All grains contain peptides that mimic morphine or endogenous opioid substances. This is where I deal with my latest loaf craving. Get your bread-based exorphin fix here.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Tartine Semolina Bread

The Tartine Semolina Bread

I didn't have quite enough fennel seeds.  I used 67g instead of 75g.  The recipe doesn't say how much poppy seeds to use.  I used 51g.

I also made another change.  I've never used semolina before, and I'm still not sure I've got the right ingredient.  I was using a bag of semolina 'wheat hearts', and when I poured the water on, it was really just a yucky too-hydrated porridge consistency.  I was afraid it wasn't going to work, so I added an additional cup of whole wheat flour (135g).  But perhaps it really didn't require it?  Perhaps the dough would have thickened up a bit once the gluten in the semolina started to form with the wetness.  Who knows?  But just one cup of extra flour and the dough seemed to come together better.

First time working with semolina: I found it really gooey.

Roasted seeds: the poppy seeds don't get toasted.  Or ground in the mortar.

I added the salt at 40 minutes, then an hour later, after a couple of turns in the bowl, I added some of the roasted and ground fennel and sesame seeds, and the un-toasted poppy seeds.  I reserved a bit of the seed mixture for the topping.

Baked free-form on the firebrick on my barbecue.  Too hot to turn on the oven inside the house.  Baked these loaves an additional 30 minutes because the top felt 'squishy', but to no avail.  The top crust remained soft.

Had a little trouble scoring the dough, the razor wanted to 'drag' instead of 'cut'.

My wife didn't like the smell of the toasted fennel, so I'm likely to be the only one eating this bread.  Maybe I can give one away to a friend.


Not a huge fan of this loaf.  I may have roasted the fennel a tad too long.  Sometimes the flavour is 'burnt'.

the bottom of the loaf with seeds stuck to it looks better than the top with flour stuck to it

Still, it makes a good grilled cheese sandwich, if you use nippy cheese (a blend of cheddars with a slight sharp bite to it)

Notes to Myself
  • You put too much flour in the baskets.  Save enough seeds to coat the basket liners, that will work better.
  • Next time try it with 100% whole wheat, and 100% whole semolina
  • Quite a bit of sag to the loaf, even though I added the extra cup of flour.  Perhaps lowering the hydration a tad might help.  Or baking in the dutch oven, like the recipe calls for.
  • Try various seed combinations until you find one you like.  I suspect millet and flax seeds might be nice together.  But do you have to toast them?

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