Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sourdough Semolina Bread

When I moved from India to U.S more than a decade back, I knew about only 2 kinds of loaf bread.  I had not seen the face of the oven and all I had eaten was 'Ordinary bread' and 'Special bread' from the Iyengar bakery. Ordinary bread was just plain white bread and special bread was a little more sugary with tutti fruity in it. I do recall that some bakeries had 'Milk Bread' along with these two which, resembled the taste and texture of Brioche, but in loaf form.
Sourdough Semolina Bread

Long story short, I was confused with all different bread names and shapes when I saw them in the grocery store for the first time. Used to promptly buy bread (whole wheat and sometimes white) up until 6 years back. I had seen the bread recipe for Semolina Cranberry Bread  which, was promptly bookmarked long time back. This is adapted based on that recipe. I used more sourdough starter and part whole wheat flour. I have replaced cranberries with tutti fruity.

Ingredients:
Preferment:
Sourdough Starter - 3/4 cup at room temperature (100% hydration)
Warm Water - 1/4 cup
All Purpose flour - 1/2 cup

Dough:
All of the preferment
Warm water - 1 cup
Semolina - 1 cup (coarse ground not flour. Fine Sooji works the same way)
Honey - 1/4 cup (Could use agave nectar or maple syrup for vegan version)
Salt - 1 1/2 tsp
Whole Wheat flour - 1 3/4 cups (Start with 1 1/2 cups) plus more for kneading
Instant yeast - 1/2 tsp
Dried fruit - 1 cup (You could use sweetened cranberries, raisins or in my case tuttti fruity)
Sourdough Semolina Bread

Method:
Night before you plan to bake this bread, mix all the ingredients mentioned in the preferment section. Cover with a plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature overnight. If your starter is not very active, you could add a pinch of yeast.
The day of baking the bread, add all the ingredients mentioned in the 'For the dough' section except the dried fruit to the preferment bowl. Start using only 1 1/2 cups of flour in the beginning. Stir with a wooden spoon. When you can no longer stir, make a bed of flour and dump the contents of the bowl on to it. Start kneading adding more flour as and when necessary. When I had used 1 3/4 cups of flour, I needed only a TBSP or two to finish kneading. Knead for about 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. You should be able to make a smooth ball from the dough and it could still be a little tacky but not sticky.
Sourdough Semolina Bread

Leave the ball of the dough uncovered for about 10 minutes. Add the dried fruit of your choice and incorporate that into the dough. Oil a bowl and place the dough ball in it. Rotate the dough so that all the sides are coated with oil. Cover and let it rest for 2 hours or until doubled in bulk.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle semolina on the top. Set aside. Divide the dough into two pieces. Pat into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Roll tightly from one end and pinch the seam tightly. Roll the whole roll back and forth to taper it a little. I was aiming at not too fat loaves, so made them a bit longer.  Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Sprinkle semolina on the top of the loaves. Cover and let rise for an hour to hour and a half or till doubled. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Prepare for steam by placing a cast iron skillet in the bottom most rack of the oven. Boil some water in a pan at the same time. When ready to place the loaves in the oven, slash them in couple of places and place it in the oven. Immediately pour the boiling water on to the cast iron skillet or a cookie sheet and close the oven door. Bake for 30 minutes or till golden. Rotate the pan halfway. Remove from the oven and cool on the wire rack completely before slicing. These are great toasted or as is with a dab of butter or jam or nut butters.
Sourdough Semolina Bread

These loaves are yeastspotted and are my entry to BBD#37.

Enjoy. Pin It

18 comments:

  1. Beautiful bread champa. And shot very well too :)

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  2. Delicious bread. I like eggless baking.
    showandtell

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  3. This bread would go wonderful with a cup of tea...looks delish! Blessings, Catherine

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  4. Beautiful and delicious bread,lovely addition of tuti-fruiti

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  5. yummy n perfect looking bread.. love the tutti-frutis

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  6. Bread looks just divine, amazing..good job :))

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  7. looks perfect and delicious bread..

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  8. love all the tutti frutti...the bread looks yummy n delish!
    Smitha
    http://smithasspicyflavors.blogspot.com/

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  9. I am slowly mustering courage to bake with the sourdough thing..This post brings me a little closer ...

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  10. Bread looks delicious & very inviting...

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  11. love that last click . reminds me of fruit bread that we get in India.

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  12. Bread looks absolutely marvellous, those tutti frutti bites are really very catchy in bread slices..

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  13. Champa, your tutti fruti bread looks so rustic and perfect! Nice pictures, too.

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  14. Bread looks amazing. I've never used sour dough starter before and would love to try soon. I'm taking a bread baking class tommorow, may be I'll get some tips from there. I know you have ton of recipes with sour dough starter, so I know where to look for recipes. Enjoy your weekend.

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  15. What a pretty bread. I love the contrast between the yellow semolina and the jewel-like tutti frutti.
    Milk bread is to be found in France as well, often in the shape of elongated rolls. These rolls are very soft and some kids love to slip a stick of chocolate inside for their afternoon snack.

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  16. Champa, that bread looks so colourfull!..I seriously wish you lived close by!

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