Learn how to make semolina bread from scratch with this easy-to-follow recipe. It’s crispy and golden on the outside yet soft and tender on the inside. You won’t believe you’ve made it in the comfort of your own home!
What is semolina bread?
Semolina bread is an irresistibly delicious Italian bread known for its golden crust and soft crumb. While it may sound quite fancy, the only difference between semolina bread and regular bread is the use of durum wheat flour in place of some traditional bread flour.
What is semolina flour?
As I mentioned above, semolina bread is made from semolina flour (also called durum flour). This type of flour is very fine compared to bread flour, so it gives the crust its quintessential crispiness.
You can find semolina flour in most grocery stores where the other flours are located. If you can’t find it there, you may have luck at your local Mediterranean market or an online store like Amazon.
Is semolina bread vegan?
There are only 6 ingredients (including water and salt) that makeup a semolina bread recipe. All of them are completely vegan-friendly, making this bread an excellent choice for vegans and vegetarians alike!
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Flour: Use a combination of bread flour and semolina flour for a golden crust and tender crumb texture. Bread flour contains a higher gluten content, so it’s the preferred option over all-purpose flour (though, both will work). There isn’t a 1:1 replacement for semolina flour, but you can try spelt, buckwheat, or Khorasan wheat flour with varied results.
- Sugar: For the yeast to feed on. Use organic granulated sugar or cane sugar.
- Water: Make sure to use lukewarm water so the yeast properly activates (around 110-112 degrees F is optimal).
- Yeast: I use active dry yeast for this recipe. If you have another variety, check how to properly activate it. To test the strength of your yeast, combine it with the water and sugar. It should start foaming within a few minutes. If not, purchase new yeast!
- Salt: To enhance the flavors of the bread.
- Olive oil: For a rich flavor and tender texture, use good quality extra-virgin olive oil. You can also use avocado oil for similar results.
- Step 1: Mix all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Dig a hold in the center of the dry flour mixture, and pour in the olive oil. Slowly stir lukewarm water, then mix from the center out until all of the dry flour is moistened and it starts to form into a sticky dough.
- Step 2: Cover the mixing bowl tightly, and let it rest in a warm place for 16 to 20 hours. An oven with the light on is a good spot.
- Step 3: Spread your work area with a generous amount of dry bread flour. Gently transfer the dough onto the work area.
- Step 4: Cover your hands with bread flour and start folding the dough in from each edge: top, bottom, right, and left. Continue to fold 3 to 6 times, or until the dough is no longer sticky. Use more bread flour on extra sticky areas.
- Step 5: Shape the dough into a ball and cover it with the mixing bowl. Let it rise for about 1 ½ hours.
- Step 6: Coat the bottom of a Dutch oven with a tablespoon of oil, then put the lid on. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F with the Dutch oven in it. Once the oven is heated, remove the Dutch oven. Take off the lid and sprinkle some semolina flour at the bottom of the dutch oven. Carefully place the dough ball in it (remember, it’s hot).
- Step 7: Cover the Dutch oven with the lid and bake the semolina bread for about 25 minutes. Let it cool with the lid off for 10 to 15 minutes, then another 10 minutes once it’s removed from the Dutch oven.
What to serve with semolina bread
What does a warm slice of semolina bread go best with? One of these spreads or dishes:
You can also enjoy this fresh bread with a side of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Slather it with creamy butter for your morning toasts or make some grilled cheese sandwiches. Also, it pairs so tastefully with hot soup, fresh salads and it's the best bread for bruschetta.
Storage & Reheating
If you end up with leftover semolina bread, keep these storage tips in mind:
- Room temperature: Once completely cooled, transfer the bread to an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Freezing: Freeze the bread by slicing it first, then wrapping the slices in cling wrap. Transfer them to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag, and store them for up to 1 month in the freezer.
- Reheating: Let the bread thaw overnight, or heat a slice directly from frozen in a toaster oven or microwave.
- Use an oven thermometer: Everyone’s oven differs slightly. For the most even and consistent baking results, I recommend purchasing an oven thermometer.
- Choose bread flour: While all-purpose flour does work, the higher protein (gluten) content of bread flour makes it the better choice for this semolina bread recipe.
- Give it time: When working with yeast, it’s important to give your bread time to rise. I promise it’s worth the wait!
- Check the semolina flour: Semolina flour is sold in different granule sizes, so make sure you purchase the superfine variety.
Regular bread is typically made with bread flour. On the other hand, semolina bread is made from durum flour or a mix of durum flour and bread flour.
I don’t recommend making this semolina bread recipe without oil as it helps create a rich flavor and a soft and tender texture.
Since semolina flour is made from wheat, it is not gluten-free. For a gluten-free recipe, try replacing it with buckwheat flour, or a combination of buckwheat flour, rice flour, and amaranth flour. Your results will vary depending on the alternative flour you use.
If you enjoyed making this semolina bread recipe, be sure to check out some more baked goods like these:
- Gourmet pizza: A quick and easy vegan pizza with tomatoes, cheese, and Italian spices.
- Chocolate chip cookies: Small batch vegan cookies filled with chunks of chocolate.
- Baked pasta: A vegan spin on the viral TikTok pasta.
- 2 cups bread flour
- 1 cup semolina flour
- 1 ½ cup water lukewarm
- ¼ ounce dry yeast
- 2 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- 3 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- Mix all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Dig a hold in the center of the dry flour mixture, and pour in the olive oil.
- Slowing at water and mix from center out till all the dry flour is moistened.
- Continue combine as you add water till it stars to form into a sticky dough.
- Cover the mixing bowl with a tight light and let it rest in a warm place for 16 to 20 hours.
- Spread your work area with a generous amount of dry bread flour. Gently remove the dough on to the work area.
- Cover your hands with bread flour and start folding in the dough from each edge: bottom, top, right, and left. Continue to fold 3 to 6 times, till the dough is no longer sticky. Use more bread flour in extra sticky areas.
- Shape up the dough like a ball and cover it with the mixing bowl. Let it rest for 1.5 hours.
- Coat the bottom of your dutch oven with a tablespoon of oil. Cover the dutch oven with a lid and place it in the oven. Preheat the oven with the dutch oven in it at 450°F. Once the oven is preheated, remove the dutch oven and sprinkle some semolina flour at the bottom (to prevent dough from sticking). Carefully place the dough ball in it (remember the dutch oven is hot). Cover the dutch oven with the lid and place it back in the oven. Bake at 450°F for 25 minutes.
- Take out the dutch oven and let it cool down with the lid off for 10 to 15 minutes. Carefully remove the bread from the dutch oven and let it rest for another 10 minutes before cutting into it.