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Nov 22, 2012

Semolina Sourdough Bread

See how the edges of the slash stick up and are all toasty? Those are bread ears. It's what we bread bakers all strive for. These are my best ever. It's amazing what gets us excited.

To learn more about bread scoring and "ears," check out this tutorial over at The Fresh Loaf.

Pardon me while gaze at my bread for a few minutes.....

This is a lean sourdough bread made with a liquid levain and without commercial yeast.  It was a little under proofed when I put it in the oven, and I baked it in a cast iron Dutch oven. When it came out of the oven, the crust hissed and crackled.

Because I opted for a two hour final fermentation, rather than the long refrigerated fermentation, the sourdough flavor was very faint.

The recipe calls for durum flour, which I cannot find locally. I order mine from King Arthur Flour, and keep in the freezer. Course ground semolina flour is easier to find and can be substituted for some of the durum, but you might have to play around with the formula.

Semolina Sourdough Bread

Sourdough Levain

8 grams of ripe sourdough starter
76 grams of bread flour
76 grams of water

Final Dough

110 grams of bread flour
285 grams of durum flour
239 grams water
8 grams salt
All of the levain


Mix the ingredients for the levain, cover with plastic wrap or a lid, and allow to sit at room temperature for 12 to 16 hours. It should get very bubbly.

Add all of the ingredients, including the levain, to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low for about three minutes. Add more flour or water as needed. The dough should not be overly wet or sticky. 

Change the speed to the second lowest and mix for about 2 or 2 1/2 minutes more. Do not over mix. 

Place the dough in a greased bowl or bucket, cover and allow to rise for one hour.

Remove the dough and do a "stretch and fold," folding the dough like an envelope from all four "sides."

Place the dough back in the bowl, cover, and allow to rise one hour more.

Oil and flour (I used rice flour) a banneton, brotform, or bowl. Form the dough into a boule and place it seam side up in the bowl. Cover and let rise for two hours at 75 degrees F.

About 30 minutes before baking, place a Dutch oven in the oven and preheat it to 460 degrees F. (I use the Lodge combo-cooker, and place the frying pan part on the bottom and the larger pot on top. This is much easier for dumping and slashing the dough.) When it is time to bake, carefully remove the pan from the oven, turn the loaf into the pan, seam side down, and slash the dough. Cover and place the pan and dough in the oven.

At 25 minutes, remove the pan from the oven, remove the bread, and place it on a baking sheet to continue baking for 15 to 20 minutes more, until the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees.

Cool completely on a rack.

Would you like to comment?

  1. it looks great.... I have durum flour at the Bulk Store here in North Bay, I will give this a try... I just prepared a new batch of starter and its slowly fermenting in the fridge for 24 hours

    1. You are so lucky! I seem to have to order stuff like this. The bread is good. Let me know how it turns out!

  2. Karen, what a beautiful loaf of bread. We are currently experimenting with a gluten free sourdough bread, and you have given us something to aspire to. Beautiful photography as well.

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you! All of the stars were in alignment for this one. =)

  4. Lovely ! Was this a liquid (100% hydration) starter ? I've never used such a small percentage of starter to flour and water for the levain.

    1. Yes it was 100%. I was skeptical when I set out to make the bread but it worked!

  5. This bread is wonderful. The only issue I have is because it is very hydrated it spreads. How could I get it to keep its shape better?

    1. Go to YouTube and search the following term "sfbi shaping high hydration dough." They have a great video.


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