The Fresh Loaf

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Pugliese Capriccioso

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dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Pugliese Capriccioso

Last week's successful experiment making an “Italian” bread with bulk retardation has made me want to try other types of bread using that technique and other Italian-style breads.

I've been thinking about making a Pugliese bread ever since I first read about it in Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice. Have you noticed that some thoughts take longer than others to get translated into action? Well, this one has taken about 4 years. In the interim, I have accumulated a sizable number of other bread books, and several have formulas for Pugliese. Consulting these, I find amazing variation, particularly in the flours used. Some use part or even entirely Durum. Some use partly whole wheat. What they have in common is 1) Use of a biga, 2) Relatively high hydration. Most recipes specify shaping as a round loaf with no scoring. The lone exception is The Il Fornaio Baking Book which shapes and scores Pugliese like a French bâtard. None of the formulas in the books I consulted use a sourdough biga.

The formula I ended up using is my own notion of a good rustic bread baked as a large round loaf, with a nod to Puglia. I suppose I could call it “Pugliese Capriccioso.”

 

Ingredients

Wt (g)

Baker's %

AP flour

375

75

Fine durum flour

125

25

Water

360

74

Salt

10

2

Active starter (100% hydration)

100

20

Total

970

196

Note: For greater authenticity, one would use a firm starter. If you do, the water in the final dough should be increased and the flour decreased to keep the hydration the same in the formula.

Method

  1. Refresh your sourdough starter 8-12 hours before mixing the dough.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, disperse the active starter in the water.

  3. Add the flours and mix to a shaggy mass.

  4. Cover the bowl tightly and let it rest (autolyse) for 20-60 minutes. (Note: There is no harm in autolysing for longer, but do not decrease the time to less than 20 minutes. I often go out and run errands for an hour or more during the autolyse.)

  5. Add the salt to the dough and mix it in thoroughly.

  6. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled, clean bowl and cover tightly.

  7. After 30 minutes, do a “stretch and fold in the bowl” for 15-20 strokes. Repeat 3 more times at 30 minute intervals.

  8. When the dough has expanded by 75% or so (about 30 minutes more), transfer it to a floured bench.

  9. Pre-shape into a ball and let the dough rest for 20 minutes to relax the gluten.

  10. Shape the dough as a boule and place it seam-side down in a floured banneton.

  11. Place the banneton in a food-safe plastic bag or cover with a damp towel. Proof the boule until the dough springs back slowly when you poke a finger into it.

  12. 45 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 490ºF with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  13. Transfer the loaf to the baking stone, seam-side up, steam the oven and turn the temperature down to 460ºF.

  14. After 15 minutes, remove the steaming apparatus. Bake for another 30 minutes or until the loaf is done. The crust should be nicely colored. The internal temperature should be at least 205ºF.

  15. Leave the loaf on the baking stone with the oven turned off and the door ajar for another 10 minutes to dry the crust.

  16. Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing.

 

Pugliese Capriccioso crumb

The crust was crunchy, and the crumb was quite chewy. The flavor was remarkably sweet, especially given that there was no sweetener in the formula. The nutty flavor of the durum flour came through and was even more present than in the breads I've baked with a higher percentage of durum. There was little sourdough tang, although that might increase by tomorrow.

This is a bread I will be making again. I think it could stand an increase in hydration, maybe even up to 78% or so.

I also made a high-extraction miche today. This followed my formula and procedures for the San Joaquin Sourdough. The only changes were 1) I used Central Milling's “Type 85 Unmalted” organic flour for the final dough, 2) I added 5 g of diastatic malt powder to the mix, 3) rather than pre-shaping and resting for 60 minutes, after cold retardation, I let the dough ferment at room temperature until almost doubled, then pre-shaped and rested for 20 minutes, and 4) I made one large boule with the entire dough.

 

The crust was quite crunchy with a sweet, caramelized sugar flavor. The flavor of the crumb was sweet and earthy with moderate sourness. It was quite delicious 3 hours out of the oven, and I think it will have a long shelf life and make wonderful toast.

This is another bread I expect to be making again.

 

I enjoyed a slice of each with our dinner of Proscuitto with melon and Fedelini with roasted San Marzano tomatoes, garlic, bread crumbs and fresh basel.

David

 Submitted to YeastSpotting

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

Franko's picture
Franko

Brilliant David!

 The Pugliese looks like it came straight off the pages of an Italian baking book. Very pretty indeed! Beautiful crumb & crust on both the Pugliese and the high-X Miche, and a splendid dish of pasta to have either with. Your post is a celebration of home cooking and real food at it's best.

Franko

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I appreciate your kind words.

My inspiration for the pugliese was the photo on the dust jacket of "The Italian Baker," in fact. I think I did come close to its appearance. :-)

The pasta recipe is from my younger son. It's quite excellent. 

David

Franko's picture
Franko

David,

I just checked the dust cover of my copy of 'Italian Baker' and sure enough there it was. Apparently my subconscious knew I'd seen your bread somewhere before, but just didn't want to tell me. You're darn right you came close! :^) Other than size there's very little difference between the two breads.

Franko

codruta's picture
codruta

Who needs books, when it has you, David? Every bread you make is an example of perfection, and everytime you post something new, your formulas gets right on top of my must-try list.

