The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Durum Bread

  • Pin It
dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Durum Bread

Durum Bread from Bread by Jeffrey Hamelman

The second edition of Hamelman's Bread includes 40 new recipes. This is the first of the new recipes I have made. Hamelman writes that this formula for “Durum Bread” is the best of a series of “test batches” he made some years ago. He does not describe it further and does not identify it as an Italian-style bread, although it does bring to mind Italian breads made with durum flour.

To me, the most remarkable features are that Hamelman's “Durum Bread” is 90% durum flour. (Bread flour is used in the liquid levain feeding.) It is a high-hydration dough at 80%. It uses both a yeasted biga and a liquid levain. Hamelman recommends a bassinage technique (“double hydration") be used for mixing.

 

Overall formula

Wt (g)

Baker's %

Durum flour

900

90

Bread flour

100

10

Water

800

80

Salt

20

2

Yeast

5

0.5

Total

1825

182.5

 

Biga

Wt (g)

Baker's %

Durum flour

300

100

Water

195

65

Yeast

0.3

0.1

Total

495.3

165.1

 

Liquid levain

Wt (g)

Baker's %

Bread flour

100

100

Water

125

125

Mature liquid culture

20

20

Total

245

 

 

Final dough

Wt (g)

Durum flour

600

Water

480

Salt

20

Yeast

5

Biga

495.3

Liquid levain

225

Total

1825.3

 

Procedures

  1. Mix the biga and ferment for 12-16 hours. It is ripe when domed and just starting to recede in the center. Note that, because of the great ability of durum flour to absorb water, this biga is firmer than the usual “firm levain.”

  2. Mix the liquid levain at the same time as the biga and let it ferment for the same time. Note: My levain ripened faster than the biga, so I refrigerated it for a couple of hours to let the biga “catch up.”

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add all but 1/3 cup of the final dough water along with the liquid levain and mix to disperse the levain. Then, add the biga cut in 5 or 6 pieces, and mix at slow speed to dissolve it somewhat. Then add the remaining durum flour, yeast and salt. Mix at slow speed for 2 or 3 minutes to combine the ingredients then at Speed 2 for about 6 minutes to develop the gluten. Scrape the dough off the hook and make a well in the middle of it. Pour the reserved water in the well, lower the hook, and mix at low speed until the water if fully incorporated. The dough will be quite loose.

  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly.

  5. Ferment the dough for about 2 hours with stretch and folds at 40 and 80 minutes.

  6. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and pre-shape them as balls. Let them rest, covered, for 20 minutes or so to relax the gluten.

  7. Shape the pieces as boules or bâtards and place in bannetons or en couche. Proof, covered, for about 1 hour.

  8. Pre-heat the oven to 500ºF for 1 hour with baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  9. Turn down the oven to 450ºF. Transfer the loaves to a peel, score the loaves, steam the oven and transfer the loaves to the baking stone.

  10. After 15 minutes, remove the steaming apparatus and continue to bake for another 23 minutes or so. (After the first 15 minutes, I continued baking at 425ºF with convection for the remainder of the time.) The loaves are done when the crust is nicely browned, the loaves sound hollow when thumped on the bottom and the internal temperature is over 205ºF.

  11. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack and cool for 1-2 hours before slicing.

 

The loaves had a somewhat crisp, chewy crust. The crumb was less open than I expected, but I think this may be characteristic of bread made with mostly durum flour. Maybe it has to do with the quality of gluten in this flour.

The flavor of the bread was distinctive. I don't know how to describe it, but it was like that of the other breads I have made with durum flour. I was thinking it was not a flavor I especially like, until I tried it dipped in olive oil with a little balsamic vinegar. That was spectacular! It was a magical combination of flavors that was delightful. It made me wonder about using this bread in other characteristic Italian ways – as garlic bread or toasted and eaten with a hearty ribollito soup.

I gave one of the loaves to a friend who grew up in a village near Rome. I am awaiting her assessment with the greatest interest.

David 

Submitted to YeastSpotting

Comments

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

90% durum, 80% hydration, double hydration, biga and SD.   Not a normal method.  Is the refined durum thirsty or are you using the whole grain?

Nice baking David.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I used fine durum flour, and it is very thirsty. For example, the biga was 65% hydration, but it was actually a bit stiffer than the usual 50% hydration firm starter that I usually make with bread flour (12.7% protein) and a little rye. 

