Semolina Bread Recipe

This Semolina Bread recipe makes a soft and nutty-flavored bread loaf with semolina flour that’s perfect for your favorite sandwich. Or make it as a free-standing, rustic semolina loaf and serve it aside your favorite soup and salad.

Read on to learn all about semolina flour and other recipe tips and tricks. Or just grab your apron, hit that Jump to Recipe button, and let’s make semolina bread!

a loaf of yellowish semolina bread, four slices, and a bread knife on a cutting board.
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Ingredients

bag of semolina flour, bread flour, and other bread ingredients on countertop.

 

Semolina flour is a high protein flour like bread flour that’s made from durum wheat instead of common wheat. Like white flour, semolina is made only from the wheat endosperm after the bran and germ have been removed. So it’s not a whole wheat, but it can have a coarse ground and often has a yellow color.

Semolina flour also is used to make couscous, Israeli couscous like in this pumpkin couscous salad, and other pastas. We use it to dust the pizza peel when we are making pizza in our Ooni pizza oven.

Please see the recipe card below for complete information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations and substitutions

  • Before the final rise, spritz the top of the loaf with water and sprinkle sesame seeds on the top.
  • Make as a free-standing rustic loaf on a baking sheet lined with parchment or silicone mat. Add a cast iron pan to the bottom of your oven as it pre-heats. When you bake your bread, toss a handful of ice cubes into the pan to generate steam. Cook until the bread is slightly warmer inside (about 200 degrees Fahrenheit).

Recipe tips and tricks

Pane Siciliano is the traditional Italian semolina bread. It’s made with the same ingredients as this semolina bread recipe. The difference is that Pane Siciliano, like this one from Peter Reinhart’s Bread Baker’s Apprentice, is rolled into a log, shaped like an S, topped with sesame seeds, and takes three days from start to finish!

Making the semolina bread

To make the sponge, stir together the bread flour, half teaspoon of yeast, honey, olive oil, and water in your mixing bowl (Panel #1, below). Sprinkle the remaining flour, semolina flour, and the second half teaspoon of yeast (Panel #2), cover with plastic wrap, and let it sit for an hour or three until the sponge is bubbling through (Panel #3).

three panels showing the semolina bread sponge, sponge covered with flour, and the sponge bubbling through.

Mix the dough by hand or with your mixer’s paddle attachment until it comes together, and then switch to your dough hook. Add the salt and knead the dough for about 10 to 12 minutes by hand or 8 to 10 minutes by mixer until it is soft and pliable and passes the “windowpane” test. It will still feel a bit gritty. Your final dough should feel tacky but not sticky, so you may need to add a teaspoon of water or a tablespoon of flour at a time during the kneading.

Shape it into a boule (Panel #1 below), cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it rise at a warm room temperature until it has about doubled in size (Panel #2). This will take two to three hours.

Tip from the wise quacker: The best temperature for making bread is the high 70s. If your home is cool, you can create a warm place in two ways: 1) turn on your oven (use the proofing function if it has one) and turn it off when it reaches 80 degrees, or 2) heat a microwave-safe cup of water in your microwave for a minute or two. Remove the water and quickly add your bread dough.

two panels showing the first rise of the semolina bread in the mixing bowl.

Punch the dough down and shape it into a loaf. Here’s a great video from the folks at King Arthur about how to shape a sandwich loaf.

Place the semolina loaf in a greased bread tin (Panel #1, below) and cover it back up with plastic wrap. Let it rise one last time until the top of the loaf is about one inch about the edge of the pan (Panel #2). This should again take about two to three hours.

two panels showing before and after the final rise of the semolina bread in the greased bread tin.

Bake for about 30 minutes in a 375 degree oven until the internal temperature of the bread loaf is 190 degrees. It should give a hollow sound when you thump the bottom of the bread. Cool on a rack for at least one hour prior to slicing.

a loaf of semolina bread cut into slices on a cutting board with a knife.

What to serve with this semolina bread

Made in a loaf pan, this semolina bread loaf works with almost any sandwich combo you can dream up. Or make it as a free-standing loaf (see variation, below) and serve it as a side to soup like:

Recipe FAQs

Where can I buy semolina flour?

Semolina flour can often be found with the other flours in your grocery store. Or you can buy it online from King Arthur, Bob’s Red Mill, or Caputo from many different sellers.

