Semolina “Pain au Levain” Bake #1

Semolina “Pain au Levain” Bake #1

My first attempt at the Semolina/Durum CB, and I’m humbled by the knowledge and skill in all the bakes so far.  There’s still a long way for me to go on the learning curve!  Special thanks to Abe and Benny for answering many newbie questions over the last couple weeks, which has helped me tremendously in getting to this point.  I think I know just enough now to crawl.  🙂

I have been struggling with my SD starter and just didn’t have the confidence to go with an SD version of this recipe.  So, I opted to try it with a poolish instead.  I kept the preferment percentages and hydration the same as the posted recipe and adjusted the formula to a 625g dough.  I kept the amount of IDY on the low side to extend the rise.  I don’t know if there is any flavor development by going slow with IDY, but I had the time today, so went that route.


Did my best to estimate the 0.05g of IDY used in the poolish (measuring spoon is 1/4 tsp).  Poolish after 12 hours.



I did a 90 minute autolyse on the durum flour (Caputo Semola Rimacinata), and then combined.  Dough was easy to handle and came together quite nicely with 2x 100 FFs separated by a 5 minute rest.  During BF, I did stretch and folds first and then letter folds.  I have really only tried to make sandwich loaves to-date and prefer a fairly tight crumb.  This is the first time I wanted to see if I can get some openness to the crumb, so was more gentle with the second two folds.  BF and Final Proofing were done at 82 deg F.

I think the sesame seeds will add a nice flavor, but I’m not sure I’ll go that route again.  After final shaping, I misted the dough and rolled it in seeds, hand applied seeds, and fidgeted to try and cover all the surface.  I’m sure it gets easier with practice, but I might just put them in the dough next time.  Covering the outside while worrying that I’m losing my final shaping might be a little more stress than what it’s worth.  🙂   Put seed covered dough in banneton with seeds down for final proof.

Used my new lame for scoring after final proof was complete, and surprised how easily it went.  Maybe a little too deep…

Baked on a stone at 460 deg with steam for 15 minutes.  Used towels in bread pans on both sides of the loaf for steam.  First time trying that, and thought it worked quite well.  However, I think I need to preheat them longer.  Not sure I generated as much steam initially as I do when pouring boiling water in a pre-heated pan.  Had a little bit of oven spring, but the loaf stayed fairly flat.  Looks like there’s more oven spring in some parts of the loaf than others.  Guessing that’s a shaping problem?  Will have to wait and see what the crumb looks like, but the crust looks good and it smells good too.  

I hope to have my SD starter up to par soon and my next attempt will be a SD version.