Semolina Bread

My dearest friend Alma and I went to the movies today to watch teenagers killing each other; enjoyed it tremendously and had some sodas and popcorn.  That soda (the ultra-enormous size “small” cherry coke) was the first chemical drink I’ve had in weeks.  The guilt level was so high – morally it almost felt like a hara-kiri sword going through my stomach.  The taste was so good –physically it almost felt like heaven… add Katniss Evergreen shooting everyone left and right – true paradise!

To prepare for this deliberately wrong (on so many levels) outing, I made a pretty healthy lunch.  This recipe is adopted from my bread bible, Tartine.  As a person, who grew up on semolina cereals, I was quite impressed – the loaf didn’t taste anything like those childhood breakfasts I’m trying to forget.  It was perfect for my avocado/sprout/goat cheese/sundried tomato sandwich!

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SEMOLINA BREAD

INGREDIENTS:

  • 200 g leaven
  • 750 g + 50 g water (room temperature)
  • 700 g semolina flour
  • 300 g all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 75 g fennel seeds
  • 75 g sesame seeds
  • 20 g salt
  • 200 g mixed seeds (poppy, fennel, and sesame) for coating

Yields: 2 loafs

DIRECTIONS:

Prepare leaven a night before by mixing 1 tbs of mature starter with 200 g oof water and 200 g of all-purpose flour.  Leave at room temperature loosely covered.

Test the leaven for readiness by dropping a spoonful in a glass of luke-warm water.  If the leaven is floating, it’s ready to be used.  If it drops, you need to give the leaven some more fermentation time.

Pour 750 g of water into a large mixing bowl.  Add the leaven, and mix it so it almost dissolves.

Add the flours and mix well till incorporated.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20-45 minutes.

In the meantime toast and process the fennel and sesame seeds in a spice grinder.

After the initial rest, add salt, remaining 50 g of water, and ground seeds to the dough.  Mix well.

Follow the instructions of the basic country dough recipe, starting with “Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 3-4 hrs.”   Divide the dough into two when first placing it on a floured surface.  Instead of sesame seeds, use the multi-seed mixture used in this recipe.

When baking two loafs, after the first loaf is finished, reheat the Dutch oven for another 10 minutes at 500⁰ F /260⁰ C before placing the second loaf into it.

Enjoy!

Russian Mom Reads

Within the last 7 days I managed to finish 4 books.

Granted, the first one had only a few chapters left. Mastretta’s “Tear This Heart Out” is a fictional story set during the times of Mexican revolution. The novel is about Catalina Guzman, who throughout the book transforms from a naïve young girl into an independent and exceptionally strong woman. I found the sharp yet humorous writing style very refreshing – the author didn’t hesitate to openly draw violence, blunt sexuality, shocking political and social norms of the period. The book definitely keeps you on your toes!

After this Mexican story I jumped right into the magic world of young adult fiction, “The Hunger Games” trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Of course, as most such books, it was much easier to dive into. How did I manage to finish 3 books in less than a week, all while chasing the kids? Easy! Even though, unlike my previous read, it had absolutely unrealistic setting, the story gave me serious nightmares! Hence, since I couldn’t sleep because of the damn books anyways, I decided to get over and done with them reading till 3 or 4 am almost every night.

I’m not about to sum up ” The Hunger Games”. They are SO 2010! It’s almost like if I were to write a review on “Harry Potter” at this point – everyone knows it’s a whole a lot of awesomeness, and you are not going to learn anything new from this Russian mom!

On my part, I think I’m going to take a little break from reading, catch up on my sleep, and remind the husband, that my place is in our bed, by his side!

Ta-ta!

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