Semolina is called smida (pronounced "smeeda") in Moroccan Arabic. Although semolina is famously used to make pasta or couscous, it also makes a very flavorful, chewy bread.
Moroccan Semolina bread – or khobz dyal smida – is easy to prepare. Like Moroccan White Bread, it's perfect for sandwiches, breakfast, tea time or serving with tagines. I like to use half semolina to half white flour, but adjust this ratio to your own preference. The more semolina you use, the more yellow in color and chewy in texture the bread will be. Delicious!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Rising time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Yield: Two 8" to 9" loaves
- 2 cups fine semolina
- 2 cups white flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups warm water
- additional flour for kneading
- fine or coarse semolina for dusting the loaves
Prepare two baking sheets by oiling the centers, or by dusting the pans with some coarse semolina.
Mix the semolina, white flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Make a large well in the center of the flour mixture, and add the yeast.
Add the oil and 1 1/2 cups warm water to the well, mixing to dissolve the yeast first, and then stirring the entire contents of the bowl to incorporate the water into the flour.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and begin kneading the dough. If necessary, add flour or water in very small amounts to make the dough soft and pliable, but not sticky. Continue kneading for 10 minutes, or until the dough is very smooth and elastic.
Divide the dough in half, and shape each portion into a smooth circular mound. Place onto the prepared pans, and cover with a towel. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
After the dough has rested, use the palm of your hand to flatten the dough into circles about 1/4" thick. Dust the top of each loaf with some fine or coarse semolina, gently pressing the grains so they stick to the dough.
Cover the loaves with a towel, and leave to rise about one hour or longer, until the dough springs back when pressed lightly with a finger.
Preheat an oven to 435°F (225°C).
Poke the dough with a fork in several places. Bake the bread for about 20 minutes – rotate the pans about halfway through the baking time – or until the loaves are nicely colored and sound hollow when tapped. Transfer the bread to a rack or towel-lined basket to cool.