I had an idea about a grilled salmon sandwich I wanted to make, and at the same time, I was itching to use my starter again. Lucky for me, these sandwich rolls appear in the Bread from the La Brea Bakery book so I could continue my adventures in baking with it. Silverton explains in the book that she loves the pale, yellow color of these rolls’ interiors, and that color comes from the durum wheat. The recipe calls for both semolina flour, which is made from durum wheat, and durum flour. The difference between the two is that semolina flour is usually of a coarser grind than durum flour, but that depends on where and how it was made. The semolina flour I found was finer in texture than cornmeal, and I didn’t find durum flour locally. I located some information online explaining that semolina flour can be processed in a food processor to make it finer, and then it can be used as durum flour. That’s what I did here.
This was a one-day bread, and the dough came together easily and was a nice one. Water, fresh yeast, white starter, bread flour, semolina flour, and (my version of) durum flour were first combined in the bowl of a stand mixer and mixed with a dough hook. Salt was added, and the dough was mixed until smooth and then kneaded by hand briefly. It was placed in a large bowl, covered with plastic wrap, and left to ferment for about two hours. At that point, it was divided into 12 pieces which were then covered with a towel and left to rest for 15 minutes. Then, the instructions got a little cloudy, but I think it all worked out ok. A process of flattening each piece of dough and then folding this way and that and sealing and folding again and sealing that seam and tucking in loose dough and ta-da. I would have loved some photos to follow for that, so I just did what seemed about right. In the end I had 12 roll-shaped items that were each about seven inches long.
The next step was pretty fun. Each roll was sprayed with water from a spray bottle and sprinkled with sesame seeds. Then each back side was dipped in a plate of water and then pressed into a plate of semolina flour. So, the rolls ended up topped with sesame seeds and crusted with semolina on the bottom. They were placed on a floured towel with the towel pinched up between each roll to keep them separated. They were then covered and left to snuggle for about one hour while the oven heated. The rolls were placed on a parchment lined baking sheet and each received a couple of slashes on top. The instructions for how to do those slashes also left me wanting a photo, so again, I did something that seemed like what was described. The oven was spritzed with water, and in went the rolls. The oven was spritzed two more times in the first five minutes of baking, and the total baking time was about 30 minutes.
I’d love to find out what I was really supposed to be doing with the folding and seam sealing to form the rolls and how that affects the outcome. If there are any expert sesame-semolina sandwich roll bakers out there, please advise. I’m not sure if the interior texture I achieved on these was exactly what it should have been, but I was happy with the result for a first attempt.
I’m submitting this to Yeastspotting where you’ll find some seriously well-made bread. The guest host this week is Zorra.