The Fresh Loaf

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Semolina Sesame Sourdough

rushyama's picture

Semolina Sesame Sourdough

I recently found some fresh semolina flour at a local market so I decided to try out the semolina formula in Tartine Bread. This was my first time baking with semolina and I found it to be very pleasant -- the dough smelled almost buttery and was very easy to handle despite the relatively high hydration (~80%).

I stayed fairly true to the recipe, with the following changes:

  • Lowered the levain percentage from 20% to 15%
  • Swapped out about 10% total flour for spelt / WW
  • Autolysed the flours and water for about 2 hours before adding the levain
  • Omitted the fennel (just used sesame seeds in the dough, and poppy/sesame to coat the exterior)
  • Scaled the recipe to make 1 600-gram batard and 1 850-gram sandwich loaf in a pullman pan

Bulk went for about 4 hours with 5 S&F. The dough was quite strong so it just got a quick 10 minute bench rest before shaping and an overnight (~12 hour) cold proof.

I also played around with a new steaming method -- I used a large foil roasting pan to cover the batard for the first 20 minutes (15 min at 500F, 5 at 450F), then continued baking uncovered for about 25 minutes at 450F on my pizza stone. It seemed to work well, so I think I'll continue to try this. I like this option because it'll accommodate batards and I can bake directly on my stone (I find the bottom crust gets too thick when I use a dutch oven, though I haven't experimented as much with those as I'd like). For the sandwich loaf I baked for the first 20 minutes with the lid on, 20 lid off, and finished directly on the stone for about 10 minutes (all at 450F).


I loved the flavor of this loaf. The sesame isn't too overpowering but provides a nice nutty flavor. I will certainly return to this formula again. I'd like to try....

  • Upping the whole grain percentage (I'm thinking 15-20% spelt)
  • Playing around with the right dough size for my pullman pan. I don't care too much about getting a "pullman" shape -- more interested in using the cover as a steam method. Pretty sure I can push the loaf size another 100 grams or so without danger of the top getting thrown off




dabrownman's picture

Beautiful inside and out,  Well done and happy baking.

rushyama's picture

I love a good seedy sourdough and this one certainly hit the spot.

Danni3ll3's picture

I love sesame in bread. It gives such a nice flavour and your loaf looks amazing! I can almost taste it from here. Well done!

rushyama's picture

Thanks Danni! Seeded breads are among my favorite and this one will go in the rotation for sure.

alfanso's picture

What beautiful breads!  Somehow you've managed to pack even more sesame seeds per square angstrom that I can.  As one who really likes straying from the original formula, I enjoy reading when others, like you here, do too.


rushyama's picture

I thought it might be bordering on too much but in the end it wasn't too overpowering! I often think I'll follow a recipe exactly but in the end I usually end up throwing in a twist or two, haha! Thanks Alan.

PalwithnoovenP's picture

The look of the bread and the style of the photography look similar to another TFLer's. I love sesame too! Both look great. Well done!

rushyama's picture

Thank you! I'm sure some of the photos on this site have influenced my (still evolving) photography style. :)

Filomatic's picture

That is one fine bread.  Amazing crumb.

rushyama's picture

Thanks Filomatic! We really enjoyed it both fresh and toasted. I'm looking forward to working more with semolina in the future!

Skibum's picture

Beautiful loaf and well photographed. Well done!

Happy baking! Skibum

Ru007's picture

Great looking loaf! 

Well done :)