The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Altamura Style Bread Revisited

  • Pin It
varda's picture
varda

Altamura Style Bread Revisited

 

Some time ago, I attempted many times to follow Franko in making a high percentage durum loaf with low hydration and shaped by a simple fold - in fact an Altamura style bread.   I was never altogether satisfied with my progress, and finally set it aside and focused on other baking.    While I stopped trying to make an Altamura style loaf, that doesn't mean I stopped baking with durum - in fact my regular rotation (that sounds more formal than it is) includes medium percentage durum loaves like Hamelman's Semolina (p. 171 of Bread) and Sylvia's pugliese.   I think this regular baking has made me more comfortable with durum, and I stopped looking at it as a crazed and evil beast that required a lot of fuss and nonsense to get right.    That more relaxed attitude led me to throw together a loaf that I realized just in time for shaping had many of the characteristics of the Altamura style bread that I had tried so hard to master.   So I folded and proofed and baked and voila, the best Altamura style loaf that I've yet managed to produce.    There's a lesson in here somewhere but I'm not entirely sure what it is.

I used an entirely passive method of dough development.    First I fed my regular starter with durum flour and water, and immediately refrigerated it for around 20 hours.   Then I mixed all ingredients until dough formed a shaggy mass for a couple minutes only, and then refrigerated for 24 hours.   Then I let warm on counter for around four hours,  then pressed out slightly (hardly at all) folded over and proofed for around 50 minutes, then baked for 20 minutes with steam and 35 minutes without at 400F.    I had no idea when I cut into it what to expect,   but here's what I got:

Altogether a happy result from a casual approach mostly forced by time constraints.     And yes it's tasty - the good taste of durum shines through.

Formula:

5/11/2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seed hydration

66%

 

 

 

 

KAAP

95%

 

 

 

 

Whole Rye

5%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5:00 PM

 

 

 

Seed

100

 

 

 

 

KAAP

57

 

 

57

36%

Whole Rye

3

 

 

3

2%

Durum

0

100

 

100

62%

Water

40

66

 

106

66%

 

 

 

 

266

2.7

5/12/2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final

Starter

Total

Percent

 

KAAP

 

57

57

9%

 

Whole Rye

 

3

3

0%

 

Durum

500

99

599

91%

 

Water

330

105

435

66%

 

Salt

12

 

12

1.8%

 

Starter

263

 

 

24%

 

 

 

 

1105

168%

 

Starter factor

1.0

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Just tossed it off, eh? Funny how that works ... sometimes.

David

varda's picture
varda

Hey David,   I guess there was some logic to it.   I was thinking about mwilson's comments about passive dough development, but you don't want a high percentage durum dough sitting out at room temperature for too long.  And then there's Josh's approach to sourdough where you refrigerate right after mixing.    And not much time to fuss over bread over the last few weeks.    So I guess that's what went into it.   Thanks so much for your comments.  -Varda

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Wonderful loaf, Varda! Great crust colour and I particularly like the yellow tint of the crumb. It looks delicious. I'm always fascinated by the brave bakers who follow their intuition and gut-feeling when it comes to developing dough, winging things on the fly and still end up with great bread. That's when you really master the craft, and your results speak for themselves, Varda!

varda's picture
varda

Hansjoakim,   I have quietly been trying to do some of your loaves for some time now, and never success, so I guess I have a way to go.    Thanks so much for your comments.  -Varda

Toad.de.b's picture
Toad.de.b

Really nice looking loaf Varda!.  I was just looking at your previous Altamura posting yesterday, having stumbled into Golden Temple Atta Flour at an international food store yesterday, wondering what had been posted here about its use.  Sure enough, there was your report.  I assume your didn't use Golden Temple here, since this one is so delightfully yellow.

Nice bake!

