I've cooked my way through all 264 recipes
in The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook!

June 24, 2010

Moroccan Semolina Bread (p. 164)

This bread was supposed to be served with last night's pasta dish, but I had an oven-related issue which I'll share with you shortly.

To make the bread, rinse a small bowl in very hot water and then add yeast and three tablespoons of tepid water. Set this aside while the yeast dissolves into the water.

Separately, put semolina flour (this was tricky to find, it may also be called pasta flour, which is how I eventually tracked it down) in a large mixing bowl, create a well in it, and add the yeast mixture and some salt. Cover the well with the semolina flour and then pour more tepid water over the ingredients. Leave this for about five minutes, until the semolina has begun to absorb the water.

Sprinkle regular flour over the semolina and begin to work the dough with your hands until it holds together well enough to move to a lightly floured board. Knead for about 20 minutes, or, if you're a lazy kneader, as I am, a shorter amount of time. The dough should become silky and smooth.

Form the dough into a ball and cut it (don't tear it, use a knife) into six equal portions. Form each of these in  a ball and roll them lightly in more flour (regular, not semolina).

Let them rest for about five minutes and then squash each ball slightly so that they resemble round disks.

Cover the disks with aluminum foil and set aside for half an hour. During this time, preheat your oven to 425.

Once the oven is ready to go, quickly put the baking sheet with the bread into the oven and close the door without letting much heat escape. Turn the heat down to 400 and cook for about 25 minutes.

Here's where my oven-related issue comes up. I was making the pasta dish at the same time that I was preheating my oven. I needed to use two burners. The stove and the oven both run on gas. I let the oven pre-heat for half an hour, and then quickly threw the dough in without even stopping to feel the oven's heat. What I should have noticed was that the oven was not hot in the least bit. When I opened the oven 25 minutes later, my dough disks were still completely raw. Why did this happen? Is it normal for a gas run stove/oven to not be able to handle multiple burners and the oven at the same time?

Not cool. Needless to say, we didn't get to eat this bread with dinner. Once all the burners were off, I re-preheated the oven and baked them. This time it heated right up, no problems.

Twenty-five minutes later, I had these crazy bread loafs:

Despite looking like weird mushrooms, these are really good. Matt described them as tasting like "big, fat pretzels," and he's kind of right. Soft, a little salty, fluffy on the inside but a bit of a crust on the outside. 

semolina -- $3.19
Total Cost of Moroccan Semolina Bread : $3.19

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Thanks for dropping by! Love, Katrina.