This semolina soda bread is a great gateway recipe for anyone curious about baking homemade bread. Unlike yeasted recipes, the bread rises from a generous amount of baking soda, so it offers a pretty fast reward for not a lot of effort.
I make a point of saying to let the bread cool an hour before slicing. In full disclosure, I broke my own rule. The allure of warm bread slathered with butter and fleur de sel was too irresistible. So, if you’re really in a rush and just can’t wait the hour, suffice it to say 15 minutes seems just enough time for the crumb to relax. You know, if you have little will power, like myself.
Semolina Soda Bread
Semolina Soda Bread
makes one generous-sized loaf
Inspired by Heidi Swanson’s forthcoming book Super Natural Every Day.
7 ounces semolina flour
8 ounces all purpose flour, plus more for dusting and kneading
2 ounces rye flour
1 3/4 teaspoons (12 grams) baking soda
2 teaspoons (12 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon (5 grams) fine sea salt
2 cups (450 ml) plus 2 tablespoons well-shaken buttermilk
Arrange rack in center of oven. Preheat to 400ºF.
Add flours, sugar, baking soda and salt to a deep bowl. Whisk together to mix well. Pour in 2 cups of buttermilk and stir using a wooden spoon until just combined.
Lightly flour a clean countertop or large cutting board. Dump dough onto surface and knead briefly, 30 to 60 seconds until it forms a relatively smooth ball. Place on a lightly floured rimmed baking sheet. Slightly flatten ball of dough.
Brush sides and top with remaining buttermilk. Sprinkle top with a generous amount of flour, 2 to 3 tablespoons. Using a very sharp knife, slash a deep “X” on the top of the loaf, making sure not to cut all the way through.
Bake for 25 minutes, then move tray to upper middle rack of oven and bake for 13 to 15 more minutes until it becomes a deep golden color and temperature registers 185ºF. It should sound hollow when tapped with your knuckle. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for at least an hour before slicing.