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First Success with The Altamura Project

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Franko's picture
Franko

First Success with The Altamura Project

Since posting my last effort at making the Pane Tipo Altamura http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/24102/pane-di-altamuramy-ongoing-project it's been an unexpected pleasure to have received so much interest and support for this project from so many TFL members. Thanks to everyone who's responded with new information, tips and suggestions, videos, etc, but especially to David Snyder for taking enough interest in the project to do his own bake of the bread. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/24139/pane-tipo-di-altamura-quotlocal-breadsquot

It's always a bonus when you have David's insight and scrupulously well taken notes to refer to. I found them very instructive before beginning this latest bake. Thanks David!

Although I strayed slightly from some of the criteria outlined in the Altamura DOP document, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2003:181:0012:0019:EN:PDF I feel I could have stayed within the criteria and produced a bread of similar quality and attributes as this latest effort. Something I'll endeavor for future bakes now that I have a much better understanding of the process.

The most significant difference between the DOP regs and what this mix included is the percentage of preferment. The DOP calls for 20% of preferment and I used 24.25%. Overall hydration (not counting that of the starter) was slightly higher than 60% regulation at 62% . Other than that it stayed reasonably close to what was outlined in the DOP.

The differences between this dough and the last one were like night and day in terms of the texture and fermentation. The preferment was considerably stronger, and why I'm sure that had I used only 20% instead of the 24%, I would have achieved very similar results. The lower hydration of this dough also made a world of difference to the crust and crumb.The crust is crackly, with a good chew to it, and a rich, toasty flavour.The crumb is wonderfully moist, almost spongy, with a medium level sour background that lasts on the palate well after eating. It's not so strong that it wouldn't compliment anything within reason on the sweet side, and pretty much everything on the savory. Very tasty stuff indeed!

Taking this bread out of the oven last night was one of those classic whooohooo! moments I know all of us have from time to time in our baking pursuits. It's been a while since I've had one of those, and the first I've had since starting this endeavor, so it's a genuine pleasure to be able to share what I regard as a first success of the project with everyone here on TFL.

Formula, procedure and photos below.

 

Best Wishes,

Franko

 

Pane Tipo Altamura

 

 

Ingredients

%

Kg/Grams

Preferment

 

 

Semolina flour starter

32

32

Duram flour

100

81

Water

100

81

Total

 

194

 

 

 

Final Dough

 

 

Durum flour

100

800

Water

59.2

474

Preferment

24.2

194

Sea salt

1.9

17

Total weight

 

1.49

Total Hydration

62.9

 

PROCEDURE:

Semolina flour starter;

Mix equal portions of semolina flour and tepid water and keep covered at 65-70F. Refresh daily over the course of 3 days. Reduce the water by 50% on the last feeding to thicken the starter and build acidity.

 

Preferment;

Build the preferment over 24 hours in 3 stages using equal increments of the total flour and water indicated in the formula. Keep covered at 70F.

 

Final Dough; Hand Mix- DDT 76-79F Oven temperature of 450F

 

Combine the flour, water, and preferment and autolyse for 30-40 minutes. Add the salt and adjust the hydration slightly if needed to form a medium firm dough. Knead the dough on the counter for 3-4 minutes until the dough is smooth and cohesive.

NOTE: throughout the kneading and the stretch and folds to come be aware of any signs of tearing on the dough surface. When this starts to show, stop working the dough and let it rest.

Place the dough in a bowl and cover with linen or plastic wrap and begin the 2 1/2 hr bulk ferment.

Stretch and fold the dough in the bowl every 30 minutes during the course of the bulk ferment. The S&F's can be done several times (8) before tearing begins to show depending on the individual tolerance of the dough at hand.

After the last S&F allow the dough to rest for 15-20 minutes then round and rest a further 15minutes. On a well dusted counter press the dough into a thick disc. Fold the bottom half of the dough to almost meet the edge of the top half, or approximately an inch back from the edge.

Place the dough on well floured piece of linen, cover with another piece of floured linen and begin the final rise of 1 to 1-1/2 hours. When the dough is not quite fully proofed slide a peel under the dough and transfer it to a 450F preheated oven and stone. Leave the door ajar and the vents unblocked for the first 10 minutes. Note: No steam is used.

