Monday, July 16, 2012

Rosemary Semolina Bread {A Tuesdays with Dorie Post}

 Making bread is like coming home for me.  It's the simplest of things and the oldest of memories.

I can picture my grandmother standing in her kitchen pulling a fresh loaf out of the oven.  I was always at her side, like a little fly buzzing around her legs and getting in the way.  I absolutely loved being with her in the kitchen and I could tell that she wouldn't trade those days with me for anything either.
 My grandmother was teaching me, sharing all that she knew with me in the only way she knew how.  She was a barely literate immigrant from Italy.  There were very few written recipes.  And the ones that were written were only legible if you could decipher my grandmother's special blend of English and Italian.  I quickly learned what a "bustine" of yeast (an envelope) was and that when I was asked for some "sugaro" that I should bring my grandmother sugar.  Mostly I learned by watching and by helping.  I learned to feel the dough with my own little ball of dough that my grandmother would give me, so that I would know in my hands how a finished dough should feel.  I learned what the rising dough should smell like and how to know when a loaf was baking and ready.  It's all thanks to my Nana. 
Which is why I jumped at the chance to host this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe- semolina bread.  It's a simple and humble loaf.  Not all that pretty to look at, but wholly transformed by one of my grandmother's favorite ingredients, semolina (a milled durum wheat that is typically used in making pasta).  It reminds me of her and of our times together in her kitchen when I was a child.  The bread is a little bit nutty and golden from the semolina, and completely filled with the fragrance of my Nana'a kitchen.

Please visit the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers and their beautiful blogs- see how they enjoyed making and eating this wonderful bread.

Rosemary Semolina Bread
From Baking with Julia, written by Dorie Greenspan.  Recipe contributed by Nick Malgieri.
For a printable version, click here.

I vowed that I was going to follow this recipe to a "t" when I learned I was hosting this week.  I was doing really well until I spotted the rosemary sitting on my counter that my husband had just cut from our garden plant.  I couldn't resist chopping up a couple of sprigs and tossing it into the  dough as it whizzed around my food processor.  And I'm so happy that I did.  The rosemary-scented bread made for the best grilled cheese sandwich I have ever eaten.  When dipped in our favorite roasted red pepper soup, the sandwich (and the bread) was a home run.

THE SPONGE:
1 cup warm water
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

Pour the warm water and yeast into a medium bowl.  Whisk to combine.  When the yeast has dissolved and is creamy, about 5 minutes, stir in the flour.

Cover the bowl and let it rest at room temperature until the sponge doubles in volume, about 2 hours (1 1/2 hours in a hot kitchen).


THE DOUGH:
the sponge (above)
1/2 to 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup semolina flour
2 tsp salt
1 tbs olive oil
1 to 2 tbs chopped fresh rosemary

To make the dough in a food processor:
Scrape the sponge into a food processor fitted with a metal blade.  Add 1/2 cup of the all-purpose flour and the rest of the ingredients and pulse on and off until the dough forms a ball on the blade.  If the dough doesn't form a ball, add another 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour a tablespoon at a time, pulsing to mix it in.  Let the dough rest in the bowl for 5 minutes, then process for a full 20 second.  The dough will be sticky.

To make the dough in a mixer:
Scrape the sponge into the bowl of a mixer fitted with the dough hook.  Add 1/2 cup of the all-purpose flour and the rest of the ingredients (be sure to chop the rosemary very finely because you won't have the blade of the food processor to help you chop it further).  Mix on medium speed until you have a dough that is smooth and elastic, but somewhat sticky, about 5 minutes.  If the dough is too soft, add up to 1/4 cup more of the all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon at a time.

First rise
Turn the dough into an oiled bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature until it doubles in volume, about 2 hours.

Shaping and second rise
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and deflate it by flattening it with your palms.  Pat the dough into a rough oval shape and then roll it, from one long side to the other, to form a plump loaf.  Tuck the ends under and transfer the loaf to a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Cover it lightly with oiled plastic wrap and allow it to rest until it doubles in volume again, about 2 hours.

Baking the bread
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Holding a single edged razor or sharp serrated knife at a 30-degree angle to the loaf, slash lines up and over the width of the loaf.  The lines should be at an angle and about an inch away from each other.

Bake for about 35 minutes, until deeply golden or an instant read thermometer inserted into the bottom of the loaf reads 210 degrees.  Transfer the bread toa  rack and cool completely.

Storing
The bread can be kept at room temperature for a day; cover it loosely with plastic wrap.  For longer storage, wrap it airtight and freeze for up to one month.  Thaw, still wrapped, at room temperature.


