Le Pagnotte di Enna - Semolina Flour

(The Loaves of Enna, Sicily)

Adapted from Scienza e Technologia della Panificazione by Prof. Giovanni Quaglia


NOTE: The amount of water relative to the flour is dependent upon the fineness of the semolina granules in the flour, its freshness and its water absorption rate


1/4 Tsp. Yeast - active dry or 1/10th of a small cake yeast - (2 g.)
1/4 Cup Water -  (60 ml)
1/2  Cup + 2 Tbl. Flour - semolina - (100 g.)


1 Tsp. Yeast - active dry or 1/4 of a small cake yeast (7 g.)
1/4 Cup Water: warm - (60 ml)
1/2 Cup + 2 Tbl. Water -  (145 ml)
All   Starter from above table - (160 g.)
2 1/2 Cups  Flour - semolina - (400 g)
1 1/2 Tsp. Salt  -  (7.5 g)



Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup water and allow it to stand for approximately 5 -10 minutes. Add the 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of semolina flour and mix until the flour is absorbed. the mixture will be loose, not unlike porridge.  Cover the starter and allow it to remain at room temperature overnight.


Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup water and allow it to stand for approximately 5 -10 minutes. Combine the dissolved yeast with the  starter. Add the additional water (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons at room temperature) to this mixture. Gradually add the flour (2 1/2  cups) and the salt (1 1/2 Tsp.) and continue to mix until the dough begins to hold together. Knead the dough until it  is smooth and elastic.

Place the dough in a lightly floured bowl. Allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes.

Gently turn the risen dough onto a flour dusted work surface. Dust a piece of canvas (untreated, 100% cotton), or a proofing board (lumber core plywood) with flour. Divide the dough into 2 or 4 portions. Beginning with one portion of dough, cup your hands beneath it gently folding sections toward the center as you roll it on the work surface until it is round. Turn the portion of dough over, gently rolling it on the work surface. Place the dough, rough side up, on the canvas or board. Repeat with the remaining portions of dough. Cover the dough with a cotton towel, allowing it to rise for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, gently press  each portion of dough  with your fingertips. Allow the dough to to rise for an additional 60 – 70 minutes.

As the dough is rising, place a baking stone in the oven , set the temperature to 500 F, and allow the oven to heat for 30 minutes.

Ease your hands beneath one portion of the dough and turn it, rough side down, (upside down) onto a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper.  Repeat with the remaining portions of dough.  Lower the oven temperature to 450 F. Slide a baker’s peel beneath the parchment paper. Slide the parchment paper from the peel onto the baking stone.   Quickly spray the oven walls using a plastic spray bottle filled with cold water. Spray again in 3 additional intervals within the first 15 minutes. Lower the oven to 400 F and allow the dough to bake until it is a deep golden color (approximately 15 more minutes). After the bread has been in the oven for a total of 20 - 25 minutes, check the oven to be certain that the dough is not browning too quickly. If this is the case, cover the loaf with foil.

Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool on a rack.

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Last updated:  06/03/01 04:42:03 PM