Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tom Cat's Semolina Filone

Sunday, October 14, 2007

This is another bread from Maggie Glezer's book. The "Tom Cat" part of the name doesn't refer to any attribute of the bread, but is just the name of the bakery in Long Island City in New York. The Filone is made with semolina flour, and covered with lots of sesame seeds. As soon as I saw a picture of it, I knew that I had to try it--I have yet to try anything with semolina flour that I haven't loved. I suppose I could put semolina flour into everything, but that wouldn't be much fun. Glezer says this takes 13 hours, "with about 15 minutes of active work." I think that 15-minute estimate is extremely optimistic, but maybe when the recipe says "let rest for 5 to 10 minutes," she thinks that you can go read a chapter of War and Peace or something, instead of hanging around the kitchen watching the bread rest.

This Filone bread, like the roasted garlic bread that I made last week, made me feel like a real baker. When I sliced into it, and looked at the lovely uneven holes, I offered up a little hymn of praise to Rose Levy Beranbaum because if I hadn't made my way through her book, I would never have the confidence to take on a four-page recipe from a book called Artisan Baking. At least this bread didn't threaten to explode during baking.

I was going to use my bread steam baker, but the loaf got too big to fit under the metal cover. Now I'm going to have to get a full-size steam baker, not to mention a couche, which I don't have. But even without the recommended appurtenances, it still turned out to be a fine-looking loaf of bread.

32 comments:

Nabeela said...

The bread indeed looks very professional!

Susan said...

Beautiful crumb on that bread!

jini said...

the bread indeed looks very yummy! i'll take a slice please. :)

Melinda said...

Exellent! What a wonderful texture the bread has. I like the Tom Cat part. Actually I love the whole name. It sounds like an Italian movie.

Amy said...

I have been "lurking" on your blog for a while now. You inspire me!

Question: I have found semolina flour, but am looking for the finer grind of durum that Rose uses in her pugliese. Did you order it online, or were able to find it in a store?

pinknest said...

wow, this bread looks spectacular! i'm tempted to try making this. i love tom cat bakery. i see their trucks every day!

Melinda said...

I do know how to spell excellent.
Damn keyboard.

breadbasketcase said...

Nabeela,
Thanks--I'm quite pleased with it myself (in case you couldn't tell).

Susan,
Yes, I think that's the most impressive thing about it.

Jini,
When I make the bread, I always want to share, but when I'm down to the last slice, I wish I hadn't.

Melinda,
I never doubted for a second that you could spell "excellent." I love the name too.

Amy,
Welcome! I bought a three-pound bag of durum flour from King Arthur. It's very fine and it works perfectly.

Pinknest,
You mean you could buy a loaf of Tom Cat Semolina Filone anytime you felt like it? When I hear things like that, I want to live in Manhattan. Of course, I want to live in Manhattan as a rich person, not as me.

Melinda said...

It's still mighty purdy.

TNelson said...

I read your post sometime back and thought "that looks so good I need to try it" and so I did - this past week-end. It is some of the best bread I've ever made and considering the mistakes I made (like forgeting to fold three times in the first 90 minutes - I went and folded about 2 hours later after I remembered) and the fact that Indian Summer decided to show up Saturday and the outdoor temps were in the 80s (who knows what they were in the kitchen!) It was delicious and not half bad looking. There was so much dough I made two smaller loaves since it was just for my Husband and I. This is a bread I will make over and over again! Thanks for reviewing the recipe!

Trish

breadbasketcase said...

Trish,
I'm so glad you made this bread (and also that you liked it). I didn't get the folding three times thing quite right myself, but I don't think it made much difference. Smart of you to make two small loaves--did you freeze one?

Chubbypanda said...

You know what works really well for keeping your mind occupied while baking, cooking, or doing dishes? Boxed DVD sets of television shows. Nothing alleviate the drudgery of kneading like a little CSI or Heroes.

breadbasketcase said...

Chubbypanda,
Great idea--all I'd need is a TV in the kitchen. That could be done.

Anonymous said...

I too am a student of Rose. I think you have gone from student to teacher. Anyway, bought the book and tried Semolina Filone. The dough was VERY wet. I had to add over 100 gr of flour. Are the percentages OK ? Is there a step I messed up? The dough is fine but the starter is over 100% hydration. Any help appreciated. Marty

Anonymous said...

Marty again. Questioned the publisher about my difficulties with this recipe. Actually got a reply from Maggie Glezer. It appears I have to work harder to make this come out right. Still a student, but I like the subject. Marty

breadbasketcase said...

Marty,
I don't remember having any problems at all with the consistency of this dough, but when I looked back through the recipe, trying to jog my memory, I noticed that Glezer warns that the consistency of the dough can vary a lot depending on the durum flour. I used King Arthur durum which is a very fine flour. But 100 g. is a lot to have to add! I hope you try it again because it was really an extraordinary bread!
P.S.
What did Maggie Glezer say? I think bread people are amazing--I can't imagine that most authors personally respond to questions.

Anonymous said...

