The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pugliese Revisited

  • Pin It
varda's picture
varda

Pugliese Revisited

 

Way back when, Sylvia posted a pugliese with a lighter than air crumb.   I baked it once and loved it, then forgot about it.  Browsing through old bread pictures the other day I came upon a photograph of my old pugliese, and decided to try it again.    However, I couldn't leave well enough alone and follow the recipe.    Instead,  I tweaked it just a little.   

The original formula calls for poolish, and yet, there was ripe starter sitting on the counter with no label other than discard.   Should I discard it or did it have a place in this little pugliese?    The problem with using starter for a bread like this is that it takes up too much of the flavor room and masks the delicate taste of the durum.   A baking error one might say.   Not wanting to fall into this trap, I decided to use some of the starter, but handle it very carefully to keep the flavor nice and balanced.     

I fed the starter with some fresh flour and let it ferment for just long enough for it to start expanding, but not long enough to build up a heady aroma.    At that point, I mixed everything up, and proceeded as directed.   

This dough was very wet and somewhat difficult to handle.   I developed the dough by mixing at speed 1, 2, 3, 4 (!) in my Bosch Compact for a total of 6 minutes.    By the end, it had cleared the bowl but was very wet and sticky, and spread out again as soon as I let it rest.   I did stretch and fold in the bowl twice at half hour intervals, and for the third S&F after 30 more minutes, got my hands very wet and picked the dough up and suspended it and rotated it.  

I "shaped" the dough into a boule, which is similar to saying that one shaped a water balloon - more like a little prod here and a poke there, dusted it with durum flour and proofed upside down in a ceramic bowl.    It swelled up over the sides of the bowl (doubling in size) in an hour at which point it went into the oven unscored, as there was just no point in poking at it. 

It came out nicely - self scoring along the way - and had the subtle flavor I had hoped for, with a light, tender crumb and a  crisp crust.   All in all, a  pleasant flavor variation from the original but still a pugliese at heart.

 

Formula and method:

 Note:  fixed formula error - reversed amounts of KAAP and Durum in final.

Poolish / Starter

 

Feeding

Total

 

Seed

65

   

KAAP

39

45

84

 

Water

26

40

66

79%

   

150

 
     
 

Final

Poolish

Total

Percent

KAAP

73

82

162

65%

KA Durum

85

 

85

35%

Water

134

64

198

83%

Salt

4

 

4

1.9%

Yeast

2

 

2

0.9%

Poolish

146

   
     

factor

0.97

   

Total Flour

240

   

Dough Weight

445

   

Final weight

354

   

Shrinkage

80%

   

Prefermented flour

16%

   

 

Mix poolish. Ripen for 3.5 hours

Mix ingredients 6 minutes, increase to speed 4

Dough cleans bowl but still wet and sticky

S&F in bowl every 1/2 hour 3 times - final in the air

BF total of 2 hours 45 minutes - dough will have expanded

Shape into boule on counter dusted with durum flour

It is very squishy like a balloon

Proof in dusted bowl for1 hour - dough doubles

Bake with steam for 5 minutes (oven preheated to 500 then turned off)

then at 450 for 35 minutes

Comments

isand66's picture
isand66

Wow Varda....what an amazingly perfect crumb.   It looks like it would melt in your mouth like cotton candy.  I will have to try this one upon my return for sure.

Great bake!

Ian

varda's picture
varda

The crumb is very light.   Is it bread or air?   A nice change from the hearty rye breads I've been baking.    You picked a good time to go to China.   They're blowing up runners now.   Stupid and bad.  -Varda

isand66's picture
isand66

I know...I just heard about the unreal events in Boston.  I'm so saddened and horrified.  I just finished reading a fiction book about terrorists and now fiction turned into reality.  I pray they find the savages who did this.

in the mean time have a slice of your air bread with some cheese for me!

Franko's picture
Franko

That is a magnificent looking loaf with a spectacular, open and translucent crumb Varda. If you'd shaped it as a Ciabatta, the formula is close enough that  the differences are insignificant, and with a crumb like that who would care anyhow? If ever the term eye candy  was an appropriate description for a loaf of bread, this is certainly one of those moments for me. Lovely baking!

Best Wishes.

