The past couple years of sourdough baking turned me into a wild yeast purist, to the point that using commercial yeast feels like cheating. So, it’s time for a confession: I cheated last weekend and used commercial yeast to bake my bread. However, instead of penance, I got a beautiful, golden loaf to enjoy the rest of the week! 😉

(from Daniel Leader, Local Breads)

300 grams water (1 + 1/2 cups)   at 70 to 78  F
5 grams instant yeast (1 tsp)
500 grams fine semolina (durum) flour (3 + 1/4 cup)
15 grams granulated sugar (1 Tbs)
50 grams extra-virgin olive oil (1/4 cup)
10 grams sea salt (1 + 1/2 tsp)

Pour the water into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the yeast, flour, sugar, olive oil and salt and stir just until a rough dough forms.

Use the dough hook and mix the dough on medium speed (4 on a KitchenAid type mixer) until it is very smooth and elastic, about 9 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled container, cover and leave to rise at room temperature until it doubles (1.5  to 2 hours).

Optional: go for a run during this time and come back to find out that 1 hour and 10 minutes later your dough is about to walk out the door to greet you).

Grease a loaf pan (8 1/2 x 4 1/2) with oil. Lightly dust the counter with semolina flour, place the dough on it, and shape it as a loaf. Insert it into the pan, with the seam side down. Dust the top lightly with semolina flour, and cover the pan. Let the loaf rise at room temperature (70 to 75 degrees) until it crowns just above the rim of the pan, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. (my loaf got there in only 45 minutes – must be the phase of the moon 😉

Bake in a 375 F oven until the loaf pulls away from the sides of the pan, and the crust is golden brown – 35 to 45 minutes.

Carefully remove the bread from the pan, and cool it over a rack for at least one hour before slicing it. Marvel at the beautiful, golden crumb, and…..


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I highly recommend this recipe if you are new to bread making.  The dough handles very well, and has impressive oven spring, baking into a gorgeous loaf that rises way above the pan. The semolina flour allows the  bread to last slightly longer than most homemade breads would – just store it at room temperature, inside a paper bag. Slightly toasted slices are delicious as part of a sandwich or just spread with jam or butter.

I am submitting this post to Susan’s Yeastspotting… make sure you stop by on Friday to see her weekly collection of breads.

ONE YEAR AGO: Tomato Confit with Arugula and Zucchini

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