Sunday morning began, to use a bread term, rather crumbly.
Up early, as usual, to watch the 14th stage of the Tour de France. Sadly, the 150-some racers met Trouble. Towards the end of the race and just before the brutally steep Mur de Péguère summit, some idiot tossed tacks onto the road. Bicycle tires don’t play well with upholstery tacks. That appalling act of sabotage resulted in at least 30 riders suffering 48 punctures and one sustaining a suspected broken collar bone in a crash.
Defending champion Cadel Evans suffered three different punctures which stopped him cold and would have put him out of the competition. However, Tour leader Bradley Wiggins, a Brit now wearing the yellow jersey, drew approval and accolades for sitting tall on his bike, slowing the pace, and waiting for the defending champ and others to regroup and join the peloton. Score One for the Good Guys.
Following that drama it was on to this week’s Tuesday with Dorie/Baking with Julia. This week it’s a quickly and easily mixed Semolina Bread. As I walked into the kitchen, the tour over, I decided if Bradley could rise to the occasion,I could rise to the occasion, making bread that would, uh, rise.
Famed baker Nick Malgieri showed Julia how to make this deliciously nutty-tasting bread. If you’re thinking Semolina loaves are more Italian than French, you’re right. This flour is milled from durum wheat, the flour used to make pasta.
It takes ten minutes to whisk together the sponge and two hours to let it double in size. Once mixed together with flour, olive oil and salt, it turns into a lovely dough that needs another two hours rising time. Then you form the dough into a loaf, transfer it on to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet lightly covered with corn meal, and for the next two hours let that baby rise again.
Slash and bake.
This is a tasty but unassuming and rather plain loaf of artisan bread. It’s color, a wonderfully warm golden brown, is what separates it from the crowd. Enjoy.