This dough is delightful to work with. Although it is very loose coming off the mixing, after the second S&F it is very smooth and shiney and not especially sticky. Durum flour dough is much more extensible than dough made with "regular" flour. 

David

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

good 24 autolyse to help beat it into shape a little easier, if later.

linder's picture
linder

David,

Very beautiful bread - I'm sure the taste of it dipped in some good olive oil is superb!  The crumb looks very nice as well.  What good food can you have to complement such a loaf?  Anything at all, I'm sure, would benefit from accompanying this bread.

Nicely done,

Linda

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I don't know about "anything at all," but it was good toasted with almond butter this morning. If any is left by dinner time, we'll see what kind of garlic bread it makes to go with the chicken cacciatore I'm cooking.

David

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

It's a nice bread, David, but i disagree with Hamelman's minimal mixing method. I make 100% durum bread every week and I never work the dough less than 20-30 minutes. First it sems to come together, then it almost melts, then after some time it comes back together wonderfully. I knead the dough until it remains firmly clinged to the hook when I raise the mixing arm (always at speed 2). Same hydratation and same series of folds after mixing.

 

Durum is a strange beast that needs a lot of time to absorb the water and develop gluten. I have first hand tales of old southern italy grannies  that literally worked the dough by hand for more than one hour.

  Nico

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

It's great to have your comments. Thanks for sharing your extensive experience.

My reading on pane di altamura suggests that a long, slow mix is the current practice. And this is what Leader prescribes, as I recall. Hamelman talks about the dough falling apart with prolonged mixing. I gather he has not tried continued mixing until it comes back together, as you have. I found that the stretch and folding resuted in good dough strength, although high extensibility of the dough was remarkable. 

Does longer mixing result in a more open crumb?

Would you share your formula for 100% durum bread? If you have already posted it, I'll try to find it.

David

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

David, this one is my preferred (on an italian cuisine forum)

http://www.panperfocaccia.eu/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=16581

It uses water roux to keep the crumb soft for several days. The formula is the following

-210 gr cold water roux (30 gr durum wheat flour in 180 gr boiling water until you get a  potato mash consistence)

-100 gr biga
-470 gr durum flour
-220 gr water
-12 gr salt

You may need a bit more water. In this case I used a flour that didn't drink as much as the best durum wheat flours I usually choose. The crumb comes out very light, with minuscule and regular holes.  

  Nico

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Capisco molto del italiano, ma, "pm", che cosa significa? (biga?)

David

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

sorry for having shortened the term excessively :)

PM stands for "pasta madre", a firm starter (I keep mine at 45% hydratation). Of course it can be replaced by an equal amount of biga.

stefano_arturi's picture
stefano_arturi

It is always difficult to assess just by looking at pics, but the Panperfocaccia durum wheat bread's crumb does not look very open - generally Pane Pugliese (durum wheat bread) has a rather open texture, with a chewy feel.  In the close-up picture, David's version looks much better, I think (and the colour of the crumb is better too - golden)

Nico one question: do u work your bread for 20-30 mint in a mixer? or by hand?

stefano

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Stefano, the crumb doesn't look open because alveolis were really tiny, but the softness was extreme because the raise in volume was incredible.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Is pane pugliese customarily made with 100% durum flour? The recipes I have seen vary a lot in the flours used, but they are all from American books.

David

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

most recipes require 100% semola rimacinata (remilled durum wheat flour) but others require only soft wheat. What I've never seen is a recipe for a typical bread using both soft and durum wheat.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I have just looked through my books at formulas for pane pugliese. None have 100% durum flour, although Reinhart says to play with the flour proportions up to 100% durum. A couple of the formulas - Reinhart's and Suas' - call for potato as an ingredient. Note that we are not talking about pane di Altamura. Both of the books I have that have formulas for pane di Altamure use 100% fine durum flour.j

David

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Oh you stirred my appetite, David! i love dipping bread in Olive oil. I havn't any durum, nor it is found anywhere in Dubai, so i haven't tried the recipe yet.

You did a fabulous job with those loaves, they look absolutely gorgeous.

 

Donkey_hot's picture
Donkey_hot

David,
What kind of durum flour did you use for this?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I used fine durum flour.

David

Donkey_hot's picture
Donkey_hot

"Extra fancy" type?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Finely milled durum flour is sometimes labeled "extra fancy."

