Golden semolina flour gives this bread a warm, sunny color, a tender crumb and a nutty taste. Semolina loaves are often associated with Italian baking-perhaps because semolina flour is milled from durum wheat, the flour used to make pasta. I've just given a twist to the bread by spreading a layer of cinnamon and brown sugar into the bread. Even the plain loaf tastes good as well..
Adapted from Baking with Julia and altered by me.
Makes 1 loaf
1 Cup warm water (about 110 deg F)
1 tsp Active dry yeast
1 tsp Sugar
1 Cup All-purpose flour
Pour the warm water into a medium bowl and whisk in the yeast and the sugar. When the yeast has dissolved and is creamy, about 5 minutes, stir in the flour.
Rise; Cover the bowl and let it rest at room temperature until the sponge doubles in volume, about 2 hours.
The sponge (above)
1/2 to 3/4 Cup All purpose flour
3/4 Cup Semolina flour
1 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Olive oil
Grease a loaf pan with little butter and keep side.
Take the sponge in a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the all purpose flour and rest of the ingredients and work with your hands till the dough forms a ball. If the dough doesn't come together in a ball, add another 1/4 cup of all purpose flour, mixing a tablespoon at a time. Take the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 to 10 minutes.
First rise; Turn the dough into an oiled bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest at room temperature until it doubles in volume.
In this cold weather you can use the oven method to give the dough a rise. Just switch on the oven to max for 2 minutes and switch it off. Now take a bowl of boiling water and place it in the bottom rack of the oven. Now place the bowl with the dough in the middle rack and close the oven. let it stand for about and hour or so.. you can see that the dough would have raised beautifully.
Shaping and second rise; Deflate the dough and turn it on to a floured surface. Flatten it with your palms and 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 it into the prepared loaf pan and allow it to rest until it doubles in bulk again, about 2 hours.
Baking the bread; Preheat the oven to 400 deg F( 200 deg C).
Bake for about 35 mintes, until deeply golden. Transfer the bread to a rack and cool completely before cutting.
Variation; To create the sweet layer in between, just mix in 1/4 Cup of brown sugar and a tsp of Cinnamon and chopped nuts if you prefer. Spread a tbsp of softened butter before rolling the dough in for the second rise and spread the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Then follow the given steps.
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 1 month. Thaw, still wrapped, at room temperature.