Since it’s been raining a lot my mother-in-law has been cooking up a storm in the kitchen and the past few days I’ve spent eating all of it luxuriously in bed.
Today, I felt well enough to join her in the kitchen and we prepared Smida bread, smida being Arabic for semolina. I’d like to share the recipe with everyone back home in hopes that some of you will try to make this simple, delicious bread.
When Amel cooks she eyeballs everything. Even when she’s baking she doesn’t bother with measuring cups. For those like me who aren’t confident to cook without exact measurements, I’ve adapted this recipe from one found online.
- 2 cups semolina flour
- 2 cups white flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1.5 to 2 cups warm water
- Extra flour for kneading
- Coarse semolina for dusting the loaves
- Chopped black olives (optional)
Mix both flours, sugar and salt in a bowl. Make a large well in the center of the mixture and add the yeast. Add the oil and 1.5 cups of hot water to the well, mixing to dissolve the yeast first, and then stirring the entire contents of the bowl together.
Begin kneading the dough on a floured surface. Continue kneading for 10 minutes, or until the dough is very smooth and elastic. While kneading, add small amounts of hot water if necessary.
Divide the dough in half and shape into a circular mound. Place on an oiled pan and cover with a towel. Allow to rest for one hour or longer. When ready, the dough should spring brack when pressed lightly with a finger.
After the dough has risen, use the palm of your hand to flatten into circles a quarter inch thick. Dust each loaf with coarse semolina. If you would like to add chopped olives, knead them into the dough before flattening.
Poke the bread with a fork in several places. Bake in a 425 degree Farenheit oven for 20 minutes, or until loaves are nicely colored and sound hollow when tapped.
Best eaten warm and served with olive oil for dipping.