Semolina CB – Benny’s Bakes

Semolina CB – Benny’s Bakes

Up until today, the only time I’d worked with semolina was using about 50-60% for baguettes and I loved the flavour with sesame seed crust.  I didn’t want to reproduce a batard with the same composition so I thought I would try to put together a formula myself and see if it might work.

I thought I had read that semolina hydrates very well, so I thought I’d aim for 80% hydration if the dough seemed ready to absorb that much during mixing adding the levain.  I also remember Michael Wilson saying that he had the best results with this flour when he developed the gluten well.  I wasn’t in the mood for machine mixing and thought I’d see if I could do the flour justice totally by hand.

Levain build


12 g starter, 70 g water, 70 g Semola rimacinata 

ferment 74-76ºF overnight.

Saltolyse Overnight build

429 g Semola rimacinata 

313 g water cold 

15 g hold back water for bassinage

143 g levain

10 g salt

In the morning add 143 g levain to the saltolysed dough, poking and then pinching and finally stretch and folding.  Gradually add 15 g of water.  Rubaud x 5 mins.

Then 250 slap and folds.

Bulk at 78ºF 

30 mins bench letter fold – set up aliquot jar.

30 mins lamination

30 mins coil fold

30 mins coil fold – window pane achieved

Allow to rest at 78ºF until aliquot jar shows 60% and the dough is appropriately jiggly.

Final Shaping as batard, then transfer to wet towel seam side up to dampen the outside.

Transfer to a plate with black and white sesame seeds (toasted)

Transfer to unfloured banneton seam side up.

Bench rest until aliquot jar 70% rise then start cold retard 7 hours.

Preheat oven 500ºF with dutch oven inside.

Remove dough from banneton score and transfer to dutch oven on a parchment sheet.  Spritz some water into dutch oven.

Bake lid on dropping temp to 450ºF for 20 mins.

Drop temp to 420ºF continue to bake lid on for 10 mins.

Remove lid and remove bread from dutch oven and continue to bake on the rack for 15-25

mins until crust colour sufficiently and baked through.