As I was baking this bread tonight I thought to myself, I’m so over making homemade bread. Then I wished I hadn’t signed up to make homemade bread. If I hadn’t, I would have driven straight to the store and bought some artisan bread instead of making it.
This thought, of course, was on the heels of squeezing in baking three loaves in between cleaning up diarrhea, taking a stool sample to the vet and grocery shopping. There was so much to do tonight I didn’t even have chance to make dinner, which ended up working perfectly. Instead I nibbled on this bread and some White Bean Hummus.
I didn’t think I would be overly impressed with this bread but after tasting it decided it’s actually one of my favorite recipes of all the artisan bread recipes I’ve tried recently. Though I think this may have had something to do with the sesame seeds on top which lent the bread a nutty flavor. Or maybe the sesame seeds were just a great compliment. Regardless, I ate three pieces of this bread straight from the oven. Well, not straight from the oven. I did let it cool down enough so that I could cut into it. I would definitely make this recipe again.
- 3 c. lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 T. instant yeast
- 1 1/2 T. Kosher salt
- 3 c. semolina flour
- 3 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 to 2 tsp. sesame seeds for top crust
- egg wash
- Mix the yeast, salt, and water in a large mixing bowl.
- Mix in the flours using a spoon, food processor with dough attachment, or heavy-duty stand mixer with a dough hook.
- Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately two hours.
- The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise or refrigerated in a lidded container and used within 14 days.
- When you’re ready to bake, dust the surface of the dough with flour and cut off a hunk of dough approximately the size of large orange or grapefruit. Dust the chunk of dough with flour and quickly shape the dough into a ball. Stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the dough a quarter of a turn. Flatten slightly and allow to rest and rise on a piece of parchment paper dusted with cornmeal for 40 to 60 minutes.
- Place a baking stone on the top rack (in the middle of the oven) and an empty broiling pan on the rack below the stone. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Just before baking paint the top of the dough with egg wash (egg mixed with a smattering of water), sprinkle with sesame seeds and slash the dough (in a slant, cross, tic-tac-toe shape, etc.) using a serrated bread knife.
- Set the bread on the hot baking stone and quickly pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiling pan beneath the stone. Close the oven door as quick as possible. Bake for about 30 minutes, until deeply browned and firm.
- Cool on a wire rack (to avoid a soggy bottom) before cutting or eating.
Store uncovered and face down on a plate.