Algerian Khobz El Dar -- Semolina Bread
Prep Time: 2 hrs
Cook Time: 35 mins
3 1/2 cups fine semolina (my cups hold 12oz, fluid)
1 1/4 cups strong white bread flour
2 cups water, room temp. plus extra
4 fluid ounces sunflower oil (or vegetable, canola etc.)
7 g fast action yeast
1 large egg, beaten
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 large egg yolks, beaten
2 -3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon nigella seeds (optional)
1 Grease a large round metal tin / pan (approx 12" across / wide & 1.5" high / deep).
2 Place the semolina, flour, yeast, sugar & salt in a very large mixing bowl. (In Algeria we traditionally use huge but shallow wooden bowls for mixing doughs.)
3 Make a well in the centre & add the beaten egg & the oil along with 1 cup of water. Mix well, adding more water when necessary.
4 Keep mixing until you have a soft dough. Now knead the dough for around 30 minutes until it is soft, smooth & elastic. You will need to add a little water from time to time as the semolina absorbs it.
5 If you are having problems with a very sticky dough, don't worry - if you've used the correct amounts of ingredients, everything will be OK - just keep kneading & add dribbles of water to bring the dough back together again.
6 After 30 minutes, mix in the nigella seeds if using then with wet hands bring the dough together in a ball.
7 Place the dough in the greased pan & with wet hands, gently push the dough until it completely covers the base of the pan.
8 Sprinkle a little semolina over the top, cover with a kitchen towel & leave to rise until doubled in size.
9 Pre-heat the oven to 180°C
10 Brush the top of the dough with the egg yolks & sprinkle the sesame seeds over the top. Using a skewer, make 6 pricks -going all the way through the dough - 5 evenly spaced holes 1" from the edge & 1 hole in the centre (This will make sure that the bread cooks evenly).
11 Place in the upper 1/3 of the oven & cook for approx 35 minutes or until a deep golden colour & sounding hollow when tapped.
12 Remove from the oven & allow to cool for 5 minutes bfore turning out onto a kitchen towel. Wrap the bread in the towle & allow to cool on a wire rack before serving.
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