Tom

varda's picture
varda

Hi Tom,   No I didn't use golden temple here.   I have  been ordering durum flour from King Arthur - expensive but so good.    I wish I had another source for fancy durum, but until then...   Thanks so much for commenting.   -Varda

Franko's picture
Franko

I think you must have tapped into a little baking Zen...or something Varda, the loaf looks terrific and the crumb is outstanding! Moving on from a problem I often find is a good strategy for eventually solving it, besides this is supposed to be fun, not aggravating. Nice baking!

Franko 

varda's picture
varda

Franko,   Definitely the baking Zen kicked in.   I guess the problem with banging your head against the wall is you get too much blood in the dough ;-)   Thanks for your comments.  -Varda

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Looks great Varda ... crumb is a lovely colour. Go with the flow eh?

Cheers,
Phil

varda's picture
varda

Phil,   I guess that's it.   Or just let the brain put everything together without getting in the way.   Thanks so much for your comments.  -Varda

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I just love what you did with your Durum flour...made it work for you beautifully!  Nice priests hat shaping,  lovely crumb and the flavor sounds so delicious.  Oh yes, the great color crust and crumb!  You have 'whipped up' a lovely loaf..looks like a keeper.

Sylvia 

varda's picture
varda

This should be the easiest shaping ever, as all you have to do is fold the dough over, but I've never gotten it to work before.    I have no idea why it did this time.    I will have to make this again.   I had taken one slice to photograph the crumb - then my kids stopped by for Mother's Day and suddenly it was gone.    I'm glad I got the photo.    Thanks so much for your comments.  -Varda

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

off like and old hat but it sure looks like a keeper.  Nice color, crumb and crust.  Happy Mothers Day Varda.

varda's picture
varda

DA,   I appreciate your comments.  I see you have been doing some interestinig stuff lately.   -Varda

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

inspire me and I have to admit a semolina something in the fridge autolying away for 24 hours - it will have seeds and sprouts I'm guessing.    I'm back to 3 day bakes again it seems. 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Lovely loaf Varda!  Hope the kids stayed long enough to wash the dishes for you too :-)

Happy Mother's Day!

Janet

varda's picture
varda

Hi Janet,   Hope you had a good Mother's Day too.    Thanks so much for your comments.  -Varda

eliabel's picture
eliabel

Thanks for a very interesting and full of information post! Your bread is a sheer visual pleasure, Varda!

varda's picture
varda

and hope your baking is going well.  -Varda

codruta's picture
codruta

Varda, I give my first shot at 100% durum bread today. I wanted to try it a long time ago, but your older posts kind of scared me. Yesterday night I read a simple formula on panis nostrum (from Sicilia) and decided to make right away. I made two batards at 76% hydration, with 100% durum starter, no comercial yeast. The dough was wonderful to work with, I'm waiting to proof while I write this. I'll be very happy if the crumb will be similar to yours, which is very atractive and pretty. I'm glad for you, you could move on to another project now. :)

codruta

varda's picture
varda

Hope your bread comes out well.   Sorry I scared you.   I just needed to learn more and that was how I did it I guess.    I appreciate your comments.   And there's always another project isn't there.    -Varda

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Your bread is indeed great, with a delicious yellow crumb.Maybe I should take it easier with durum judging from your result.

Your shaping is much more like that of pane di Matera (40 km from Altamura).

 

varda's picture
varda

Hi Nico,   You could try this.   The seed starter I used was left over from baking the day before, so was in great shape which is why I  used a lot, and only fed it once, and trusted it to mature in the refrigerator.    So you might have to adjust based on the state of your starter.   But I am very encouraged with the strategy of a long ferment in the refrigerator for high % durum, as it seems to solve some persistent problems I have had with it.   Now I have to do a search on pane di Matera.    Thanks so much for commenting.   -Varda 

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

especially since semolina is a favorite of mine.  :)

varda's picture
varda

I love durum too.    It's a great source of variety for breads, no matter how you make it.   -Varda

fancy4baking's picture
fancy4baking

Varda now that i 150% trust your recipes and methods, and now that i just received premium quality durum flour that i had used in the past, i will defintely give this bread a go. I like the color of the crumb. I'm thinking how it would look and taste like if sesame and black sesame is added to it....hmmm

Excellent work Varda...as usual.

