The sweetness of semolina and the nutty flavor of sesame seeds combine to make this a delicious bread. To make the dough, you’ll need fine-textured semolina, referred to as semolina flour. It’s light yellow in color and resembles finely milled cornmeal. Semolina is made from a type of wheat, Triticum durum, similar to the one used for making ordinary flour, but it is a different species of the same genus. It is characteristically very high in the proteins that form gluten, so it’s necessary to use only a portion of it in a bread dough to avoid making the dough excessively tough and elastic. Most semolina is used in manufacturing dry pasta such as spaghetti.
A perfect accompaniment to a meal, semolina bread also makes excellent toast. Or slice the bread very thinly (this is easier if the bread is a day or so old) and paint the slices with melted butter or good olive oil. Bake them on a jelly-roll pan at 300°F (150°C) until they are crisp and golden—this goes well with cheeses, pâtés, or soups.
Loosely cover with plastic wrap the day it is made, or wrap tightly and freeze for longer storage. Defrost the bread and reheat it at 350°F (180°C) for about 10 minutes, and cool it before serving.
Shape the bread as a bâtard or 2 small boules instead of braiding it. Add 2 teaspoons of crushed fennel seeds (see Fennel Fig & Almond Bread) and
© 2008 Nick Malgieri. All rights reserved.