Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The semolina bread saga

I love to bake.
It is therapeutic for me :)
There is something about the measuring,sifting,kneading,pouring and seeing the fruits of my labour rising to glory in the oven.

I have seen many bread recipes while roaming the cyber space but was a little scared to venture into trying a recipe; Until a friend of mine, who is an avid baker (oh my you just have to see her posts) posted photos of her home made bread on the social media. A little chat with her and she encouraged me and I went ahead and tried my hands at baking bread at home. 
Oh my, bread making is a sticky process but at the end of it all, you feel proud of your creation. You can go wrong too if you are not careful. The bread can become dense if you knead it too much or add too much water. To sum it up, you need to try it out a few times before you can master it.

Well, a semolina bread is what I would call a beginner bread baker recipe. You can never really go that wrong with this recipe. And a positive end result is almost always assured (that is if you don't mess up the recipe too much). The recipe calls to dump everything at one go and yeah, that is my kinda recipe.

The bread is soft, has a nutty flavor to it. You can use ordinary semolina but I used the fine semolina called chiroti rava (available in bakalas in Kuwait).

The recipe is adapted from here.

1. Water - 1 1/2 cups
2. Instant Yeast- 1 tsp
3. Semolina or Semolina flour - 3 1/4 cups
4. Sugar - 1 Tbsp
5. Extra-Virgin Olive oil - 1/4 cup
6. Salt - 1 1/2 tsp

Add water to a big deep bowl. To this water add the yeast, sugar, salt and olive oil. Give it a mix and add the semolina to it. Mix everything roughly with a spatula and wait for 5 minutes so that the semolina can absorb the liquid and become fluffy. Now knead it a bit so it forms a ball.

Transfer the dough to a work surface sprinkled with some semolina and knead for about 10 minutes (until it is smooth). Keep the dough covered in an oiled bowl and let it double in size. It took me 1 1/2 hours.

Punch the dough and shape it into a loaf and tranfer the loaf to a oiled bread pan (8 inch bread pan) and allow it to rise again (this step is very important; the dough has to rise upto the rim of the bread pan). This part took about 50 minutes for me.

Once the dough has risen a second time, bake it in a preheated oven at 180 degree celsius for 45 minutes (or more depending on the oven).

The size of the bread pan is important. Mine was a bigger one so the height of the bread was compromised.

It tastes different and it tastes good.

I have baked this bread a few times and each time the outcome was near perfect.

Definitely a keeper recipe and a must try recipe for those who like to try something different.

Athapookalams 2017

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