Our Bread of the Month for May features Semolina flour. It’s a chance to get a taste of Italy and Saskatchewan at the same time.
Semolina flour comes from durum wheat – the hard, large, golden, high protein wheat variety that is at home in hot, dry southern Italy. When I was a kid, durum was also a very popular crop to grow in hot, dry, southern Saskatchewan, but it’s not seen as often these days around here. Maybe it’s all the April snow we’ve been getting…
Semolina is most commomly used to make pasta, but there is a long history of baking with semolina too. The italian village of Altamura is famous for their durum wheat bread, which is so unique it was awarded DOP status, like San Marzano tomatoes or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
At Orange Boot, we don’t have DOP status yet, but we are making two distinctive loaves for you this month:
THE SEMOLINA LOAF #
Of all the bread I made back in my brick oven days, this was Cindy’s favourite. A flavourful, golden loaf in the traditional “S” shape and coated in sesame seeds. We use our wild yeast levain in the dough to provide depth of flavour. We also use a small amount of butter in this loaf; butter and semolina pair well and a slice will also brown very well in the toaster.
THE SESAME FLAME #
The Sesame Flame is a crazy idea from my most amazing teacher. Didier Rosada taught me this loaf in San Francisco in 2008 but I needed my current oven to make it worthwhile to bake it.
The Flame is a semolina baguette that is full of sesame seeds inside and also dipped in sesame seeds. Just before baking, we split the baguette and shape into a wild lick of ‘flame’. The end result is a huge, ridiculous sesame stick that is so big it’s almost impossible to put in a bag. But the taste is incredible – crispy, chewy, nutty and sesame-y. Wow!
I like to tear it apart and either eat it as is or dip it in hummus, tzatziki, or whatever I have at hand.
Both the Semolina Loaf and Sesame Flame are available every day in May, then that’s it for another year. Get yours before they run out!