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.
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.
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
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.