1. pugliese: Seeing your wonderful bread, I will definetely not wait 4 years to make this pugliese. Do you know if I can use semolina rimacinata instead of durum flour (I can't get durum flour here, but I have a bag of semolina rimacinata "de cecco" from italy). Also, do you think that using a stiff levain will change noticeably the taste? maybe it will be less sour and more sweet?

2. I don't know if you remember my insucces with san joaquin a while ago. Since then, I have 4 or 5 attempts on this formula: one mediocre, two decents, and finally the last two tries had excellent results (but I had to tweak a little your instructions, to make the formula work for me). I will probably post about it and it became one of my most 5 favorites everyday breads. Few days ago I was thinking if I can use your san joaquin formula to make a loaf in my brand new bannetons, but I felt like cheating. Seeing your miche, I think I'll make a batard next time, see how it works for me.

Have a nice Sunday, David

codruta

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

You are too kind! See the crumb of my 80% SD Rye. :-(

More coarsely milled durum would have a different effect on the crumb texture. I'd think the flavor would be pretty much the same.

In theory, a stiff biga should generate more acetic acid (relative to lactic acid), especially at cooler fermentation temperatures.

I'm glad you got the SJSD to work for you. I'm looking forward to reading how you tweaked it.

David

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Hi Codruta,

As far as I know the Italian expression for durum flour is: semola di grano duro rimaccinata...

I second Codruta's thoughts about your bakes, David... Dangerously mouthwatering

David, Did you try the pugliese with the stiff biga? I made that sort of pugliese several times ( with and without durum ) and noticed a distinctive sweet flavor. Is that present in the poolish version too?

Juergen

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

This was my first time baking pugliese. I used a 100% hydration starter. That's what I had activated, and I decided to make this bread on impulse. Next time, it will be planned, and i'll use a 50% hydration biga.

There was a "distinctive sweet flavor" to the bread. I believe I mentioned it in my write up.

David

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Hi David, I am sorry I overlooked your thorough description of crumb and taste.

The photos are so stunning. I'll try your formula soon.

Juergen

lumos's picture
lumos

Beautiful loaves, David, both of them!  Especilly the way crust opened up at natural seams is really attractive.

lumos

Breuer's picture
Breuer

yet another masterpiece!

varda's picture
varda

I hope to try it in sooner than 4 years.   Thanks for posting.  -Varda

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello David,
That Pugliese looks just beautiful with the seam side up baking and the flour pattern on the crust.
The miche looks delicious too!
Adding this to Favorites.
:^) with thanks from breadsong

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

If you do make the pugliese, let me know how you like it.

David

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

were well spent and worth the wait judging form the fantastic bread(s) that you baked! Really first class, you could very well open a bakery.

Codruta, semola rimacinata is the durum wheat flour always used in Puglia and in all southern italy. Patent/fine "durum wheat flour" is a recent milling product used only in the north. De Cecco is a bit coarser than usual, even for a "semola rimacinata".

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I guess I wasn't ready to make a pugliese until now. :-)

I'll never open a bakery. Those guys work way too hard!

David

longhorn's picture
longhorn

Absolutely beautiful, David!

Pugliesi is one of my favorites for its random swirl efffect on unslashed loaves. Makes a beautiful, striking loaf - as you so eloquently demonstrate!

Bravo!

Jay

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

drdudidu's picture
drdudidu

David, I follow your every weekend postings and just love it. Your breads are real art, but still give hope and inspiration for the non experts. 

I tried this beautiful Pugliese and encounter some difficulties - the dough is very wet, and was too hard to pre shape and shape - it actually did not hold the shape. Did you face the same difficulty? I used the 100% hydration starter as you, and followed your instructions.

David

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

With high-hydration doughs like this, you cannot expect them them to "hold their shape" without external support. Don't worry about the preshaped pieces, but use a banneton for proofing the shaped loaves. If you don't have a banneton, you can make one with a bowl or colander and a well-floured towel. (I say this based on others' reports. I use linen-lined bannetons I purchased.)

I hope this answers your question. If not, please clarify.

David

drdudidu's picture
drdudidu

I did use a bowl for proofing. I left the dough in the fridge for overnight proofing (not according to your instructions - sorry) - and should bake it today. But I wonered wether the loaf would remain in it's shape when moving from the bowl to the oven

Thnaks!

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The loaf will flatten some in transferring, but it will "recover" when it springs in the oven, assuming the gluten is well developed, the shaping provided a good gluten sheath and the loaf is not over-proofed.

If you think you have a problem, let us see a photo. That might help.

David

drdudidu's picture
drdudidu

Thanks for your advice. As you said - it flattened when I took it from the bowl, but raised quite nice during baking.

The house smells wondeful now - wonderful bread, thank you!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Your loaf looks terrific.

Awaiting your crumb photo and assessment of its taste.

David

drdudidu's picture
drdudidu

I don't have all of those sophisticated words to describe it. I can tell it is delicious, very complex and rich taste - you can easily say this is a sourdough bread. I didn't find the sweetness you reminded. What does that shiny crumbs means? Is it OK?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The shininess is from starch gelatinization. It's a sign of a well-baked bread. Pat yourself on the back.

David