David

stefano_arturi's picture
stefano_arturi

hi david

I am no expert - most of my cookery and baking books are English or American (I learnt bread making from the P.Reinhart's books), but.... After a little search I found this web site:

http://www.panedialtamura.net/index.htm  - this is the official body/institution that dictates the musts/must-nots if one wants to make Pane di Altamura, which is the most famous Apulian bread in Italy, the one most commonly associated with the notion of Pane Pugliese (Pugliese Bread)(Altamura is a little town in Apulia). Pane di Altamura is a DOP product (DOP is a specific, legal, official, EC system of classifying some special products, in order to distinguish the real McCoy, so to speak)

Unfortunately the website is in Italian, but you might know someone who knows Italian. It is interesting because it basically gives the recipes and quantities for Pane Pugliese. From what I understand (see here : http://www.panedialtamura.net/fasi_di_produzione.htm) , Pane di Altamura is made wiht 1oo%  "rimacinato di semola di grano duro" which should be durum wheat flour, of a finer type /"remacinato" means milled-again (here u find a useful post

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/14268/pane-con-semola-rimacinata-di-grano-duro) - basically you need this: http://www.dececco.it/EN/flours-and-semolina/semola-di-grano-duro-rimacinata/?Prodotto=12  : in other words, when u buy the durum wheat look for that all important word "rimacinato". hope this helps

thanks for all your splendid breads & posts, btw. bye

stefano

 

stefano_arturi's picture
stefano_arturi

Hi David, this is interesting. I suspect that there are not clear distinctions and definitions of what a Pane Pugliese is.

In Italy Pane Pugliese is most commonly thought of as a fine durum wheat bread and Pane di Altamura IS the most famous pane pugliese - this is the only certain point... But unless one wants to produce real Pane di Altamura (which becomes a much more complex affair because one should also then use specific local wheat, specific water ecc....),  I suspect Apulian Bakers play around with percentages of fine durm wheat. This is my thought and it is not substantiated though.

The "potato" u mentioned.. rings a bell - I have seen it mentioned in some Italian obscure websites.. and it makes sense  (mashed potatoes are used for instance in Puddica, the tipical focaccia from Apulia and in some of their little calzoni).

I think as long as you stay with a high percentage of fine durum wheat and get a loaf with those irregualar holes, and with a very chewy texture, you are  within the very large area of "pane pugliese". Most of the pani puglisi I have bought in Italy have those characteristics: the crumb is really open and irregular and still does not have that translucente, almost gelatinous look of so many high-hydration bread/it does not feel "wet", it keeps for days and days and days. Also I think that each baker brings his/her own interpretations to a certain existing model: many of the ciabattas I see in american websites do not look like at all the ciabatta I have always known in Italy. are they lesser ciabattas'? diccult to say:they are different, perhpas. again: as long as ones stays within certain bunderies, I believe that there is not one way to do things (in this istance: for me a ciabatta is a flat, elongeted bread, with a soft texture, very large irregular holes, a snowy white top, that does not keep more than a day....)

Even if I am not as a good baker as u clearly are, I have just bought the new edition of Bread! (reading yr comments). I have a small cafe in LYme regis, Dorset, UK and I bake my bread every day: I stick to Peter Reinhart's ancienne bread (revised and suited to my taste): easy and great results. For myself I make the miche in Hamelman and now I will try myself the pane pugliese (if I can find fine durum wheat, which is not that obvious here, in the deep English countryside)

stefano

stefano_arturi's picture
stefano_arturi

Hi David, this is interesting. I suspect that there are not clear distinctions and definitions of what a Pane Pugliese is.

In Italy Pane Pugliese is most commonly thought of as a fine durum wheat bread and Pane di Altamura IS the most famous pane pugliese - this is the only certain point... But unless one wants to produce real Pane di Altamura (which becomes a much more complex affair because one should also then use specific local wheat, specific water ecc....),  I suspect Apulian Bakers play around with percentages of fine durm wheat. This is my thought and it is not substantiated though.

The "potato" u mentioned.. rings a bell - I have seen it mentioned in some Italian obscure websites.. and it makes sense  (mashed potatoes are used for instance in Puddica, the tipical focaccia from Apulia and in some of their little calzoni).

