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Semolina and Rolled Oats

Asked by patter10. Answered on 15th March 2014

Full question

We had a lovely hot cereal/pudding in Prague - the staff said it was semolina. I see same referred to in your cookbook Nigellissima, above the Mock Mash recipe as pudding that you were "reared on in school". All I can find in Michigan is semolina flour. Is this what I want or is there actually a product that is less milled that I should be using in the pudding/cereal or the mock mash ? Thanks, Maria.

Are rolled oats the same as porridge oats? Thanks, Freddy00.

Our answer

Semolina is usually made from wheat and is similar to flour as they are both made from the pure, starchy part of wheat (the endosperm). However, semolina tends to be less finely milled than flour. If it is labelled as "semolina flour" then it is likely that it is the same as the semolina used by Nigella for the Mock Mash (in Nigellissima), however you should be able to visually check - the semolina will be less fine than flour. Semolina made from durum wheat is usually yellow in colour whereas semolina made from soft wheat will be white. The white semolina would usually have been used in the pudding and Nigella has used the durum wheat version in the Mock Mash. However the two should be fairly interchangeable.

Rolled oats are often known as porridge oats. However it is worth mentioning that there are different types of porridge oats and the ones usually used by Nigella in recipes are the flaked oats that cook fairly quickly (usually around 5 minutes). In the US these are often known as quick-cooking oats. There are also jumbo oats which are coarser than porridge oats and can sometimes be used as an alternative. There is also instant porridge or oatmeal which just requires the addition of boiling water or milk - these cannot be used as a substitute for rolled oats.

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