Semolina Bread (Breadmaker Version)

This is a fragrant, close-textured loaf with a good crust that's a bit out of the ordinary. It's just right for soaking up sauces or soups or serving with dips but it can also make a very decent, unusual breakfast bread. It's based on a North African bread but I won't deny that it's a long way from any genuine article.

Semolina Bread

As ever, I'm happy to let machines do the heavy lifting and I use a breadmaker to prepare the dough. You can make the dough in a more hands-on way if you have the time, but the machine makes the preparation blissfully quick and easy.

On this occasion I made some bulgur balls in aubergine and tomato sauce (or Patlicanli Eksi Asi) to eat with the bread. The recipe comes from my learned, online friend Ozlem Warren and you can find it in her lovely Turkish Table book or online here. Believe me, it's truly delicious. Yes, I know that a North African inspired bread doesn't really belong alongside a dish from southern Turkey but I have never claimed to be authentic. 

Semolina Bread


For the dough:
  1½ tsp dried yeast
  200 g strong white bread flour
  200 g fine semolina
  1 tsp sugar
  ½ tsp salt
  Zest of ½ orange
  Zest of ½ lemon
  2 tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  3 tbsp olive oil 
  1 egg, beaten
  140 ml water

To finish:
  Olive oil for brushing the top of the loaf
  Sea salt flakes for sprinkling 


Add all the dough ingredients to the breadmaker. The order of ingredients given here is for a Panasonic breadmaker and, if you have a different type of machine, you may need to reverse this order. Please check the instructions for your machine. Use the standard dough programme on the breadmaker.

When the machine has done its thing, turn the dough out onto a lined or greased baking tray. Use your hands to spread into a circle of about 1 - 1.5 centimetres in thickness. Cover with a cloth and leave somewhere warm to prove for 20 - 30 minutes until roughly doubled in height.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Make several slashes in the top of the loaf with a sharp knife, brush quite generously with olive oil and sprinkle with some salt flakes. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until the top of the loaf is lightly browned and it sounds hollow when you tap the base.

Comments

  1. Dear Phil, what a delicious, handsome looking Semolina bread, I wished we were neighbours : ) many thanks for pairing it with my Bulgur balls with Aubergines and tomatoes, Patlicanli Eksi Asi; dipping your bread to the sauce must be heavenly, look forward to trying out. Afiyet olsun, Ozlem

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    1. I must admit that I did rather enjoy the combination of the bread and the sauce even if it is a little less than authentic.

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  2. This looks gorgeous. I have started to use my Panasonic as a dough mixer more than running the full program. I made so much mess when hand mixing and kneading.

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    Replies
    1. I find the bread machine really useful and easy for making dough and, you're right, it's less messy too. Of course, some people love the process of making dough so much that they'd never use a machine and I understand that. I do know a number of people, though, who seem to believe that using a breadmaker is cheating somehow while they're only too happy to use food processors, blenders, microwaves and a multitude of other kitchen gadgets. I don't really understand that.

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  3. This sounds good, but I gave my Panasonic breadmaker to my daughter in law last week! I still have my dough hook on the Kitchen Aid, so will definitely give this a try.

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    Replies
    1. You're clearly a very generous person and I'm sure your DiL will make excellent use of it. The Kitchen Aid and dough hook will make a perfect substitute. I've used the breadmaker more than the dough hook in the last year or so which might mean I'm getting even lazier in my dotage.

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  4. It sounds delicious. Our beloved Panasonic bread maker is, we think, about 25 years old and still going strong. We also prefer to let it do the heavy work and then prove and bake in the oven, like you do, avoiding the very tall loaf with a hole in the bottom. It is odd, as you say, that some think that using it as a tool is cheating whereas using a food processor is not.

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    1. 25 years is impressive. I think mine's at least 10 years old now and going well but my past is littered with less successful (and I must confess, cheaper) machines.

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  5. Phil, you've done it again. I'm just going to have to make this. We love bread, so trying a new one is a real treat. I don't think using a machine of any kind is "cheating," but you know I'm one of those who loves kneading dough by hand. I'll let you know how it turns out! But first I have to order some semolina.

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    1. I'm well aware of how much you love the hands-on approach to bread making and I truly respect that. I hope you try this and enjoy it as much as I do. I actually bought the semolina for completely different reasons (pasta and flatbreads) but I read about some North African breads and, as usual, I got sidetracked.

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