Semolina bread with aniseed & sesame

Semolina bread with aniseed & sesame

New Feast
1 loaf
Alan Benson

With its glossy brown domed surface and unusual flavour, this North African bread is hugely appealing. It has a soft crumb and crunchy crust, with a hint of orange sweetness and aniseed.


Quantity Ingredient
225g strong flour
225g fine semolina
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons dried active yeast, (7.5 g sachet)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
90g butter, melted
1/2 orange, zested
2 teaspoons aniseeds, lightly crushed
4 teaspoons sesame seeds
150ml warm water
1 egg, lightly beaten
butter, to grease
1 egg yolk, beaten, to glaze
1/2 teaspoon salt flakes


  1. Sift the flour and semolina into the bowl of a stand-mixer. Add the salt to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the opposite side (salt can kill the yeast).
  2. Stir the sugar into the melted butter and add it to the bowl, along with the orange zest, aniseed, sesame seeds and half the water. Mix well. Add the egg and enough of the remaining water to form a soft dough. Knead with the dough hook on a slow–medium speed for 10 minutes, or until the gluten has developed and the dough is smooth and satiny. Shape into a ball and transfer to a large lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a tea towel and set aside in a draught-free spot for 1–1 ½ hours, or until doubled in size.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  4. Place the dough on a lightly buttered baking tray and flatten it gently to a thickness of about 2.5 cm. Brush the surface with egg yolk, sprinkle with salt flakes and slash the surface with a sharp knife. Bake for 30–40 minutes, or until it is a glossy chestnut brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Cool on a wire rack.
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