Serious Eats: Recipes

Bread Baking: Semolina Braid

[Photograph: Donna Currie]

Of all the crazy and random additions I've made to bread doughs, semolina flour is the one that has become a regular component in my breads. It makes the bread a very pale yellow color and gives it a richer flavor. The first time I used it, it reminded me of a bread my mother used to buy from a local bakery when I was a kid, and that I hadn't tasted since.

Semolina is a course-ground flour made from durum wheat. I've also tried durum flour, which is ground finer, but honestly I didn't notice enough of a difference to prefer one over the other. Right now, semolina is easy to find, but I can only get durum by mail order. If both are available in your area, try both and see which you prefer, or just buy the one that's least expensive.

Tips on Making this Recipe...
by hand-kneading »
in a stand mixer »
with a food processor »

The honey crystals that I used in this bread are something I found at an Asian store. They're tiny dry spheres that taste like honey, but the ingredient list includes cane sugar as well. Since it's a dry ingredient, it lets me get the flavor of honey without messing with the moisture content in a recipe that calls for sugar. If you don't have honey crystals, sugar is just fine.

I particularly like this bread with sesame seeds, but they're completely optional. If you don't want the seeds, you can skip the eggwash, too.

Semolina Braid

About the author: Donna Currie has been cooking for fun and writing for pay since the days when typewritten articles traveled by snail mail. When she combined those talents in a food column for a newspaper in her area, she realized that writing about food is almost as much fun as eating. She most recently launched the blog Cookistry and has now joined the Serious Eats team with a weekly column about baking.

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