Golden Semolina Bread

READY IN: 3hrs 35mins


  • Sponge Starter
  • 23
    cup durum flour (3.5 oz/100g)
  • 18
    teaspoon instant yeast
  • 34
    cup water (room temp)
  • Flour Mixture
  • 1
    cup durum flour (5.5 oz/155g)
  • 38
    teaspoon instant yeast (the total yeast for whole recipe is 1/2 tsp)
  • 34
    teaspoon salt, plus
  • 18
    teaspoon salt
  • bread flour, for kneading


  • Make the starter: In a medium bowl, whisk together durum flour and yeast; then whisk in water and stir until very smooth for 2 mins; scrape down the sides of the bowl and cover with clingwrap.
  • Combine the 1/4 cup of durum flour and the 3/8 tsp of yeast, then whisk in the salt.
  • Gently scoop it onto the sponge to completely cover it, cover with clingwrap and allow to ferment for 1-4 hours at room temp (up to 24hrs in the fridge, remove from fridge 1 hr before mixing the dough).
  • Mix the bubbly starter together with flour mixture (covering the top of starter) using a wooden spoon until all flour is moistened.
  • Knead the dough in the bowl until it comes together, then scrape it onto a surface floured with some of the remaining durum flour and knead for about 5 minutes.
  • Add more reserved durum flour as needed to keep dough from sticking (use a bench scraper to scrape and gather the dough as you knead).
  • The dough will be slightly tacky and cling slightly to your fingers; cover it with the inverted bowl and allow to rest for 20mins.
  • Knead dough for another 5 mins until it is smooth and elastic, adding more reserved durum flour if necessary.
  • It's ok if dough is still slightly tacky, but you should be able to form a ball and holds its shape.
  • Let the dough rise in a lightly oiled bowl, covered with clingwrap, until doubled in bulk 1 1/2- 2 hours.
  • Turn the dough out onto lightly floured counter and shape it into a torpedo-shaped loaf (or regular loaf), set it into a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Cover it loosely with oiled clingwrap and let rise again until doubled in bulk (1 hr- 1 hr 15 mins); when the dough is ready to be baked, a fingertip-depression will very slowly fill inches.
  • One hour before baking, preheat oven to 450F, with a cast-iron skillet or sheet pan on the floor of the oven.
  • Make a few 1/4-1/2 inch deep slashes in the top of the dough with a sharp knife.
  • Mist the dough with water and quickly set the baking pan on the hot stone/sheet pan; toss 1/2 cup of ice cubes into the pan beneath and immediately shut the oven door.
  • Bake for 20mins, lower the temp to 400F and continue baking for another 10-20mins, until bread is golden brown (skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean or instant read thermometer read 208F).
  • For crispier crust, lift the bread from the pan with a heavy pancake turner about halfway through baking and set into directly on the baking stone.
  • When the bread is done, cool completely on wire racks.