The recipe for this semolina bread is from Baking With Julia. It wasn’t what I was expecting…it’s more like a Ciabatta loaf. Since I baked the bread along with a group of blogging bakers through Tuesdays With Dorie, I was able to see how others turned out. Some were flat airy loaves similar to mine, and some were rounder chubby loaves.
The preparation includes a two-hour rest for the sponge, and two two-hour rising periods, so although the active prep time is minimal, you need to plan ahead and be around. The photos below show the sponge before and after resting, and the dough following the first rise. It’s pretty hot here in Philadelphia in July, so my kitchen was balmy, and this dough was very responsive, probably more than doubling in volume with each rise.
As I mentioned earlier, my loaf remained pretty flat. Even with extra flour added during the mixing, the dough was very wet and sticky, too soft to hold a rounded shape. After shaping, the second rise was more of a broadening than a rising. Slashing it seemed to deflate the loaf (and I used a very sharp tool specifically designed for slashing baguettes.)
Had I been expecting a Ciabatta bread, I would have been thrilled with the results. It was still very good bread, crusty yet airy and moist on the inside. The recipe is included in the blogs of Anna of Keep it Luce and Renee of The Way to My Family’s Heart.