Pugliese Bread is a delicious southern Italian bread, with a good crumb and perfect for dipping and sopping up sauces. Thicker than a traditional white Italian bread, this one bakes faster but has a long prep time. It’s totally worth the time for such a good flavor.
The first couple of times I made this bread, it was brutal. The hardest part is waiting for it to cool before tearing into it. When I first learned to make this bread, it was a holiday only bread. You know those recipes that your grandma only breaks out for big deal days? This is one of those recipes, except it’s not for holidays anymore.
Prepare your biga, just like a sourdough starter, this can live so you can always reach in and make bread. The key to giving you a good crumb and a soft center is the spray oil you use and spritzing the oven with water while cooking. Don’t forget to let the dough rest. That is vital for giving you the delicious taste this bread guarantees.
Patience is key for this bread. When you decide to give it a try, you’ll get hooked and want it all the time. It’s also delicious with a homemade Bolognese and some spaghetti.
One does not live by bread alone.Italian Proverb
GOOD FOOD. GOOD FRIENDS. GOOD TIMES.
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Pugliese BreadPrint This
- 2 ½cups unbleached bread flour
- ½teaspoon instant yeast
- ¾cup,plus 2 Tablespoons water, room temperature
- 2 ¼ cups fancy durum flour
- 2 ¼ cups unbleached bread flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 ½teaspooninstant yeast
- ¼ cups mashed potatoes
- 1 1/8 cups water, lukewarm
- Cornmeal for dusting
Biga – Day 1
- Stir together the flour and yeast in the bowl of a mixer. Add the water and stir until everything comes together. Mix together until it forms a ball.
- Remove from the bowl and spray the bowl with non-stick spray. Place dough ball back in the bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let it ferment, at room temperature, for 2 to 4 hours, or until doubled in size.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and knead it lightly. Return the dough to the bowl and recover with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in the refrigerator overnight.
Bread – Day 2
- Remove the Biga from the refrigerator and cut into 8-10 pieces. Cover the pieces with plastic wrap and let them come to room temperature, about 20 minutes
- In the bowl of a mixer, add together the flour, salt and yeast, stir. Add the mashed potatoes and water. Mix well and stir in Biga pieces.
- Switch to a dough hook and mix for 4-5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and sticky. The dough should be very sticky, but clear the sides of the bowl.
- Sprinkle flour on a hard surface and stretch the dough into a rectangle about 12in x 8 in. Fold into thirds, the left folding towards the center and the right folding over the left side. Forming a smaller rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for another 30 minutes.
- Repeat step 4 twice.
- Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the folded dough to the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough ferment for 2 hours.
- When the dough had doubled in size, move dough out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough in half and shape each piece into two loaves, seam side down.
- Mist the top of each loaf with spray oil and cover each loaf with a floured towel or plastic wrap and let proof for 90 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 500F
- Generously dust the back of a sheet pan with cornmeal. Score the top of each loaf and then use spray oil over the surface.
- Spray the oven walls with water and wait 30 seconds. Spray again, then close the door and lover the oven to 450F. Bake for 15 minutes or until the loaves are a deep golden brown.
- Remove the loaves from the oven and place them on a rack to cool. Cool at least 30 minutes.