This week’ recipe of our Tuesdays with Dorie baking group is screaming Sicilia! Semolina bread is a typical Sicilian bread with distinctive crust, chewy texture and intense flavor. Are there enough adjectives in the previous sentence? It is made from a combination of semolina and unbleached all-purpose flour.
Semolina brings my inner child’s worst nightmares to life… It was considered to be a super food by my grandparents. It was my grandfather’s favorite desert! Grandma would boil the milk and sugar and then add the semolina and cook it until it thickens. I hated it deeply and sincerely!
I started looking at semolina with different eyes when in the final days of my grandmother’s life, my grandfather with his trembling hands (from Parkinson’s) would make semolina with milk and sugar for her. He would sit by her side and feed her tenderly. She would eat a spoon or two despite her lack of appetite. After a while he would get the semolina desert again and start all over… This is what love is… Couple of years later when he was so fragile and bedridden, my mother would make his favorite semolina…
At first, I was quite hesitant to bake the bread. The dough for this bread was extremely sticky. I was also not sure if I would like to turn on the oven with local heat wave temperatures of 35C! I don’t regret one bit creating the sauna effect at home!
I shaped the bread as a batard and baked it late at night with all the windows wide open. I wrapped the baked bread in a cotton towel and next day we enjoyed it with fresh tomatoes.
Le cose semplici della vita!
Note: If you are going to serve the bread with salty foods, I would recommend reducing the salt to 1 tsp.