Close the door and bake for 15 minutes before rotating the bread for even colouring. Continue baking for 10 minutes before lowering the temperature to 430F with a further 15-20 minutes of bake time. Lower the temperature to 300F, prop the door ajar and bake for 10minutes. Tap the bottom of the loaf for a hollow sound to ensure complete baking.Turn the heat off and leave in the oven for ten minutes then remove to a wire rack and cover with linen. When the bread has cooled for 6 hours or more dust off the excess flour before slicing.

Comments

ananda's picture
ananda

That just looks like a cracking loaf of bread to me Franko

Nice work my friend!

All good wishes

Andy

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks Andy!

Quite a treat to have finally made some progress in this quest, but at least now I can say it was time well spent in gaining a better understanding of the durum flour and the formula. The video you sent was a great help in seeing what the consistency of dough should look like, as has been your expert advice and suggestions from the very beginning of this project.

Many thanks mate!

Franko

arlo's picture
arlo

Very nicely written Franko, thank you!

It just so happened that between my classes right now I thought I'd scour TFL for altamura help since the owner of the bakery I work at had me throw on a durum poolish before I left this morning for tomorrows bake. Lo-and-behold, I see your blog and started to smile!

I was aware of the precautions of mixing durum dough, and I will pay attention closing considering I have to use a large mixer for the batch size. I noticed you did not use steam though, is this something that should be considered with all durum loaves?

And the loaves I am making tomorrow at work are 100% durum, if that matters.

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks Arlo, good to hear from you.

Hopefully the information in this post as well as the previous one, and of course David's will be of use to you in your mix tomorrow. Regarding the steam, I can't say for sure if this would be true for all durum loaves. I would imagine it depends on what percentage of durum you're using in the formula and overall hydration. I've made the Tom Kat Semolina Filone from Glezer's 'Artisan Baking' and used steam to good effect in that bread, but it's formulated at 55.5% of durum flour total to AP and bread flour at a 75% hydration. If possible, and I know that's a big if in a commercial setting, I'd try a one loaf preliminary bake without steam to see if it helps or hinders oven spring and crust development. Let us know how it goes tomorrow if you can.

Thanks again Arlo!

All the best,

Franko

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi  Franko/Arlo,

Maybe of use here is to think more about the traditions?   Am I also not wrong that you mentioned leaving the door open a time too?

I have a picture of a large brick oven containing many of these loaves baking all at once.   Maybe it's from one of those excellent youtube videos?

This is very different to baking in a home oven.   What ovens do you use at work Arlo?   It's all a very different concept baking with huge brick ovens which have been long fired.   The solidity, yet gentleness of the heat supplied is in stark contrast to that from a small steel box, poorly insulated and heavily reliant on fresh heat supplied at the command of a thermostat.   Additionally, lots of loaves all in one chamber produce a lot of steam quite naturally, as they bake.

Just a couple of thoughts

Best wishes

Andy

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Andy,

I was hoping you'd chime in here with your thoughts on Arlo's question.

I did in fact leave the oven door ajar for the first 10 minutes of the bake as indicated in the DOP. I'm beginning to think that durum flour, or perhaps this formula in particular, releases water vapor  much more readily than a standard wheat flour dough would, thus creating it's own steaming environment.Possibly because of the delicate nature of the gluten network? Leaving the door ajar initially might be to bleed off excess water vapor. Purely conjecture at this point but all the previous bakes I did with steam had a mottled appearance on the crust and a bit of streaking. It reminded me of what happens at work when our proofer's humidity setting goes out of whack, generating too much much moisture. Very similar affect.

Franko

Nickisafoodie's picture
Nickisafoodie

Wonderful results.   A question: the specs in the link you provided says "at least 80%" duram. 

Can you help clarify the following:

1) Is this bread traditionally 100% duram semolina or 80% duram and 20% white flour as the regulation seems to allow?  If you are allowed to add 20% white, I would think this would impact the product.  Your loaf looks wonderful using 100% duram! - thus trying to figure out wha the norm is if there even is one in this regard.

2) The portion (whether 80% or 100% per first question) of duram - does it include the bran, germ, etc (typically 15% or so of the whole grain kernel) or are these portions of the flour sifted out?  Trying to see if this is akin to store bought whole wheat which has the bran and germ removed vs 100% being ground into flour.

3) I grind my own kernels, and recently bought high protein organic semolina berries (from Flourgirl in MN- she has amazing grains that bake superbly).   I will grind these and prefer use whole without removing bran.  So basically my question is whether the style should add 20% all purpose flour, or 20% high protein bread flour, or to just go with 100% home ground flour?  Thank you...

