Khobz el Dar

(Algerian Semolina Sesame Bread)

November 17: National Homemade Bread Day

Although we mostly rely on our trusty bread machine, we sometimes try to make bread from scratch just to challenge ourselves. But sometimes thinking about all that proofing, kneading and rising ruins the mood and we get super lazy.

Then we found online a pretty picture of this Algerian semolina sesame bread and wanted to try it because the directions were surprisingly simple. Even our first effort for making semolina bread turned out looking like it came from a bakery!

Those who do not feel as experienced in making homemade bread can challenge themselves with this semolina bread recipe for National Homemade Bread Day.

Recipe
(Adapted from All Recipes)

Ingredients

• ½ cup + 2 tablespoons semolina flour
• 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, divided use
• 1 tablespoon sugar, granulated white
• 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
• ¾ teaspoon salt
• ¼ cup vegetable oil
• 2 eggs, divided use
• 1 cup milk, lukewarm
• 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour + 2 tablespoons or more
• 1 teaspoon water

Directions

In a large bowl, mix together the semolina flour, 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds, sugar and yeast.

Add salt, oil, 1 whole egg and 1 egg white (save the 1 egg yolk for the egg wash). Stir in lukewarm milk. A liquid dough should form.

Cover the bowl and let stand at room temperature until frothy (about 1 hour). Uncover the bowl and stir in the 2 ¾ cup flour and mix until a sticky dough forms. Cover again and let rest for about half an hour.

Uncover the bowl and sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of flour (or more as needed). Mix the dough until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the dough on the prepared baking sheet and shape into a round loaf. Cover loosely with a cotton towel and let rise in a warm place for at least another hour or until doubled in size.

Beat the remaining egg yolk with 1 teaspoon water to make an egg wash. Brush this over the round loaf. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds.

Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven. Cool slightly and slice.

Notes

• Smother this fresh semolina bread with homemade butter.

• Search our blog for more homemade bread recipes (both by hand or by machine).

Tomato Basil Bread

November 17: National Homemade Bread Day

We were saddened that, after 23 years, our bread machine—one of the first purchases we made with our wedding gift money—died. It served us well, although some years we baked more bread than in other years. It was a nostalgic newlywed toy.

For an early 24th anniversary gift this year, we bought a new bread machine. We hope it lasts a long time, too. At first, we goofed on some of the recipes. But we have tweaked a few things and have gotten better results with our loaves. We still use the same old recipe book that we bought along with our first bread machine, making adjustments for the new one. It is easy to just layer the ingredients in the well and let the machine take care of the rest—from kneading to rising to baking. It sounds like we are lazy to bake bread from scratch in the traditional way. But we save time doing the manual work in favor of spending time with each other!

Below is a tomato basil bread that we made in our new bread machine. This was a good excuse to try it for National Homemade Bread Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from More Electric Bread)

Ingredients (for a large loaf)

  • 1 ¼ cup water
  • 3 cups white bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons powdered milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
  • 3 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 2 teaspoons fast rise yeast)

Directions

In the well of the bread machine loaf pan, place the water, flour, milk and sugar.

Add the salt, olive oil, tomato paste, Italian seasoning and garlic.

Make a little well in the middle and add the yeast. Place the pan in the bread machine. Set it for large size loaf and medium crust setting. Press start and allow the machine to knead, rise and bake the bread.

When the cycle is done, carefully remove the hot well from the machine. Take the bread out of the well. Allow to cool on a wire rack. Slice and serve fresh or toasted with butter.

Notes

  • Although the title of this bread is tomato basil, there are no fresh tomatoes and basil in this recipe. The flavoring comes from tomato paste and Italian seasoning, which includes the dried herb basil.
  • Search our blog for more homemade bread recipes—traditional method or bread machine.

Smoky Almond Bread

November 17: National Homemade Bread Day

A bread machine was one of the first appliances we bought as newlyweds with our wedding gift money. This favorite kitchen “toy” allowed us to indulge in homemade bread once in a while without too much work. And it made our tiny one-bedroom apartment smell like a bakery! More than two decades—and five homes and moves later (so far)—we still use that bread machine, along with an old cookbook that provided a variety of recipes for us to try over the years. As Highlander had an extra snack pack of smoky almonds, he decided to use them in one of the recipes in the book. Making smoky almond bread in our bread machine is an easy way to celebrate National Homemade Bread Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from More Electric Bread)

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup water, lukewarm
  • 2 1/3 cups white bread flour
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • ½ cup smoked almonds, crushed or chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • ¼ teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon yeast (fast rise) OR 1 ¾ teaspoon yeast (active dry)

Directions

In the well of the bread machine, place the water, flour, sugar and salt.

Add the butter, almonds, extract and yeast.

Next add the liquid smoke. Place the well into the bread machine. Set it for regular size loaf and medium crust setting. Press start and allow the machine to knead, rise and bake the bread. When the cycle is done, carefully remove the hot well from the machine. Take the bread out of the well. Allow to cool on a wire rack. Slice and serve fresh or toasted with butter.