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Semolina Flour: Don’t be Confused

What is Semolina?

According to my favorite source on everything, Wikipedia, semolina is “the gritty, coarse particles of wheat left after the finer flour has been extracted.”  As you might imagine, semolina can be very different depending on what type of flour you’re getting those particles from.

Semolina from Soft Wheat

Semolina from softer types of wheat (usually steel-cut) is almost white in color. This type of semolina may already be in your house. It’s Cream of Wheat!

Important: Even though Cream of Wheat is a type of semolina, it is not a good substitute for semolina flour.

Paved with Good Intentions tried making a homemade pasta that called for semolina flour by substituting Cream of Wheat. She ended up with a bizarre Cream of Wheat carbonara.
The Epicurean Table explains why it is so easy for people to be confused and choose the wrong product. “In Europe, this breakfast cereal is sold in small packages and called semolina (UK), semolino (Spain and Italy), Griessmehl (Germany) and semoule (France).” I could easily see myself picking up a package of semolina and assuming that it would work as semolina flour.

Semolina from Durum Wheat

Semolina from durum wheat or similar hard wheat is called semolina flour and is usually yellow in color. This is what you should use to make desserts containing semolina flour. It is a finer grain than Cream of Wheat, but it still produces a gritty dessert with almost a cornbread-like texture.

Semolina and Couscous

FYI – Couscous is also made from durum wheat semolina, but that’s a story for another day.

Cupcake Project Recipes with Semolina Flour

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11 comments on “Semolina Flour: Don’t be Confused”

  1. susansays:

    wow, i didnt know any of that! that was very interesting, so now i have to go hunt down semolina flour for your cupcakes??? lucky for you i will be near an italian store tomorrow!!! cant wait for the recipe

  2. Stefsays:

    Good timing! Glad I told you that key ingredient in advance. :) While you’re shopping, you might also want to make sure you have some cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods and you already know you need lots of honey!

  3. susansays:

    ok, im making a list, as i am going shopping tomorrow!! im glad you told me about the cardamom pods, because the stores around here would be super expensive to buy those! i am pretty sure i still have lots of honey left!! since you like honey so much, maybe i should give you my recipe for bran muffins with honey butter, yum!!

  4. Good to know, thanks for the info. What did we all do before Wikipedia!

  5. susansays:

    ok i got semolina FLOUR today but no luck on the pods or sticks
    the store i went to wanted 9.99 for pods! yikes, no thank you. i am running to world market tomorrow so i should be ready to go by the time this recipe makes an appearance!

  6. Stefsays:

    Marc – Life without wikipedia??? I choose not to think about it.

    Susan – No worries if you can’t get the pods. You should be just fine if you leave them out.

  7. susansays:

    well it took awhile but i am ready to go!
    got my cardomon pods, check
    got my cinnamon sticks, check
    got my semolina FLOUR, check
    and lots of honey, check!!
    ok, wheres the recipe??? i hope its something i will like! hehe

  8. Raesays:

    semolina flour is often found in health food stores.

  9. veccasays:

    thanks so much! that’s just the explanation I was searching for on google just now. I’m in New Zealand and have a package of semolina and wondered if it was the flour for pasta, but it’s not. great info. :)

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