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Middle Eastern Semolina and Saffron Bread

Annacia *


Saffron, turmeric and semolina flour give a lovely golden color to this crusty, dip-ready bread. Prep time includes rising.

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makws 2 small loaves
2 Hr
25 Min


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1/2 c
warm water (105 degrees f to 115 degrees f)
(1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
2 tsp
1 c
3 Tbsp
olive oil
2 c
bread flour (add up to 1/2 cup more as and if needed)
1 2/3 c
semolina flour
1 tsp
saffron, finely crushed
1/4 tsp
2 tsp
caraway seeds or 2 teaspoons anise seed or 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, may also be used
1 tsp
1 Tbsp
semolina flour
2 c
ice cubes

How to Make Middle Eastern Semolina and Saffron Bread


  • 1Crush the saffron and mix it in 1 teaspoon of boiling water, set aside.
  • 2In a large bowl whisk together the 1/2 cup warm water, the yeast, and sugar.

    Let stand about 5 minutes or until frothy.
  • 3Stir in the 1 cup water and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil saffron mix.

    Add 2 cups of the bread flour, the 1-2/3 cups semolina flour, the turmeric, caraway seed and salt.

    Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.
  • 4Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

    Knead in enough of the remaining bread flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total).

    Shape dough into a ball. Grease a large bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.

    Place dough in greased bowl; turn once to grease surface of dough.

    Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 1 hour).
  • 5Punch dough down.

    Turn out onto a lightly floured surface.

    Divide dough in half.

    Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; sprinkle parchment with the 1 tablespoon semolina flour, set aside.

    Shape each dough half into a 6-inch round loaf.

    Place dough rounds on the prepared baking sheet.

    Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size (about 30 minutes).
  • 6Adjust one oven rack to the lowest position and another oven rack to the lower-middle position.

    Set a shallow baking pan on the bottom of the oven.

    Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  • 7Using a sharp knife, cut an X into the top of each loaf.

    Place baking sheet with dough rounds on the middle rack.

    Place the ice cubes in the shallow baking pan on the lower rack (as they melt, they'll create steam, which helps the dough rise and develop a crisp crust).

    Bake rounds about 25 minutes or until deep golden and rounds sound hollow when tapped.

    If necessary to prevent over browning, cover rounds with foil for the last 10 minutes of baking.
  • 8Transfer to a wire rack; cool completely.

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About Middle Eastern Semolina and Saffron Bread

Course/Dish: Savory Breads
Main Ingredient: Flour
Regional Style: Middle Eastern
Other Tags: Quick & Easy, Healthy

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