35 comments:

  1. Beautiful post! I'm so happy to know about your blog :D

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  2. What wonderful lessons and memories to have! I love rosemary bread and your loaf looks absolutely delicious. Enjoyed your post.

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  3. Absolutely beautiful loaf of Rosemary Semolina Bread, Renee. And what a wonderful story about how you learned bread baking from your Italian Nana. I must say that I envy you quite a bit! Your perfect loaf of semolina bread has this wonderful authentic look!

    Enjoy the rest of the camping trip with your family and thank for for hosting today!

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    1. I know my Nana would be proud of me and my little blog. Thanks Andrea for helping me out while we were on our mini vacation!

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  4. Oh, now I must make this bread again with fresh rosemary! Nothing quite like the subtle taste of fresh herbs in artisan breads.
    I love your memories of baking with grandma, so choice--they will guide you always.
    Thanks for hosting and writing a beautiful memory.

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  5. Your bread, story and pictures are all lovely!
    Thanks for hosting this week.

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  6. Thanks for hosting, Renee! Your bread is gorgeous...and I love the addition of rosemary!

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  7. Loved the story about your Nana and now I want a grilled cheese sandwich!

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  8. What a wonderful story and such beautiful bread. Thank you for hosting.

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  9. Lovely post and great bread! I like all your grandmother memories. That cheese sandwich looks yummy. Thanks for hosting!

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  10. Omg! What lovely pictures! What lovely bread!
    Thanks for hosting :)

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  11. Ooooh, I love that you added rosemary! That looks delicious. I will definitely give that a try for my next loaf! Yum! Thanks for hosting!

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  12. I love it when baking reminds us of a loved one, such a true way to honor our friends and relatives.

    Beautiful photos, thanks for hosting.

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  13. Thank you for this beautiful post! The pictures are lovely. Blessings! Catherine from www.praycookblog.com

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  14. What a sweet story! Love that you learned baking from your Grandma. Your bread looks great. Thank you for hosting!

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  15. Looks really yummy and the grilled cheese sounds devine. I'll be baking my bread later this evening, when the weather cools some. Thanks for hosting.

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  16. Great idea to add rosemary to the bread! Thanks for hosting

    Ulrike @K├╝chenlatein

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  17. Renee,

    Lovely photos...thanks for hosting this week!

    ~Carmen
    http://bakingismyzen.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/twd-baking-with-julia-semolina-bread/

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  18. Rosemary--what a great idea! We really liked this one, too.

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  19. I loved hearing about your Nana, what a great story! Thanks for hosting.

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  20. Gorgeous picture, and beautiful story. Thanks for hosting!

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  21. what a perfect recipe for you to host! your loaf looks lovely, and so are the memories.

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  22. Your bread looks amazing....Thanks for hosting!

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  23. Thank you so much for hosting this week's TWD/BWJ, Renee. Your bread looks beautiful and delicious. Your grandmother would be proud. I will always think of my yeast packets as "bustines" of yeast. I really like that word. And, I really would probably have liked your Grandmother.

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    1. Mary, she is hard lady not to like. So glad you will be using "bustines" from now on!

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  24. Gorgeous pics. Rosemary would be perfect in this! Thanks for hosting

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  25. Lovely story! My nieces, my mother and I are baking through the book together and I hope we can build some good memories that way.

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  26. YUMMY! I can't wait to make this with rosemary.

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  27. Thanks for hosting! Beautiful photos, as well! :)

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  28. It looks and sounds beautiful with and without the cheese! Thanks for hosting this week!

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  29. Thanks so much everyone for your kind words. I loved hosting and love being part of the group. I hope everyone enjoys their bread!

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  30. La Brea makes a olive oil and rosemary bread that is heaven. I was too busy with weddings coming up to make this recipe but when I saw what you had done with the rosemary!!! I have to give it a try maybe not this month but as soon as the kitchen frees up! The bread looks beautiful

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  31. What a great addition - rosemary. I wish I had thought to add an herb. It was so good on its own, though. Chewy. Loved the texture. GREAT pick for this weeks TWD!!

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  32. Am I missing the baking temperature? This is the second blog I've been to and I can't find it in yours either. It's probably me...but I'm on my first rise and will need a baking temp in several hours! Help!!

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    1. Tracee- you are so correct. I totally missed the baking temp, thank you so much for catching that error! The temperature is 400 degrees. I'm off to go make that edit right now. I hope your bread turns out well!

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