Iabsolutely love baking bread at home. More than quality control, it gives me so much joy to transform simple things like flour, water, yeast and salt into a soft dough which bakes up into this boxy heavenly cloud! If you have never baked bread before, I urge you to give it a try. You will be hooked for sure! It is pretty dangerous to be a bread baker who loves to bake (& eat!) bread because you will forever have a fresh stock at home and then it just find it’s way into your belly, one slice at a time.
When I came across this recipe, I wanted to try it to see if there was any difference between this bread and the one that I had been baking for years. My regular, go-to white bread is made fully out of all-purpose flour. But when I sliced into the freshly baked Semolina Bread Loaf, there was barely any difference in taste or texture. I wouldn’t have known that it wasn’t made out of all-purpose flour if I didn’t bake it myself. It was that good! The crumb was exceptional as you can see in the photograph above. I loved every bite of it!
If you are a newbie at bread baking, I have a few pointers for you to bake a successful loaf of bread. Yeast is a living organism, so when you add water, it should be just warm and never boiling hot. If you were to check the temperature, it should range somewhere between 100F -110 F. It should feel nice and cozy, like a warm bath water. If the water is too hot, you will kill the yeast and you will have to start over. Dead yeast will not leaven your bread, it will be rock-like when baked. Also, baking is a science. So please be exact when you measure the required ingredients. Please don’t eyeball anything, you will most likely be disappointed in the end.
SEMOLINA BREAD LOAF
Makes one 9 X 5 inch loaf
1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons white sugar
315 ml milk & water
500 grams fine semolina / rava / suji
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk powder
1 tablespoon oil
Method: Oil a 9 X 5 inch loaf tin and set it aside.
In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients except the oil and stir to form a soft shaggy mass. Cover and let it rest for 20-25 minutes.
Add 1 tablespoon oil and knead the dough until you achieve the windowpane test. It will take about 15-20 minutes by hand and about 5-6 minutes in a stand mixer. If the dough is too sticky to work with, add another tablespoon oil while mixing. The final dough should be smooth and soft and shouldn’t break when stretched (windowpane).
Let the dough rest in a large, covered and slightly oiled container until doubled in size. Knock back the dough and roll it out into a large rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Roll it up and place it into a prepared loaf tin. Cover and let it rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Brush the top with ghee and bake at 200 C / 400 F for 30-35 minutes or until golden on top and sounds hollow when tapped.
If you’d like, brush some more ghee over the baked loaf. Transfer the hot loaf onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
* If your semolina is coarse, grind it for a few seconds in the mixie to make it fine.
Like I mentioned earlier, I couldn’t notice any difference between a semolina bread loaf and the regular white bread. This recipe makes a very soft, delicious bread. You can use this bread for every recipe that calls for white bread. They make terrific sandwiches, french toasts, bread puddings, bread crumbs etc. I hope you try baking it at home and if you do, let me know your experience!