sesame semolina twists

Based on Pane Siciliano, a classic Sicilian sesame bread, these deeply golden twists with nutty sesame seeds and a nice chewy interior are an absolute cinch to make. There’s no kneading or mixer required; simply mix up the dough and let rest a few hours, then chill until ready to bake (the dough keeps for up to 2 weeks, so time is more than on your side).

Sesame Semolina Twists | Tutti Dolci

I love these twists freshly baked with butter and jam (and experience tells me they also make a fine lunch when split and lightly toasted with a slather of peanut butter, sweet honey drizzle, and hearty shake of cinnamon). No matter how you enjoy them, you can never go wrong with freshly baked artisan bread.

Sesame Semolina Twists | Tutti DolciSesame Semolina Twists | Tutti Dolci

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Sesame Semolina Twists

  • Yield: 12 twists



Wash & Topping

  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp + 1/4 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp sesame seeds


  1. Heat water in a microwave-safe measuring cup for 45 seconds to 1 minute, until very warm (120-130°F). Combine warm water, yeast, and salt in a 3-quart bowl or lidded (not airtight) food container. Gradually mix in flours with a dough whisk or wooden spoon, just until combined. Cover bowl loosely with plastic and let rest at room temperature for 2 hours, until the dough rises and flattens on top.
  2. After 2 hours, place the covered dough in the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours, or up to two weeks. When ready to bake, line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and dust with semolina flour. Flour board or counter well and dust refrigerated dough with flour. Use floured hands to quickly shape dough into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating dough as you go.
  3. Use a floured bench scraper to cut dough into four pieces; cut each piece into 3 pieces for a total of 12 pieces. Gently roll each piece into an 8-inch rope; shape into a twist and place on prepared baking sheet. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 40 minutes; in the last 20 minutes, preheat oven to 450°F with an empty broiler pan on the lower rack.
  4. For the wash, combine cornstarch and 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl and whisk with a fork to form a slurry; whisk in 1/4 cup water. Microwave for 1 minute, until mixture appears glassy. Gently brush twists with wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  5. Place baking sheet in oven and pour 1 cup hot water into broiler pan below, quickly closing oven door. Bake for 25 minutes, until twists are golden brown. Cool for 2 minutes on baking sheet before removing to cooling rack.


  • Calories: 140
  • Carbohydrates: 29

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  1. These twists are gorgeous, Laura! Seriously, so lovely. And the simplicity of this recipe!! I’ll have to put these on my to-bake list 🙂

  2. Beautiful artisan bread twists, Laura! I love how easy this recipe is and just how much time is on the side of the baker – making this totally doable even for busy moms. I’m thinking of making these for Easter to serve along with my Carrot Cake Jam! Thanks for sharing, my friend. Pinning (of course)! xo

  3. You are such an incredible baker!! I mean, these look so incredible and I adore any form of bread…especially with sesame seeds!! Also, beyond perfect for Easter!!

  4. Laura, I just made a batch of your rolls. Awesome recipe….very authentic texture and taste. Better than what I can buy at our local bakery and I live in a very old-school Italian area. Just wanted to say thank you for putting this together for all of us out here who enjoy your foods.