 

 

 (which I believe is your recipe when you state duram flour above?)

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Nic,

Thanks for your comments and questions.

It looks to me that the document is stating that at least 80% of the durum flour used must be milled from the durum wheat varieties specified but that the flour used is 100% durum.

Pane di Altamura’ is a baker's product obtained from flour of durum-wheat semolina made by milling durumwheat
grain of the ‘appulo’, ‘arcangelo’, ‘duilio’ and ‘simeto’ varieties produced in the area defined in the rules of
production, used on their own or in combination and making up at least 80 % of the total, provided they are
produced in the defined area of production.

As for your second question I'm afraid I don't have that information, or at least I haven't run across it yet.

 I neglected to mention in the formula that the durum flour I used in this bake is an Extra Fancy, so very finely milled and with no bran. All the pictures I've seen of authentic Altamura suggest that the flour used is fully sifted of bran. This bread is 100% durum wheat flour, or semolina flour in the case of the starter. There is not a speck of standard wheat flour in this formula, which for me was the primary object of the exercise. I wanted to learn how to work with this flour exclusively, as I've never had the opportunity during my professional baking career to do so.

Best wishes Nic!

Franko

 

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Wonderful bake, Franko.

I can almost smell it!

Thank you for sharing this in such detail.

Juergen

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks Juergen!

Oh I wish you could have smelled this when it came out of the oven. It had a rich wheaty aroma with a touch of the sour coming through. I could still smell it when I walked into the kitchen this morning!

Franko

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The crust and crumb both look just perfect!

I'm glad my attempt and notes were of help. I'll certainly exploit your experience when I make this bread next time.

Regards,

David

Franko's picture
Franko

Thank you David!

I hesitated about posting the previous bake of this bread as I wasn't really happy with the result. In retrospect it's one of the best things I could have done to get a better handle on how to improve the next mix. Your bake and excellent notes helped a great deal, and I'm pleased to be able to return the favour. Exploit away!

Franko

Syd's picture
Syd

You certainly got it right this time, Franko!  That is an excellent result.  I can't see it getting any better than that.  That crumb looks perfect.  Congratulations on an excellent bake. :) 

How sour was your starter?  I remember you saying that a sourer starter would contribute to a stronger gluten network. 

All the best,

Syd

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks very much for your compliments on the loaf Syd !,    :^)

I'm pretty happy with the result, but like you I'm sure, I always look at my bakes with an eye towards improving it the next time around. The one major area I'd like to do better on next time is to have a more defined shape to the finished loaf. I know that Altamura bread has a certain look to it when it's shaped in this 'cap' style from what I've seen online, and this one could be better IMO.

 How sour was the starter ? Hmmm. I didn't test it with litmus, and I can't bring myself to actually taste it, but I've had this starter percolating off and on for a while. Since April at least. I go by smell alone and this one was pretty pungent when I tried it before mixing the preferment. Not scientific I know, but I try to thicken the starter up at least a feed or two before I use it, so it should have been on the lower end of the Ph scale.

Looking forward to seeing a bake of your own sometime in the future.

All the best Syd,

Franko

arlo's picture
arlo

@ananda I use a Blodgett triple deck style oven. Bottom and mid heated to 450-475. If that helps. It's not a fancy hearth or anything like that, but it does have steaming capabilities.

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

On your Gorgeous Pane Tipo Altuamura!  Looks like it just came out of the the ovens of Altamura!  Whooohooo :)

Sylvia

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks so much Sylvia!

I'd love to see your own bake of this bread done in the WFO sometime when you have a chance. That would be a whoohhoo event for sure!

Franko

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Also added to favorites....I'll message you!

Sylvia

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Franko,
You've baked a real beauty - so lovely to see the results of this fantastic bake!
You must be so pleased, to have brought what must be a wonderful flavor of Italy, right to your table.
:^) from breadsong

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks breadsong!

It's been a very educational experience getting to this point with a flour I've never used before. To finally achieve some measure of success with this ancient bread is a really nice feeling, to be sure. You're compliments on the loaf, as always, are great to hear and truly appreciated.

:^))!

Franko 

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Sensational Loaf, Franko. i love the way it is shaped.. doesn't require any scoring.. The crust color achieved even without steamig is beautiful. your description of the crumb makes me want to try baking with durum. Alas, no durum here..

This Just proves how all grains can effectively make breads.. even barley can, mixed with some wheat flour make really decent bread. You just have to believe in their potential.