Izzat

varda's picture
varda

that you have the flour, Izzat.   I hope you get a good result.     Thanks for commenting.   -Varda

FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

Golden deliciousness!  I love baking with durum, too, so happy to see your loaves :)

varda's picture
varda

flourchild.   -Varda

louie brown's picture
louie brown

Congratulations, Varda. Sometimes casual works. It's as if you reached another state of mind with this bread. The loaf looks great and your photos are getting better all the time. Nice work.

varda's picture
varda

I was kind of worried about that first shot since half of it is "missing" so I'm glad you think the photos are good.    "...another state of mind..."  Yes indeed - the state of mind past geekiness which is necessary as well, with no Grandma to show me how it's done.  -Varda

Syd's picture
Syd

Great baking Varda. Lovely crumb colour and structure.  

All the best,

Syd :)

varda's picture
varda

I was happy with how it came out.   -Varda

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Varda,
Your loaf - the gorgeous orange color of the crust, and the beautiful yellow crumb...reminds me of this :^)
I love how your Altamura bread turned out!
:^) breadsong

varda's picture
varda

that those are the natural colors of the  durum, but so it is.    Lovely flower.    Thanks so much for your comments.  -Varda

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Great pics and tale, Varda! And the results of your intuiting look - and I imagine tasted - pretty gosh-durned goood.

Like many, I suspect, I've developed a process in SD bread making that has become routine and comfortable over the years. It's nice to be in a rhythm, but there is always that lurking danger of complacency. Hence, lately I've been drawn to processes that deviate from my usual, such as David's and Syd's versions of SF SD. Your Altamura-style durum post is opportune, given my current mode of experimentation. Thanks!

Cheers
Ross

varda's picture
varda

Hi Ross,   It's always a good idea to mix it up.    My family will totally ignore beautiful loaves if I've made the same thing too often.   Doesn't matter how good it is.    Good luck with your efforts, and thanks for commenting.   -Varda

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Beautiful, Varda!
You seem to be getting well accustomed to baking with durum flour. You did a fine job, given your time constrains! The crust looks very attractive, and the crumb is spot on. Very nice!!

varda's picture
varda

Thanks so much Khalid.    It was nice to finally get a decent durum loaf.  -Varda

ananda's picture
ananda

Hello Varda,

Great colour in both te crust and crumb of your bread.   I'll be joining you reading up about Pane di Matera too!

All good wishes

Andy

varda's picture
varda

for proper research.    Thanks so much for your comments Andy, and hope all is going well.   -Varda

Frazestart's picture
Frazestart

I made this bread over the weekend following the recipe closely except for the salt, which I increased to 15 g as in Leader's recipe. As for the timelines, I ended up exceeding all of Varda's times some and, in hindsight, should have increased them even more, for my starter and conditions. I made two loaves, one (2/3) to take as a hostess gift later in the week and a smaller one (1/3) for myself. When I put the first one in the oven (w. stone and steam), I totally forgot the little guy which stayed on the counter another 50 minutes until I finally found and rescued it.  In the end, the large loaf was slightly underrisen but far from a pancake and the little guy, which got a lot more oven spring, turned out very puffy and cute. The taste keeps evolving with time but  is always delicious. It's got a mild sourness that seems to go well with the indescribable taste of the semolina. I just ate a piece at my desk at work and so missed not having some extra-virgin  olive oil to dip it in! I'll have to do better tomorrow. 

Thanks for posting your recipe, Varda!

varda's picture
varda

So glad you tried this and it came out well.    Yes, you must have extra-virgin olive oil with it.   It's the perfect combination.   -Varda