Well she now knows about you. I told her where this all began. She is happy to see people baking from the book.
Anyway she said what you said about the durum flour. I used KA. She said I may have to try this a few times to get it right. I think I am missing something. Starter 150 gr flour, about 60 gr yeasted water plus 135 gr water. Agree about 130 % hydration. Dough 300 gr flour and 205 gr water. Agree 68% hydration. Put them together and I get it at about 89% hydration. I make ciabatta (Rose) and it's not this wet. How wet was your dough. Perhaps I should have tried to work with it and gave up. My dough is not tacky as recommended, but is gloppy, as stated, a no no.

Any suggestions? Maggie is looking for an update on my efforts. Of course if she comes back to this blog she'll know about where I'm at. Hope I am not taking up too much space. Marty

breadbasketcase said...

Marty,
I don't remember the dough being as wet as Rose's ciabatta dough, although of course the poolish was gloppy.
You're way ahead of me with your understanding of baker's percentages--I've tried to figure them out and they've never made a lot of sense to me. I think I must have had a nice run of luck when I made this bread because now when I looked at the recipe, it does look like it could easily be too wet.
You're not taking up too much space. Most of my friends roll their eyes when I start talking about bread, so it's fun to be able to talk about the consistency of dough with someone who's interested in it.
I think maybe you should try adding less water next time when you mix the dough--it should be easier to get the right consistency if you start out with it being a little too dry and you have to add a bit of water than if it's way too wet.

Anonymous said...

I have been looking at your breads and would like to try them, but cant figure out where the recipes are?

breadbasketcase said...

Anonymous,
I don't usually do the recipes because the books that I usually use have very long, and helpful, instructions. Personally, I love to buy new cookbooks, but if you don't want to do that yourself, most the books that I use should be available in your library.

rpse said...

that filone bread looks fabulously holey! you really do have a great way with bread--all of the loaves look entirely professional!

just baked jeffrey hammelman's oatmeal bread this weekend for my 93 year old dad who was visiting--it's a terrific bread.

i'll put this filone bread on my list of to do soon.

wish i could correct the typo of my blogger siplay name which is rose and not rpse--a typo i seem to do with regularity!

breadbasketcase said...

Rose,
You must not have looked at the pictures of my challah--that one definitely didn't look professional. The oatmeal bread sounds good--and you're so lucky to have a 93-year-old father to make bread for!
Marie
P.S. I kind of like the name "rpse"--pronounced "Ripsa," I would think. It sounds jaunty.

rpse said...

it's certainly unique! i mean rpse

filcone next in the hopper. hopefully next week.

hope you have a lovely thanksgiving!

ripsa sour of sounds like the mad ripper female style!

rpse said...

incidentally, tell jim that elliott was also becoming increasingly pushy about the near empty bread drawer in the freezer! he even bought english muffins--the first store bought bread to enter this house in years!

breadbasketcase said...

Rose,
I can't wait to see your filone. I know it will be beautiful--and Elliott will love it.
Store-bought English muffins in Rose Levy Berenbaum's house--I hope the shocking news doesn't get out!

breadbasketcase said...

I mean Beranbaum.

rpse said...

i placed (or should i say misplaced) a whole bunch of results in process on the most recent posting that was my hearth bread! we LOVED it!!!

breadbasketcase said...

Rose,
Your filone looks terrific, as, of course, I know it would.
I didn't have to add any more flour--the consistency was perfect, but Marty also commented that she had to add 100 grams of flour and it was still not firm enough. This baffles me. I'm going to have to try baking it again to see what happens. I'm wondering now if I accidentally added too much flour. What else could it be?
Although the directions say that if you're using King Arthur AP flour, you don't need to use half bread flour, I used a mixture of KA AP and KA bread flours.
But it is a fabulous bread, and I'm so glad you loved it.

Marty said...

Marty again. I finally got to try this again and made some adjustments in the water amount. For the starter I used 150 gr of water and measured the yeast (1/16 tsp). For the dough I used 174 gr of water. This comes out to about 75 gr (1/3 cup) less water than called for. The bread was made as directed. Results...great. I'm not going to try to understand why but this worked for me. I think there may be room for 1 more tablespoon of water, but that's it. Your loaf had a little more open hole structure so that's why I may try a little more water. Now I have experienced the real flavor of this recipe and it's going to be a favorite. Love your blog and thanks for the advice. Marty

breadbasketcase said...

Marty,
I can't wait to try this bread again and pay attention to the hydration issue--I'm really curious now about why it worked the first time I made it. I need to order some semolina flour, and I haven't gotten around to it yet. Did you notice that Rose also had to add a lot of extra flour when she made it? If the Queen of Breads has to add flour to a recipe, you were obviously not doing anything wrong. But it is a great bread, isn't it?

rpse said...

it's really a puzzle why some need to add more flour and some don't but i will be posting my final version on my blog sometime in march so you can see what i ended up with--full credit to maggie of course for her brilliant work on this bread.

breadbasketcase said...

Rose,
I can't wait to see it--and to try your version!