Again, you've crafted a wonderful looking loaf!

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks Khalid,

It's too bad durum flour seems to be scarce in so many other parts of the world. I live in Canada and still had to have it shipped from US. There just didn't seem to be any nearby sources at all which is really a shame. It has a good flavour and I like the yellow crumb that it gives a loaf, very appealing.

Good to hear from you Khalid, thanks again for your comments!

Franko

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Franko, you can be *really* proud of your loaf! It's simply fantastic, a real success. You can say it's the real thing! You remind me that the only one of my durum loaves that satisfied me was made in the same manner: 25% preferment and 60% or so of hydratation.

If I rememeber (a big if!) I'll take a picture of the huge durum loaf  I see at a local market every saturday. It's a very nice view:-)

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Nico,

Having you say that it looks like the "real thing" is music to my eyes my friend! It took a few duds to get to this point, but it was worth the time to learn about durum flour and how to use it effectively. Thanks for all the information and suggestions you've shared with me right from the beginning of this Altamura quest of mine.

I'd love to see a photo of the loaf in the market if you have a chance sometime.

Franko

codruta's picture
codruta

A perfect loaf you have here! I can only imagine how good must it be, but unfortunatelly, durum flour is impossible to find in my country. :(

codruta

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi codruta,

 A very nice comment to receive, thank you! Yes, durum flour is difficult to find here in Canada as well, which you wouldn't think would be the case. I think the majority of what's grown here goes into pasta manufacture and for feed. Hopefully that may change at some point.

Franko

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

is that Canada seems to be a big producer of durum wheat! My starter is made of durum wheat flour, I drop some every day. It's cheapish, too: 75-80 cent per kg.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Nice to see you have found success with this loaf. Crust and crumb are wonderful.  Is this another loaf for the Post Retirement shop? I'll bet you can find a source for the grain and grind your own. That will make this a unique and inexpensive product to make.

All the best,

Eric

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Eric,

Thanks very much for the compliments on the loaf! This could be on the list for the post retirement shop if sourcing the flour, or the grain worked out. Still a few more years to go before I can retire....unfortunately.

Best to you as well Eric,

Franko

jcking's picture
jcking

Well if you keep this up you'll be ready to write a Durum flour bake book! Again well done. I'm happy to see the thermo in the photo. For future advice to new bakers I would suggest they invest in some good thermo's even before purching a scale.

So what's next Durum Bagels? {:-)))

Jim

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Jim,

Thanks very much about the loaf! I have serious doubts a durum flour baking book will ever be in my future, unless I can find a ghostwriter that will work for bread. LOL! Couldn't agree more with you about using a thermo, particularly with naturally leavened doughs. A definite must.

As for what's next I'm not sure, but it won't be bagels. I'm open to suggestions though.:^)

Franko

jcking's picture
jcking

Hey Franko,

Floyd did one and so could you. Keep lots of notes, save the work you've done here. I've posted a few things here dealing with Durum SD and you're welcome to use it. Make it a collaboration with other Serious Home Bakers here. Develop some new formulas/techniques, it doesn't have to be Altamura. I'm sure there are some additives/toppings that would go well with Durum. Or maybe we could ask Floyd to add a separate Durum forum or handbook section. Send me a message here if you want to discuss it further.

Jim

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Jim,

Sent a PM to you, re: e-book

Franko

hanseata's picture
hanseata

The only bread with semolina flour I baked so far is Peter Reinhart's Pane Siciliano (BBA), it's one of my favorites.

I'd love to try this bread, Franko, and you did a really good job to create a working formula from that dry, legal write-up.

Karin

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Karin,

One of these days I'll have to get Reinhart's BBA. I've heard nothing but good things about it, but somehow it always slips my mind when the urge to buy a new baking book strikes me. What percentage of durum flour does his Pane Siciliano have in the formula?

Thanks for the compliments on the formula Karin, much appreciated. I've read that blessed EU document so many times I feel like I have it memorized by now. It's a great tasting bread and it lasts for a long time. I'm on the last 2 slices of it today and it tastes almost as good as the first 2 slices. Give it a try, but watch out for it fermenting too quickly on you. That was the biggest problem I had with it.

Franko

hanseata's picture
hanseata

It has 31% durum flour, made with a paté fermentée as preferment, and refrigerated overnight after shaping. It has a wonderful flavor.

