A soft, moist rustic bread, ideal to accompany soup.
Lovely served warm.
Easy to do…can be ready in time for lunch!
Try it with Caldo Verde, a Portuguese Cabbage and Potato Broth, which is quite delicious:
PORTUGUESE SEMOLINA BREAD
- 200gms. plain flour: (preferably a strong flour, can be wholemeal, white bread flour, or spelt….)
- 150gms. semolina
- 9gms. fast-acting yeast
- 1 good tbs. olive oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. sugar : (preferably raw unrefined)
- approx. 200ml. warm water
- Mix all dry ingredients together with the oil, and then add approx. 200ml. warm water: add water fairly slowly until you have a soft but not sticky dough.
- Knead the dough for about 8 mins. adding a little more flour if absolutely necessary (you don’t want the dough to be too dry)
- Place the dough in an lightly-oiled bowl, cover, and leave to rise in a warm place, until doubled in size. This will take 1-2 hours, depending on ambient temperature.
- When doubled in size, tip dough onto a lightly floured surface, and shape.
- I made an oval shape.
- Slice the dough down the middle, about 2cm deep, and then turn the dough onto a lightly-oiled baking tray with the cut side, opened a little, and facing down.
- Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place. About 45 mins?
Prepare the oven:
- Turn the oven to the highest heat, and place a baking tin, filled with hot just-boiled water on a low shelf.
- Place a lightly-oiled baking tray on a high shelf.
- Allow the oven to heat up considerably, (about 15 mins.) so that there is a steamy atmosphere in the oven…. hmmm
- When the dough had risen and the oven is very hot, quickly remove the hot baking tray in the oven, and flip the risen bread dough onto it, so the cut side is facing up.
- Sprinkle with flour and return to hot oven.
- Cook at Gas Mk9 / 240C for 15 mins.
- Then reduce heat to Gas Mk.6 / 200C for a further 12 mins. or so, until golden.
- Place on a cooling rack and cover with a clean tea towel to keep moist.
It’s lovely served warm, but it also keeps very well in a cool, dry bread tin.