Franko 

varda's picture
varda

Hey Franko,   My question is, what is a Pugliese?   Presumably a region in Italy?    Is the bread well defined?   Did I make one?   I followed Sylvia, who followed Rose Barenboim - no Italians in sight.   So I'm guessing that this is a Jewish-Irish-Jewish pugliese, otherwise known as a Ciabatta.   Thanks so much for your comments.  -Varda

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Pugliese is the adjective that means "from Puglia".

Very nice bread, Varda. It shows that it's as light as air.

varda's picture
varda

My Italian is non-existent.   So then Pugliese is not a bread definition per se, like Altamura.     When I googled it, I got a lot of people whose last name was Pugliese which given what you are saying makes perfect sense.  

I was thinking of you in trying to use a starter without its major characteristic of a lot of flavor.    My approach was a shortcut, but you can see how frequent feedings could increase yeast population without allowing much by way of bacteria byproducts to accumulate.  

Thanks so much for your comments. 

-Varda

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Varda,
According to Carol Field's 1st edition of " The Italian Baker " Pugliese is made with white (AP) flour, salt, water, and instant yeast with the preferment being 20% of flour and a hydration of 65%. I'm not a fan of Ms Field's formula for Ciabatta which includes milk and olive oil, so I use Hamelman's Ciabatta with Biga formula instead. That formula calls for flour, salt, water, and instant yeast, with the preferment (biga) being 40% of flour and hydration of 73%. Other than the level of preferment there seems to be little difference in formula or procedure however Ms Field describes the pugliese as being quite large, being "baked in huge one or two kilo rounds". As far as I can tell your formula has a hydration of 81% and a preferment of 60% so you're certainly in and around the upper range for either of the two formulas. Going by your results, particularly the crumb, your formula looks well suited to making either a pugliese or ciabattta,  and especially if you get a chance to bake them in the high heat of your WFO sometime. I'll be looking forward to that bake if/when you post it.

Cheers,

Franko

varda's picture
varda

Franko,   Interesting that there is no durum in Italian Baker formula.    Wonder if that's typical.     I had calculated my prefermented flour as 17% as I was only counting the seed starter.    But of course I did preferment more than that - just not for very long.    Thanks so much for the additional info.  -Varda

 

Franko's picture
Franko

Varda, I wondered if no durum is typical as well so did a very brief search finding 2 recipes, one from the Forno Bravo site and the other from King Arthur neither of which call for durum flour. Not that that means no durum is typical for Pugliese but it does seem that way so far. I'll look around some more and let you know if I find anything interesting. Whatever you do don't change a thing with your formula, it's a keeper!

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

is and has always been  the durum granary of italy. A pugliese bread without durum wheat semolina is quite uncommon (although not inexistent).

varda's picture
varda

TFL is right.   Thanks Nico.  -Varda

varda's picture
varda

I just assumed that Pugliese and durum were as tight as PB&J.   And of course I can always try a more traditional Pugliese (assuming that there is such a thing) without changing this formula.   -Varda

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Varda,

 I'm glad that Nico weighed in with his local knowledge to clarify whether durum flour is used in Pane Pugliese and was unaware that Puglia is the main source of durum wheat in Italy. That being the case it's hard to imagine durum not being an essential component of the bread, but just from what I've seen on the net there does seem to be a number of various interpretations for it.  I was able to find a few more recipes (translated from Italian) on the Artisan site, some of which include durum and some that don't, but hopefully they'll be of interest to you.

Franko 

varda's picture
varda

And I didn't know that site.   Thank you for pointing it out.  -Varda

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Now you know why we call you the "Crumby Baker" around here.  Just spectaculat - really!  Yhis time it's possibly even super duper.  My apprentice likes you less now -  after I showed her the picture of the crumb and asked 'Why can't you do that?'

I'm pretty sure she would bite you in the ankle if you were here .....and then blame me for it!

Happy baking Varda

varda's picture
varda

I have a new apprentice.   When he's not out hunting big game, he gives me a hand in the kitchen.   Ha, in my dreams.    Instead he nips at me, and pins me in the corner.   Oy vey.  Thanks for your comments DA and happy baking to you.  -Varda

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

If I had just seen the photo, I'd have guessed it was a txfarmer croissant.  WOW, talk about lighter than air.  One totally indulgent bread evidencing some very deft dough handling to be sure.  Zero fiber, total pleasure.  I'll take two.  And just in case your question to Franko was legit - Puglia is a region in Italy, and Pugliese (pool-yay-zay) is anything or anyone from there.  But I assume you knew that right?

