2012/07/17

Rising and Falling (TWD Baking w/ Julia: Semolina Bread)

It's been a ca-razy few weeks around here.

But I think I'm finally catching my breath.

Maybe its just the "eye of the storm", but I'll take it...



As we prepare to send my baby girl off to college, I find myself doing a lot of "last minute parenting".

Constantly taking stock of what she does and doesn't know and trying to fit in all those random life skills that I feel she needs to stock up on before she goes.

Can she write thank you notes? Check.

Does she know how to say "please" and "thank you"? Check.

Can she do her own laundry? Not a check. Still need to work on that one.

And the list goes on...

I have come to realize that at this point, I need to accept that she is generally a good kid and that she has been in training for this day for the past 18 years. It's time for the little birdie to take a solo flight.

Like a loaf of bread that has been allowed to develop over time - the rising and deflating of life have helped to build her structure. Like the inter web of gluten, the relationships of friends and family are there to offer support.

And under the heat of life, she will come out golden. Of this, I am sure.


Semolina breads make a semi-regular appearance at my house. Once or twice a year, I split a 50# bag of durum semolina flour with a couple of other ladies. It's a lot of flour :-)

The semolina loaf from BWJ processed easily enough - no complaints at all. My rising times went by fairly quickly - but I attributed that to the 95F day we were having - nature's proofing box... 

Verdict: All in all, it was a nice loaf; but not particularly unique - although, I find durum semolina a lovely flour to work with and enjoy any opportunity to try it out. My standard semolina loaf comes from Beth Hensperger's The Bread Bible & I have had such success with it that I don't see it being dethroned anytime soon.

This post participates in Tuesdays with Dorie. This Semolina Bread recipe may be found at the sites of this week's hosts: Renee of The Way to my Family’s Heart or Anna of Keep it Luce.

42 comments:

  1. Looks gorgeous! I skipped this recipe. School holidays wore me out and I just gave up!
    Your daughter sounds like she'll absolutely thrive at university!

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  2. Glad that you took this one on with all that flour! Whatever do you do with it? Enjoy these final weeks with your daughter! Kristine

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  3. We need to work on the laundry skills, too! Your bread looks perfect...I think your review was spot on...not particularly unique.

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  4. Great analogy, the rise and fall of life...your loaf looks gorgeous.

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  5. Cher, your semolina bread looks perfect and wonderful but I will follow your suggestion and take a look at the recipe in "The Bread Bible", I want to master this bread and I have quite a bit of flour left - wonderful analogy too, I agree with the previous comment!

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  6. Your bread looks yummy! I have never worked with Semolina before. My baby went to college three years ago and I was so proud and so sad at the same time. She is still learning lessons at 21. I often get calls that go like this, "Mom...how do you (fill in the blank)" I enjoy being needed again!

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  7. Yes, semolina flour tends to stick around...Great loaf Cher and I agree about not changing you´re already favorite one! Beautiful post about your girl! Have a great week

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  8. I like your analogy of raising a child to the bread-making process. Your loaf looks great! For fear of wasting a bag of flour, I'm not making this one until after I'm all moved and settled.

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  9. I will have to look into that other recipe. Why not try another? I certainly have enough semolina left!

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  10. I find myself doing the same last minute parenting to our last (of 6) child to get married. I finally told his wife to be that I've tried my hardest now she can finish the job!
    This bread was fun to make--now I want to try your tried and true recipe. I'll have to look it up.
    Have a great day!

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  11. Lovely loaf! Great post title and analogy! You are such a wonderful writer - love reading your posts. If your daughter is anything like ours (she just graduated college)she will call when she doesn't know how to do something. A bitter-sweet time for sure. :)

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  12. That is one of my FAVE cookbooks! I use my semolina mostly for homemade pasta--a little time consuming, yes, but always receives rave reviews from the husband. I need to make more bread with it. Cher, it sounds like Runner Girl is very lucky to have a mom like you in her corner!

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  13. Outstanding bread! I am sending my daughter off to college too..it's hard but your right ...it's time for that solo flight.(so hard for us mama's)

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  14. What a great post- while I am years away from a kid in college, I know that the years will fly by and I'll be feeling exactly the same thing. Except I have a son, which means he will bring all his laundry home for me to do!

    I am going to try your other semolina recipe since I have some to spare...

