In the past, my baking abilities have been somewhat questionable. Just this weekend I threw out a batch of cookies that I messed up and my coconut macaroons ended up tasting like amaretto cookies. But for some strange reason, my breads have been coming out perfectly. I made this loaf yesterday. It uses both all-purpose and semolina flours. Semolina is the flour used for making pasta and you can typically find it at the grocery store. This is a fairly simple recipe and will make one oval shaped loaf. If you have a heavy duty stand mixer, you don't even have to worry about the kneading part, you can let the machine do the work for you.
1 cup warm tap water (about 110 degrees)
1 tsp. active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
All the sponge above
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup semolina flour
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil
To make the sponge, place warm water in a mixing bowl and stir in yeast. Stir in flour and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Set aside to rise at room temperature until dough doubles, about 1 hour.
For the dough, stir the sponge to deflate and add flour, semolina, salt and oil. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead by hand to form a smooth, elastic, slightly sticky dough, about five minutes.
if using a stand mixer, place all the ingredients into bowl of mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on low to form a smooth, elastic and slightly sticky dough, about 5 minutes.
Transfer dough to an oiled bowl. Turn the dough so all sides are oiled. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Turn the risen dough out of the bowl to a floured work surface. Press the dough with the palms of your hands to deflate. Shape the dough into an oval loaf, tucking the long sides under. Place tucked side down on the baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal and cover with oiled plastic wrap. Allow to rise until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
When the loaf is almost doubled, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Hold a sharp knife at a 30-degree angle to the loaf and use the blade to slash lines on each side of the loaf.
Bake the loaf for 30 to 35 minutes. or until well risen and a dark golden color. Internal temperature should reach 210 degrees. Cool on a wire rack.