Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Semolina Filone

This bread catches my eye every single I flip through Glezer's Artisan Breads. The classic combination of semolina and sesame is one that I had yet to achieve in my kitchen but with the semolina flour and sesame in hand, it was about time. The bread required a poolish to be made the night before baking. I let it ferment way longer than the recommended time (due to the fact that I was not feeling well at all and the cleaning staff of our residence was both having a field day and causing a great ruckus in our room. Did I mention I wasnt feeling well that day? Yea.). Anyway. When the poolish was nice and bubbly and yeasty smelling, I assembled the dough by adding the poolish to some semolina flour, all purpose flour, additional yeast, salt, etc. The resulting mixture was so goopy that I had to disregard Glezer's caution not to add flour to achieve a kneadable consistency. I kneaded it until a soft dough was formed and set it aside to rise, giving it only two of the three required folds. I let it finished its rising undisturbed and then shaped it into a log/torpedo-ish shape. Wary of deflating the precious air bubbles, I didnt attempt to obey her detailed instructions and make it a traditional filone. I spritzed the top with some water so the sesame seeds could adhere and gave the loaf one long slash down the middle. I baked the loaf on a preheated stone. Because steaming doesnt work in my toaster oven, I baked without it. The loaf did have great oven spring, a result of sufficient preheating. The interior of the loaf was a lovely, creamy yellow with a beautiful, open crumb. The flavor of toasted sesame was just delicious. When the roomie was sick, I toasted her some slices of this loaf and she thoroughly enjoyed it. By all counts, this bread was di-vine.

Semolina Filone
adapted from Maggie Glezer's Artisan Breads Across America

1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 cup water
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp water

1 2/3 cups semolina flour
1/3 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup plus 3 tbsp water
1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
Sesame seeds

The night before baking, make the poolish. Dissolve the yeast into 1 cup of water. Set aside for five to ten minutes.
Place the flours in a bowl and mix. Measure 1/4 of the yeasted water and pour over the flour.
Stir to make a gloppy batter.
Set aside to ferment overnight.
The next day, in a large bowl, place the flours and water.
Mix to make a firm autolyse.
Add the remaining yeast to the poolish and stir.
Pour the poolish over the autolysed dough and using a bench scraper to help, need the dough to form a cohesive mass. Add the salt at this point and knead to distribute. You may need to add a few tablespoons to adjust the consistency.
Turn out onto a barely floured surface and knead until tacky and soft, but not gloppy. Set aside to rise for three hours, giving the dough three folds, first after twenty, then forty, then sixty minutes. Let rise undisturbed for the remaining time. Preheat the oven with a baking stone to 400.
Spritz the dough with water and sprinkle liberally with sesame seeds. Bake for 45-55 minutes until golden brown and delicious. Cool on wire rack. The only thing this was missing....was a shmear of cream cheese. Mmmm.

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