Sunday, March 08, 2009

Algerian Semolina Bread

Khobz El Dar: (Homemade Bread) Algerian Semolina Bread is originally from the blog titled 64 square foot kitchen. Warda's version is made with baking powder. I decided to convert the recipe to a yeast bread because I imagined an original, perhaps ancient recipe would have been made with yeast rather than baking powder.

Warda is absolutely right to want to coat her body with a perfume that contains the essence of anise and orange. Eating this bread is nothing short of a sensual experience. Thick slices slathered with butter and a cup of tea will turn an ordinary afternoon into an event you will want to share.

Algerian Semolina Bread
.256 grams fine durum semolina flour
.256 grams unbleached all purpose flour
.104 grams sugar
.010 grams salt
.216 scalded and cooled whole milk
2 eggs or approx 104 grams large eggs
.140 grams unsalted butter room temperature
.012 grams anise seeds
.008 grams orange zest, or ground candied orange peels
.012 grams of instant yeast

yields a little over two pounds (1.118 grams) of dough suitable for one two pound Panettone paper form as pictured or, this recipe will make two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 Pullman loaves.

weight and mix all the dry ingredients
scald the milk and cool
bring eggs and butter to room temperature

Beat the eggs and cool milk together. Slowly add to the dry ingredients. The dough will be on the stiff side. Knead 10 to 12 minutes. Add butter and work into the dough. The dough will go crazy and your hands will be greasy, but stay with it for another ten minutes and the dough will incorporate the butter and become extremely supple. knead for five more minutes. Shape into a nice ball, place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise a half hour fold the dough over on itself and let rest for another half hour. The temperature should be approximately 76 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from the bowl and knead for about one minute. Shape into round or divide for loaf pans. Place into pans or Panettone paper. Preheat the oven to 370 degrees. When the loaves are light and fully risen transfer to the oven and bake 15 minutes until the top shows light browning. Reduce the heat to 350, rotate the loaves and tent with aluminum foil. Total baking time for 2 lb Panettone form is approximately 55 minutes. If in doubt check with a probe thermometer. Bread is done at approximately 200-210 degrees. For the loaf pans bake for 35 minutes using the turn and tent procedure.

As with all breads, hydration and bake times will vary. The advantage of making smaller loaves is a shorter bake time with less exterior browning. Feel free to increase the anise and orange zest to your liking.