Is there a substitute for semolina flour in this recipe?

You could use 100% bread flour in this recipe, but it would not have the yellow color, nutty flavor, or soft texture of this semolina-flour bread.

Why do I have to wait before I eat my bread?

Your bread is still cooking and it needs time for the final moisture to evaporate or incorporate. If you cut bread immediately out of the oven, it may seem doughy inside.

How should I store semolina bread?

Once cool, your unsliced semolina bread can be stored at room temperature in a plastic bag for a few days. Or slice the semolina bread loaf and store it in the freezer in a freezer bag for three months. Never store bread in the refrigerator, or it will dry out.

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-heart 💜💜💜💜💜 rating in the recipe card below. Let me know how much you loved it, or any problems you had, in the comments section further down.

Recipe

Semolina Bread Recipe

4.50 from 2 votes
Category: Bread
Cuisine: Unspecified
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Rising times: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 16 slices
Calories: 130kcal
This semolina bread recipe makes a soft and nutty-flavored bread loaf with semolina flour that's perfect for your favorite sandwich. Or make it as a free-standing, rustic semolina loaf and serve it aside your favorite soup and salad.
Print Recipe

Equipment

  • 1 Stand mixer optional
  • 1 9 inch by 5 inch loaf pan

Ingredients

Sponge

  • 1 cup (125 grams) bread flour
  • 1 cup (250 milliliters) water lukewarm, plus more as necessary
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon instant yeast

Semolina bread

  • cups (315 grams) semolina flour
  • ¾ cup (94 grams) bread flour plus more as necessary
  • ½ teaspoon instant yeast
  • teaspoons salt

Instructions

Sponge

  • Mix the 1 cup of bread flour, water, honey, olive oil, and yeast in a mixing bowl until well combined.
    1 cup (125 grams) bread flour, 1 cup (250 milliliters) water, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon instant yeast
  • Sprinkle the semolina flour, remaining ¾ cup of bread flour, and additional ½ teaspoon of yeast on top of the sponge.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at warm room temperature for one to three hours until the sponge is bubbling through the covering bread and semolina flours.
    1¾ cups (315 grams) semolina flour, ¾ cup (94 grams) bread flour, ½ teaspoon instant yeast

Semolina bread

  • Mix until the dough starts to come together, and then add the salt. If using a stand mixer, switch from the paddle to the dough hook at this time.
    1½ teaspoons salt
  • Knead the dough for 10 to 12 minutes by hand or 8 to 10 minutes using a stand mixer. The dough will be elastic and should pass the windowpane test. It may still feel gritty. The final dough should feel tacky but not sticky, so add a teaspoon of water or a tablespoon of flour at a time during the kneading, as necessary.
  • Cover again with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in the bowl until doubled in size. This will take two to three hours.
  • Punch the dough down and shape into a sandwich loaf. Place into a 9 inch by 5 inch loaf pan greased with butter or sprayed with baking spray.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let the semolina bread rise one last time until the dough has risen one inch above the edge of the pan.
  • While the bread is rising, preheat the oven to 375° Fahrenheit.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, until the internal temperature of the bread is 190°. The bottom of the bread should sound hollow when thumped.
  • Let cool for at least one hour prior to slicing.

Notes

Variations
  • Make this semolina bread as a rustic, free-standing loaf on a parchment lined baking sheet instead of a loaf pan. Place a cast-iron pan on the bottom of the oven when pre-heating, and then add a handful of ice to the pan when baking the bread. This steam will give you a thicker crust.
  • Spritz the top of the loaf with water before the final rise and top with sesame seeds.

Nutrition

Calories: 130kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 219mg | Potassium: 56mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 0.3IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg
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5 Comments

    1. Hi Kimyo, thanks so much for pointing out my omission! The “and more as necessary” water in this recipe comes when you are mixing and kneading the semolina bread. Most of the water will be added in the first step, but you may need a smidge more water (or more flour) depending on whether you’ve weighed your flour and on the humidity in your kitchen. The final dough should be soft and just the very slightest bit tacky (but not sticky).

      1. i did add some water to bring the dough together, but probably too late in the process and not enough.

        the final result was kind of pale and lumpy, but it does make for a great sandwich.

        i’ll give it a proper go again once i’ve replenished my semolina flour supply.

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