Semolina Loaf & Grilled Paneer Sandwiches

Writing on here after a long time and it feels good to be back! I hadn't stopped cooking or baking :D but my cake business has taken flight over the years which demands a lot of my time and attention. And of course my 2 cherubs are no longer cherubs but budding schoolers who keep me busy when they are home. Life is busy but plenty of fun.

In between all the madness I got a chance to bake this gorgeous Semolina loaf, made using fine Indian semolina, also called Sooji/Suji. The texture is smooth and tastes scrumptious! Nothing beats the smell of freshly baked bread and this loaf lasted about a day and half before it was all gone. I made Grilled Paneer Tikka sandwiches for lunch and everyone loved it. My older son who is not too keen on Paneer, gobbled it all up because the bread tasted so good.

Semolina comes in 3 forms, coarse, fine and very fine. Coarse semolina is used to make puddings, porridges and of course the popular South Indian breakfast Upma/Kharabath, Kesaribath & Rave rotti. I use Fine Semolina to make the outer layer for Karagadabu, Obattu (Pooran Poli). It is also used in breads, by itself or combined with Bread flour. Very fine semolina or durum flour is best in baked goods and yields a fine texture.

I'm sharing the recipe for both the Semolina bread and Grilled Paneer tikka sandwiches.

Note: If you have access to Semolina flour, do use that. I used the measured quantity of fine semolina, pulsed it a few times in the blender and then proceeded with the recipe. Plan ahead and give yourself enough time since the dough has to rise twice, once after kneading and second time after shaping the loaf.

Semolina Bread: 

Yields: One 8" loaf
Time: 8-12 minutes to need, 1.5-2 hours 1st proof, 1.5-2 hours 2nd Proof, 35-40 minutes Baking 

1.5 cups Water,tepid  (70-78F)  
1 teaspoon Instant yeast
3 1/4 cups Fine Semolina flour (or fine semolina, see note above)
1 tablespoon Granulated white sugar 
1/4 cup Extra-virgin Olive Oil 
1 1/2 teaspoons Salt


Pour the tepid water into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add the yeast, sugar, flour, olive oil and salt. Combine with a rubber spatula until a rough dough forms. 


By hand: turn out dough onto a lightly dusted countertop(dust with semolina flour) Knead by hand lightly until the dough is smooth, shiny and elastic, about 10-12 minutes. 
By Machine: Using the dough hook on your mixer, knead on medium speed (I used speed 4 on my Kitchen Aid) until dough is smooth, shiny and elastic. About 8 minutes. 

Once kneaded, transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled, took about an hour and 45 minutes in my kitchen. 

Grease a loaf pan (8.5" x 4') with oil. Transfer dough onto a lightly dusted countertop and using your hand, shape the dough into a rectangle. The width of the dough should be around the size of your loaf pan. Now starting from one end, roll the dough tightly. Pinch the seams and place in greased loaf fan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to proof until the dough rises just above the rim of the pan, about 1.5-2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Place loaf on the middle rack and bake for 35-40 minutes or until loaf pulls away from the sides of the pan. The top will be a nice even brown color. 

Remove loaf from the oven once done. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, remove and place on a cooling rack until completely cool. Loosely cover the top with a piece of aluminium foil if you want a softer crust. Slice bread once its completely cool. Store in an air-tight container or resealable plastic bag.

Grilled Paneer Tikka Sandwiches:

Serves: 6

1 cup Paneer, cubed
1/2 cup Green bell pepper, cubed
1 onion, cubed
1 Tomato, cubed
1/2 cup Thick yoghurt (curd)
1 tbsp Cooking oil (Olive oil/Vegetable oil)  
1 teaspoon Red chilli powder
2 teaspoons Corriander powder
1 teaspoon Cumin powder
1/2 tsp Amchur powder
1 tsp Garam masala
1 tbsp Cilantro, chopped
Salt to taste

12 slices Semolina bread
Mint chutney 
Mozzarella cheese, grated (optional)
Softened butter 

In a large bowl, combine the yoghurt, the spices, salt to taste. Whisk until smooth. Now add the cubed paneer, bell pepper, onions and tomato. Set aside for 10 minutes. 

Heat a wide pan, add the marinated paneer and saute for 6-8 minutes on medium heat. Stir often to prevent burning. Taste & adjust seasonings. Turn off heat and add cilantro. Cool slightly. 

Heat a grill pan on medium heat. Take 2 slices of Bread, butter one side and apply mint chutney on the buttered side. Spread a layer of the Paneer Tikka masala, top with grated cheese. 

Place the other slice on top. Spread butter on the top slice and careful flip the sandwich (butter side down) onto the heated grill pan. Using a spatula compress the sandwich, cook for 1-2 minutes until the bottom is crisp and has grill marks on it. Apply butter on the top and flip to grill the other side. 

Remove from heat, slice into triangles and serve hot with ketchup. 

These were sooo delicious, I'm glad I made a big batch of the Paneer Tikka. I see more sandwiches for lunch or dinner in the future :D If you try it, let me know!

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