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Sep 29, 2012

Semolina Rounds with Black Sesame and Golden Flax Seeds

This is a lovely bread. The yellow color from the durum flour is so appealing. I love the flavor.

I found this recipe in the book, Amy's Bread, and I have made it several times. It's one of my all time favorites. The loaves are gorgeous. The original recipe calls for just the black sesame seeds, but I threw in some flax seeds just because.

While coarsely ground semolina flour is easy to find around here, finely ground durum semolina is not, so I buy mine from King Arthur Flour. Another source is Giusto's in San Francisco. I'm sure there are other sources .... In fact, Little India in Artesia is right in my back yard. I've even heard that Costco carries a durum flour called Mumbai Gold. Hmmmm. I'll have to check these out.

Semolina Rounds with Black Sesame and Golden Flax Seeds

Adapted from Amy's Bread. (Get the book, you will love it!)


Makes 14 ounces (more than you'll need)
7 ounces warm water (105 to 115 degrees F
1/8 t. active dry yeast
8 ounces unbleached all purpose flour

In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir the yeast in the water to dissolve. Let it sit for about 3 minutes. Add the flour, and mix with the paddle attachment on low for about a minute. Place it into a container and let it rise for 6 to 8 hours, until it has more than doubled. Use the biga while it is still growing and is not deflating. You can retard the biga by letting it rise at room temperature for an hour, refrigerating it overnight, removing it, and letting it sit at room temperature for three to four hours. 

Semolina Round

2 ounces warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
1 tsp active dry yeast
12.5 ounces room temperature water
10 ounces biga
18.35 ounces/520 grams/4 cups durum flour
2 ounces medium ground yellow cornmeal
1/4 C black sesame seeds, or a combination of other seeds
1 T plus 1 tsp Kosher salt
Extra cornmeal for sprinkling

Mix the yeast and the warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer and let stand for 3 minutes.

Add the rest of the water and the biga and mix with the paddle attachment.

Whisk the durum, cornmeal, 2 T of the seeds, and the salt together.

Add the flour mixture to the stand mixer bowl and mix with a dough whisk or a large spoon until the dough forms a sticky mass.

Knead the dough with the dough hook for 5 to 7 minutes. Add additional flour if needed, but err on the side of less flour. The dough should be soft and supple.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest for 20 minutes.

Knead the dough for 2 to 3 minutes more.

Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl or dough rising bucket and let it rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Divide the dough into two equal halves.

Gently shape each piece into a rectangle and then roll them into cylinders like a baguette. Roll the cylinders under your hands to elongate them until you get a 32 inch rope. Coil the ropes.

Place the loaves side by side on one sheet pan sized piece of parchment (on top of a pizza peel or a cookie sheet so you can transfer the loaves to the oven) that has been sprinkled with cornmeal with 3 to 4 inches between the loaves. Spray the grooves of the loaves with water, and and place the remaining seeds evenly into the grooves.

Cover the loaves with oiled plastic wrap and let them rise for 45 to 90 minutes, until almost proofed, but not fully proofed.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F with a baking stone on the second to lowest rack. Place a broiler pan on the lowest rack and fill a mister with water. Boil one cup of water.

Mist the loaves with water, slide the parchment with the loaves onto the baking stone, and pour the boiling water into the broiler pan. Cover your oven window with a dish towel so you don't break it!

Spray the oven walls and the loaves with water and close the door. Spray again every 60 second three more times, quickly shutting the oven door each time.

Bake for 20 minutes and then reduce the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes more.

Cool on a wire rack.


This post has been submitted to Yeastspotting.

Would you like to comment?

  1. I've never baked with durum flour. Didn't know you could get such a beautiful rise from it. The loaf is gorgeous!

    1. Thanks Hanaâ, It behaved just like AP. It has a great flavor.

  2. I'm speechless.
    It looks AMAZING !!!

  3. Karen this looks fantastic! I wonder whether you could use a well fed sourdough starter in place of the biga? (Also, thanks for stopping by my little site!).

    1. Thanks Chelsea! You could use a well fed starter. You might have to adjust the water in the final dough, but that's not difficult.


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