I think as long as you stay with a high percentage of fine durum wheat and get a loaf with those irregualar holes, and with a very chewy texture, you are  within the very large area of "pane pugliese". Most of the pani puglisi I have bought in Italy have those characteristics: the crumb is really open and irregular and still does not have that translucente, almost gelatinous look of so many high-hydration bread/it does not feel "wet", it keeps for days and days and days. Also I think that each baker brings his/her own interpretations to a certain existing model: many of the ciabattas I see in american websites do not look like at all the ciabatta I have always known in Italy. are they lesser ciabattas'? diccult to say:they are different, perhpas. again: as long as ones stays within certain bunderies, I believe that there is not one way to do things (in this istance: for me a ciabatta is a flat, elongeted bread, with a soft texture, very large irregular holes, a snowy white top, that does not keep more than a day....)

Even if I am not as a good baker as u clearly are, I have just bought the new edition of Bread! (reading yr comments). I have a small cafe in LYme regis, Dorset, UK and I bake my bread every day: I stick to Peter Reinhart's ancienne bread (revised and suited to my taste): easy and great results. For myself I make the miche in Hamelman and now I will try myself the pane pugliese (if I can find fine durum wheat, which is not that obvious here, in the deep English countryside)

stefano

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Uhm, I don't agree with your statement that durum bread keeps for days and days.

It's edible, of course, but durum wheat bread dries as much and as soon as any other bread. The big difference is that it becomes as tough  as a stone, even impossible to slice! I still remember when I tried to slice a 7-days old Pane di Matera (100% durum wheat): the knife broke!

I'm referring to bakery-bought bread, not to mine.

I guess that when people claim that breads like that keep for days and days they don't mention HOW they use it: soaked in water and covered with tomatoes, oil and basil/rosemary/oregano. It keeps without molding, but it doesn't keep soft at all.

There are a lot of myths and advertisements around this kind of DOP breads, mostly undeserved. Pane di Altamura is just a bread like any other. Good, yes, better than many others of course, but it's not the ultimate bread without defects to aim at.

Myths NEED to be dispelled.

stefano_arturi's picture
stefano_arturi

I totally agree- myths need to be dispelled.

I never said the pane di Altamura is the best bread. However my experience of sourdough oven-cooked pane pugliese was that it did keep for days and days. The same happens with Pain Poillane, which in fact for me it is edible only after 48 hrs it is made (before it is too fresh and moist), the same happens with my sourdough (at least 5 days) (and no, I do not soak it). In general I find sourdough breads taste better after 48 hrs from baking and, in my experience, they do keep for at least 4 days. Of course they lose some of their softness and become more chewy - for me this is an advantage. In general I think good bread is alwasy good - it changes in character and it develops new flavours.


dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I wrap bread in plastic wrap and put it into a plastic bakery bag. My sourdough breads keep for 5 to 7 days, after they are first sliced. They gradually get drier but are still pretty good. I have not left a loaf unsliced for longer that 24 hours - high percentage rye breads and miches made with high-extraction flour excepted.

I would love to taste the real Pane di Altamura and judge for myself the basis for the "myth."

David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Thank you for your kind words.

I appreciate your sharing your experience. I lack the benefit of having tasted pane pugliese in Italy. Your comments make me want to experiment futher with formulas that might produce bread like those you described. Pending a personal visit to Apulia, I may take advantage of several friends who grew up in Italy for their comments. None are from Apulia. They are from either near Rome or from Sicily. So I guess we have Apulia surrounded at least. ;-)

My most successful effort to date has been Pugliese Capriccioso, Take 2. I think I would start where I left off with this formula and boost the percentage of durum flour. 

David

stefano_arturi's picture
stefano_arturi

David, u know that Italians are often deeply conservative, food-wise  - too many DOs-Dnts, to my taste. I feel that as long as u use a very high percentage of fine durum wheat, a good starter,  good tecnique to get that nice open crumb, and a sound  cooking method (I prefer the cast-iron pan metod, for the best crust and oven spring), u are very likely to produce a Pugliese bread that is as good as any that is made in Italy in that part of the country. Happy Baking. s

stefano_arturi's picture
stefano_arturi

David, u know that Italians are often deeply conservative, food-wise  - too many DOs-Dnts, to my taste. I feel that as long as u use a very high percentage of fine durum wheat, a good starter,  good tecnique to get that nice open crumb, and a sound  cooking method (I prefer the cast-iron pan metod, for the best crust and oven spring), u are very likely to produce a Pugliese bread that is as good as any that is made in Italy in that part of the country. Happy Baking. s

ritalynn's picture
ritalynn

Hi there,

I have been using durum flour in my starter. It doesn't look as peppy as normal. Any one have experience with this or suggestions?