Italian Semolina Bread with Sourdough

Italian Semolina Bread on Biancolievito
Here a loaf of crunchy bread with a soft crumb and an intense yellow color. This bread, prepared with semolina and sourdough, is highly digestible and perfect with cold cuts and cheeses.
In this recipe, I'll show you 2 way to make this bread: Using Sourdough or the Levain
Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 1 hour
Rise: 13 hours 20 minutes
Total Time: 14 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 2 Loaves of 900gr


  • Stand Mixer
  • Cooking Thermometer
  • Baker's Couche 
  • Proofing Baskets
  • Bread Lame


For the Biga

  • 500 gr Semolina Flour for Bread
  • 250 gr Water refer to the notes for the right temperature
  • 125 gr Ripe Sourdough refreshed twice

For the Dough made with Biga

  • 500 gr Semolina Flour for Bread
  • 400 gr Water at 16°C (60°F)
  • 875 gr Fermented Biga
  • 18 gr Salt
  • 5 gr Malt Powder (optional)

For the Dough made with Levain


For the Biga

  • Before starting with the preparation of the biga, refresh the Sourdough two times (ere how to Feed the Sourdough), letting it ferment each time for 3 hours at 30°C (86°F).
  • For the preparation of the Biga, mix Yeast, Semolina, and Water in the stand mixer bowl and knead with the hook for the time necessary to form a rough dough. It is not necessary to over-work the Biga, to avoid overheating the dough that should be at a temperature of 19°C - 20°C (66°F - 68°F).
  • Once the dough is ready, form it into a ball, soak it in a bowl of cold tap water (about 18°C, 64°F), and ferment at room temperature (about 20°C, 68°F) for 12 hours.

For the Dough made with Biga

  • For the dough, I suggest you proceed with the autolysis technique: Pour the Semolina and 90% of the water (1755gr) in the mixer. Knead the dough for the time necessary to absorb all the water. Once ready, cover with a cloth and let the dough rest for 30 minutes. During this process, the flour's proteins will properly hydrate themselves, forming a dough with a better glutinous mesh.
  • After 30 minutes of rest, add the biga, the salt dissolved in 10% of the remaining water, and the malt.
    Knead the dough at medium speed for about 15-20minutes, making sure the temperature does not exceed 26°C (79°F). If this happens, chill the dough in the freezer for a few minutes.
  • Once the dough is ready, let it ferment for 1 hour before dividing it into the desired portions.
  • Cut portions of at least 1kg, roll them up, forming a loaf and let them proof 20minutes on the work surface.
  • Take the loaves, roll them tidily and place them facing up into the proofing baskets.
    If you don't have the proofing basket, you can use large bowls lined with a clean cloth and dust with semolina.
    Moreover, you can form the loaves and let them proof directly on the work surface, covered with a baker's couche.
  • Let proof at 26-28°C (78°F - 82°F) for 4 hours. Place the loaves on the baking tray (better if perforated), score the surface with a bread lame, and lightly spray some water on the surface to facilitate the baking expansion.
  • Bake at 230°C (446°F) with some steam (use a pot with boiling water in the bottom of the oven). After 10 minutes, lower the temperature to 200°C (392°F). After 50minutes, slightly open the oven door and finish cooking.
  • Take out of the oven and allow to cool on a wooden surface.

For the Dough made with Levain

  • Replace the Biga with the ripe Levain (feed as indicated) and follow the same directions


The temperature of the water for the Biga is fundamental to obtain a dough of the right temperature. You can calculate the water temperature by using the following empirical formula:
Water Temp= 55 - Room Temp - Flour Temp
example: Room Temp 20°C, Flour Temp 19°C -> Water Temp = 55-20-19=16°C
!! The formula only works with °C !!

Nutrition Label

Serving: 50gr | Calories: 4kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 3mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg
Translated from Italian with Love

hey, do you want to try some other recipe?


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on whatsapp
Share on telegram
Share on email

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How did you like this Recipe?

Hey, your feedback is important

How was your experience with Biancolievito?
Launching a new website abroad is not easy! I’m curious to know your opinion and make things better!