Semolina is the grain of choice for pasta making. It is made from the hard wheat called durum wheat. Although durum wheat is also used to make durum flour, the two flours are not the same. Semolina is made by coarsely grinding the endosperm or heart of the durum wheat kernel. While grinding it, a fine powder is also produced, which is the durum flour.
When mixed with water, semolina forms a stiff dough that is the main raw ingredient in making pasta. Semolina is also used for a variety of other purposes, including hot breakfast cereals, desserts, artisan breads and cookies.
In addition to pasta dough, there are a number of other uses for semolina. You can substitute semolina flour for some or all of the all-purpose or whole-wheat flour in a bread recipe, which will produce a bread that is tender with a crisp crust. Or make a hot cereal by heating semolina and milk over low heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. Try adding a pinch of semolina to thicken soups and gravies (because of its high gluten content, a little goes a long way). You can even use semolina to dust the bottom of a pizza crust.
Semolina is the hard part of the grain of durum wheat. When hard wheat is ground, the endosperm--the floury part of the grain--is cracked into its two parts, the surrounding aleurone with its proteins and mineral salts and the central floury mass, also called the endosperm, which contains the gluten protein that gives hard wheat its unique properties for making good pasta. A cream-colored semolina is used in pasta or Italian-style breads. Semolina flour is finely ground endosperm of durum wheat.
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