Thursday, August 12, 2010

Help from my friends, part 2: Semolina buns

A while ago, I wrote about how much I love the food blogging community for all of the wonderful ideas they share which improve my family's eating experience; well, they did it again!

While on vacation a few weeks ago, three writers I follow all wrote about the same Dan Lepard recipe for semolina bbq buns. Joanna (Zeb Bakes), Di (Di's Kitchen Notebook), and Celia (Fig Jam and Lime Cordial) all gave glowing reviews to this recipe, saying that the unusual buns made with semolina were perfect for burgers, chicken salad, spicy Italian sausages, and even plain ol' peanut butter. I knew I had to try them.

The recipe was easy to follow and the bread came together easily. I soaked semolina in boiling water for 10 minutes, and then added the remaining ingredients (unsalted butter, yeast, salt, bread flour, water, honey, and yogurt). Then I followed the Dan Lepard technique for developing gluten.

Ever since "meeting" Joanna through the Mellow Bakers, I have been interested in the Dan Lepard technique she uses and writes about; it is similar to the stretch-and-fold in that it uses mimimal effort and more time in order to extract gluten development and maximum flavor out of a dough. D.L. uses short bursts of kneading: for example, in this recipe you knead for 10 seconds, rest for 15 minutes, knead for 10 seconds, rest for 15 minutes. Then rest for an hour and proceed with shaping. As with the stretch-and-fold, it's amazing to watch how the dough changes over time without endless kneading.

I rolled out the dough and then divided it into eight buns, without actually separating them. I had some problems getting my dough into a rectangle shape; it insisted on moving back into an oval, and I was in a rush, so I let it be and we ended up with some oddly shaped buns. After another rest, I spritzed them with water, sprinkled them with semolina, and scored them with a butter knife. Then I baked them, and then we ate.

Hubby loved these as a bun for his burger. The kiddos and I generally eat burgers without buns, so we ate them on the side with butter. Delish!


  1. I've been having this recipe on my to-make list for a couple of weeks now... I think, you are the 5th or 6th person I know that has made them - I guess, it's my turn now. The way you scored them does look interesting!

  2. Those look great, Abby! I definitely have to make these again sometime soon. I love using DL's technique. I've made several of his recipes that use it.