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  15. The bread looks great. I hope all goes well for you and your daughter. And I will definitely take a look at that other bread recipe...not because I didn't like this one, but because I am always interested in other recipes.

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  16. Laundry she'll figure out :) Enjoy this exciting time in all your lives. I'm excited to try out the recipe from the Bread Bible, thanks for the tip.

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  17. "Nature's proofing box." Brilliant! Now it makes me sad that I didn't make any bread during the heat wave. Those loaves would've rocked. I love semolina bread. My standard comes from one of the Peter Reinhart books. Love it.

    It could just be me and mine, but there always has to be a laundry rite of passage incident where a red t-shirt slips into a load of whites. Maybe that's where I got my love of pink from. :) So exciting, a new adventure starting!

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  18. I think your bread looks delicious and thanks for the tip about the other bread recipe.

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  19. Your bread looks so smooth! Jealous!

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  20. Nice analogy :-) My brother's 30 and he still comes over (with his laundry) to see my mom and for dinner. He even bought her a new dryer for Mother's Day!

    Pretty bread, too!

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  21. Beautiful golden color! Deep breaths and all the best to your daughter in college!

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  22. Looks great! I hope that it's gets less crazy soon!

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  23. Love your loaves, beautiful. What a perfect golden crust. Yum!

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  24. Your loaf looks great Cher! I can only imagine how it must feel like with your daughter leaving for college. Some things we can teach them and some they must learn on their own :-)

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  25. Congratulations on getting your daughter to college. What an exciting time for both of you. And I will check out the Bread Bible book. It sounds like something I would enjoy.

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  26. I must admit, Cher, I wiped a tear or two after reading your Post. It was eloquently written and beautifully put. You weren't thinking about trucks when you were dreaming up that essay, were you? I can tell you from experience - if your daughter knows how to write thank you notes and say "please" and "thank you", she will go a long way. My girls would roll their eyes and say "We KNOW, Mother" disgustedly, every time I would say, "Everyone likes to be thanked." and, now, I hear Melissa add, when telling her two girls the same thing, "and, e-mails don't count." Your bread was lovely, your daughter appears to be lovelier.

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  27. Your daughter will be fine at college - she'll work it all out. Your bread rose a beauty - how I miss the warm weather!

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  28. Your comparisons, metaphors are shockingly precise.. I remember sending my daughter to college 4 years ago - silly me, I bought book for her with someone else's advises for this (really?!) No worries, I figured out that our kids are more mature than papa & mama think.

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  29. It looks perfect! Good luck to your daughter! What an exciting time for her. I am sure it's a little dreadful for you though. I do not look forward to the day my kiddos leave.

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  30. looks great! I had a tough time with this recipe. Hope the college prep goes well- such a fun and scary time!

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  31. Haha, I even think that I still need to work on my laundry skills ;)
    This looks great! I love making bread. Maybe I'm jumping the gun, I made bread for the first time this month, and have only ever made 2 loafs, but I will get better in time. Mine didn't look nearly as good as yours, yum!

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  32. Congratulations to you and your daughter! Your loaf looks lovely and golden!

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  33. I have this moment with my son ...

    Your bread looks perfect, I wasn't convinced by this formula

    Ulrike @Küchenlatein

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  34. Wow! What a beautiful loaf!
    I'm a little jealous of your daughter. 18, going off to college was one my best feelings in my life. I kind of want to do it again (without the studying and tests :P).

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  35. I will definitely look into your other recipe as I was not super impressed with this one either and I am curious as to how good it could be! Thanks for the info.

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  36. now here's something funny I didn't mention before. my daughter (several years out of college now) is an avid cook and baker, and her favorite bread to bake happens to be a semolina from The Bread Bible, but by Rose Levy Berenbaum. Funny that two current books can have the same title!

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  37. Good luck with your send off, I don't look forward to that time! I too love The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Berenbaum as well!

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  38. Nice post...thanks for sharing your thoughts. Your bread looks wonderful. I think I'll try some other Semolina bread recipes too.

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  39. Beautiful bread! All the best to your daughter in college and to you at adjusting the change..

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  40. It IS hard to let them go, but so wonderful to see them grow!

    Lovely loaf.

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  41. You have had a crazy time! I am sure everything will work out good! Your loaf looks great, I will have to try the other recipe since this was a hit in our house!

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