Happy baking, despite today's nightmare out your way.

Tom

varda's picture
varda

but sometimes I'm actually as ignorant as I sound.   Remember the belt sander?   (I'm still trying to convince my husband to build me a sieve agitation device - no luck yet.)    

Yes, we will call this bread an indulgence and leave it at that.   Onward to Floyd's Hokkaido bread.  

Thanks for commenting.

-Varda

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

And it even tastes good?

I don't know about trying to butter it. I'd think more of something with a yummy sauce to soak up. 

David

varda's picture
varda

Inasmuch as it tastes at all, given its insubstantial nature, it tastes good.   And I agree about the sauce.   But if no sauce happens to be available (say perhaps because one has spent all one's kitchen energy baking, and nothing left for cooking) a nice olive oil will do.   -Varda

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Keeping your starter sweet made this pugliese delicate and tasty.  If you would put a dab of honey on this one.  It may attract some bees ; )  They could get very cozy in the gorgeous crumb. 

Your discription of the balloon slinging dough into the bowl was perfect!

Sylvia

varda's picture
varda

Hi Sylvia,   I didn't want to upset you by making a starter version of this bread sour, so I was very careful.    I hadn't tried honey - now there's a thought.   Thanks so much.  -Varda

jefklak's picture
jefklak

Looks amazing, I would love to try this but I'm a bit afraid of the high hydratation levels. 
I don't have a mixer and always mix by hand. Is this doable for a dough like this? ("Mixing" high hydra% breads = turning in the bowl). 

varda's picture
varda

Jefklak,   I think you could do this by hand.    Take a big bowl and a big wooden spoon and beat away until the dough gets rubbery.    It will still be sticky though.   I'm guessing that you should keep the spoon wet.   I personally wouldn't try this as I was pitchforking my compost pile the other day and my arm is very upset, but no reason you couldn't.    Good luck and thank you for your comments.  -Varda

breadforfun's picture
breadforfun

Just exquisite! Great baking, what more can I say?

-Brad

varda's picture
varda

Thank you Brad.    This loaf was light as a feather and must have floated away because it seems to be gone.    -Varda

 

grind's picture
grind

I bet air never tasted that good (wink).

varda's picture
varda

Thank you grind. -Varda

Alpana's picture
Alpana

Is this bread or a bite of fairyland? If breads could be termed as ethereal, this one would lead the pack.

varda's picture
varda

I was happy with how it came out, and very surprised when I took it out of the oven how light it was for its size. -Varda

bakingbadly's picture
bakingbadly

Porous, translucent, and mesmerizing. Just beautiful.

Thanks for the post, Varda. I have it bookmarked for future references.

Cheers,

Zita

varda's picture
varda

Zita, I'm sure that you will come up with some surprising variations which I look forward to seeing. Thanks so much. -Varda

isand66's picture
isand66

Just added my version of your great formula a few minutes ago.  Thanks again for sharing this great bread.  I've already eaten half the loaf myself for breakfast and for a marinated skirt steak sandwich with cheese for lunch. 

I think I will have to try this one with no yeast at all and see if it comes out the same or different with just the SD levain/poolish.

Ian

varda's picture
varda

Hey Ian,   Thinking that without yeast you might want to go with bread flour instead of the french flour you used this time?    Not sure of course.   -Varda

isand66's picture
isand66

Thats the fun of it all....hopefully I will have chance to try soon and will let you know when I do.

Ian

bikeprof's picture
bikeprof

Hi Varda,

I'm hoping you'll jump back in on this thread...I'm taking on pugliese and wanted to give your formula a go, but am not understanding your notion for the Poolish/Starter (both ingredients and process - a 2 step build???) .  If you could clarify it for me, that would be most appreciated...

varda's picture
varda

Hi.   In this case, I started with 65g ripe white starter (the seed) and fed it 45g flour, 40g water and let it ripen for a short time before using.   The original starter was 67% hydration, and I increased hydration with the feeding.   I wouldn't call this a 2 step build as my starter is fed twice a day.   The spreadsheet may be confusing because the leftmost column shows the breakdown into flour and water of the seed starter.   Second column is the feeding.   Third column is the total of flour and water between the seed and the feeding.  Seems intuitively obvious to me, but no one else I guess.   In any case, hope that's clear, and good luck with the Pugliese.