.4 oz ( cups) 50 %
Water 5.6 lb 2.8 kg 9 oz (1⅛ cups) 70 %
Yeast .34 lb, fresh .17 kg, fresh .17 oz ( tsp) 4.3 %
Total 13.94 lb 6.97 kg 1 lb, 6.2 oz

Final Dough

Durum Flour 6 lb 3 kg 9.6 oz (2⅛ cups)
Bread Flour 6 lb 3 kg 9.6 oz (2⅛ cups)
Water 5.2 lb 2.6 kg 8.3 oz (1 cup)
Salt .44 lb .22 kg .7 oz (1 T + ½ tsp)
Soaker 9 lb 4.5 kg 14.4 oz (all of above)
Sponge 13.94 lb 6.97 kg 1 lb, 6.2 oz (all of above)
Total 40.58 lb 20.29 kg 4 lb, .6 oz

Method

  1. Soaker: At least 4 hours before mixing the final dough, pour boiling water over the soaker grains. Cover the soaker with plastic to prevent evaporation, and let stand at room temperature.
  2. Sponge: Mix the durum flour, bread flour, water, and yeast on first speed until evenly incorporated. The sponge will be fairly loose. Since the ripening is accomplished in a short time, a sponge temperature of 78° to 80°F is required. The sponge is ripe after about 1¼ hours, when it will be on the verge of collapse.
  3. Mixing: Place all the ingredients in the mixing bowl, including the soaker and sponge. In a spiral mixing bowl, mix on first speed for 3 minutes in order to incorporate the ingredients. Check the dough consistency and make corrections as necessary. Turn the mixer to second speed and mix for about 3 minutes. The dough should be of medium consistency, with a resisting tug when pulled on. Desired dough temperature: 76°F.
  4. Bulk Fermentation: 1½ hours.
  5. Folding: Fold the dough after 45 minutes of bulk fermentation.
  6. Dividing and Shaping: Divide the dough into 1.5-pound pieces (or make rolls with smaller pieces). Preshape lightly into rounds and place on a lightly floured work surface, seams up. Cover the rounds with plastic. When the dough has relaxed sufficiently (10 to 20 minutes), shape it into tight round or oval loaves. As in the preceding formula for Semolina Bread, the top of the loaves can be pressed into a damp cloth and then into a tray of raw sesame seeds. Place the loaves into floured bannetons or on lightly floured baker’s linen and cover with plastic.
  7. Final Fermentation: Approximately 1 to 1¼ hours at 75°F.
  8. Baking: Invert the risen loaves onto the loading conveyor or peel. Score the loaves as desired. Presteam the oven, load the bread, and steam again. Bake in a 460°F oven. Open the oven vents after the loaves show color, in order to finish the bake in a drying oven. Loaves scaled at 1.5 pounds will bake in approximately 40 minutes.