Karin

Franko's picture
Franko

That's a beauty Karin, really lovely!

As soon as I saw the 'eyeglass' shaping' I remembered that I'd seen it before in Carol Field's 'Italian Baker', the same book that originally gave me the idea to bake an Altamura. Field's formula for Pane Siciliano calls for 70% durum flour with no preferment or overnight rise. I like the higher ratio of durum in Field's formula, but I prefer Reinhart's use of a preferment and overnight rise from a flavour aspect.

I don't know if you've ever worked with a 100% durum flour dough in the past, but if you have you'll know it's bit of a different beast than one with even a small percentage of standard wheat flour included. I found it's a balancing act between developing the dough enough so that it has good structure, but not so much that it becomes oxygenated and the crumb loses it nice yellow colour. That and the fact that durum flour ferments like a house on fire made it an interesting challenge for me, never having worked with it before.

I'm looking forward to seeing your own bake of the Altamura sometime soon.

Best Wishes,

Franko

Barbara Krauss's picture
Barbara Krauss

That's a work of art, Karin.  I love working with Semolina and will have to give this another try.  I made some last year and it was very good, but not quite as beautiful as yours.

 

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Franko, I never worked with a higher durum content - I didn't even think 100% were doable. But I like the flavor (and color) of semolina flour, and hope that I can achieve a result as good as yours, keeping your warning about the fast fermentation in mind.

The shape of the Pane Siciliano is a baguette, swung like a jumping rope until it has the desired length of 24"/61 cm, then you coil it from both sides. I also like the sesame topping, it gives it a nice crunch.

Thanks, Barbara, it took a while to get it right - if you make the coils too tight, it makes a little mound and doesn't look so nice. It also took me a while to figure out how easy it is to stretch the baguette, taking both ends and just swinging it back and forth. I usually make 4 breads instead of 3 from the batch, dividing the dough in halves before the bulk rise. That makes it much easier to divide it in 4 pieces afterwards without degassing it (the baking time for those smaller loaves is ca. 10 minutes less).

Karin

 

varda's picture
varda

I tried to make this with Atta today.   It came out ok but could be better.  Here are the differences between my version and yours:

1.  Atta instead of fine durum (that may be decisive.)

2.  I did a 1.5 hour bulk ferment and a 2. 5 hour final proof.   (The 2.5 hour was an accident - I got back later than expected.)

3.  Instead of stretching and folding in the bowl, I removed the dough to the counter and pressed it out very gently with my palms and the first time pinching gently with my fingers - then rounded gently.   I did this twice during the bulk ferment.

Otherwise I followed your formula and instructions including making a semolina starter.  Here is what it looks like:

Very dense.   I'm trying to decide if it makes sense to try this again with better timing, or if going with 100% Atta is just going to create a very dense bread no matter what. 

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Varda,

Judging by the crumb shot I'd say the dough needed more development than it had. The every 30 minute S&F indicated in the formula above is what seemed to make the big difference in that bake over all the previous bakes for me. It makes sense given the low quality of gluten in durum flour. From what I've learned so far, this flour needs to be coaxed into forming a good structure for trapping CO2, rather than standard wheat flour which often needs a bit more aggressive mixing over a shorter period of time. The S&F's in the bowl help keep the BF temp from getting too low which I think is a key point, and it stresses the dough less. I honestly don't think a 100% durum dough is up to being pressed or stretched too far past it's diameter during BF, again because the gluten quality is not the same as what we're used to in standard wheat flour. One of the major factors in helping me understand what the dough should look like and how to mix it is a video that Andy/ananda http://www.thefreshloaf.com/user/ananda sent of an Italian housewife mixing the dough by hand. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eQWqqLPfoI&feature=related

This is a great vid, and well worth watching to get an idea of how to handle this dough. I adapted my own procedure from what was learned from this excellent video.

I'm pretty confident Atta will work for this loaf, no doubt with some tweaking, but ultimately attainable I'm sure.

All the best Varda,

Franko

 

 

varda's picture
varda

Franko,   I get what you are saying.   The video was quite interesting, although I couldn't understand a word of it, and my back started hurting just watching that woman bent over like that.  It certainly gives me a clue of how to adapt.    So thanks for encouraging me not to give up on the Atta.   More on this later hopefully.  -Varda

eliabel's picture
eliabel

Varda, thank you so much for such an interesting and knowledgeable (does this word exist in English?) post. I will reread it several times. And congratulations on your beautiful and inspiring bread!