The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


ericb's picture


My mother recently bought a loaf labeled "Pugliese" from a local bakery, and has asked me to try and bake it. I don't have any grandiose notions of matching the bread exactly, but I would like to give it a shot.

In these forums, I have seen a recipe that calls for durum flour and potato water. Elsewhere on the internet, I have seen a fairly straightforward "lean" dough for Pugliese. The common denominator seems to be a high-hydration (70%, maybe?), but not as "holey" as, say, a ciabatta.

So, what exactly is "Pugliese?" Is durum flour necessary? (I'm not sure I can find that easily around here). How is it different from a standard French bread? Any recommended recipes?

Thanks for your help!




Soundman's picture

Hi Eric,

Check out the recipes on, link below. Durum flour does appear to be a factor in some of the recipes, but it varies between 20 and 50 percent, so I guess it's up to the baker.

Hope this helps,


Liam's picture


I've made this and it's great!

According to Rose, Pugliese is great straight out of the oven, an hour later and the next day.  It's a wet dough that uses a biga (a starter of sorts)

Brinna's Pugliese (RLB the Bread Bible p.346)


1/8 tsp instant yeast

room temp water 3 fl oz (6 tsp)

Unbleached all purpose flour 1/2c

pumpernickel (coarse rye flour) 1/3 c

salt 1/4 tsp

6 hours or up to 3 days ahead: In a small bowl combine ingredients in the order listed. Mix with wooden spoon for about 3 fmin ot till it is very smooth and pulls away from the bowl.  Cover with cling-wrap and set aside until doubled and filled with bubbles (about 6 hours at room temp) stir down and use or refrigerate.


room temp water  3/4 liquid cup

unbleached all purpose flour 1 1/2 cups plus 1 1/2 tbspn (8 oz)

instant yeast 3/4 tsp

biga - about 3/4 cup (7 oz)

salt 3/4 tsp

Put flour, yeast, water, Biga in mixer bowl and mix for about 1 min with dough hook on low (#2 on kitchenaid mixer) until the flour is  moistened enough to form a rough shape.  Scrape down bowl; cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand for 20 min.

Sprinkle on the salt and knead dough on medium (#4 Kitchenaid) for about 7 minutes, the dough will be very sticky

Using oiled scraper/spatula, scrape the dough into a 2 qt bowl, lightly grease the top.  Cover with lid or plastic wrap.  Allow to double (ideally at room temp of  about 75 degrees) - about 1 1/2 hours.

Shape dough and let it rise. 

Turn dough onto lightly floured counter and press down on it to gently flatten slightly.  Round dough into a ball dusting with as little flour as possible to keep from sticking and KEEPING AS MUCH AIR IN THE DOUGH AS POSSIBLE.  Set dough upside down into an 8 " banneton or a floured towel set in a colander.  Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let rise till doubled (about 1 hour)

Place a cast iron skillet or sheet pan on the floor of the oven.  Place baking stone on lowest shelf of oven.   Preheat oven at 450 deg F  for one hour.

Support the bread when flipping it over gently onto peel or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Take care not to deflate dough.  Make several 1/4 - 1/2 inch slashes.  Toss 1/2 cup of ice cubes into pan on oven floor.  Be sure not to make any contact between ice and oven door glass!!  Gently slide dough from peel or (still on) with parchment paper onto baking stone, quickly close oven. 

Bake for 15 min, then turn heat down to 400 and continue baking until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean or internal temp reads about 204 degrees F. 

Cool bread and enjoy! Or cool a little and slather with butter and enjoy or.....

* for best flavour development allow biga to ferment in a cool place (about 65 deg) for 12 - 24 hours.  It will not deflate even at 24 hours.

* The addition of the pumpernickel gives it a little more acidity resulting in a slight mildly sour flavour and more open crumb, while the small amount of salt in the big slows down the action of the yeast slightly - as pumpernickel flour ferments faster than wheat dough.  The biga only doubles rather than triples as the pumpernickel flour has less gluten therefore is less stretchy.

jimrich17's picture


You might want to check out two recipes in Carol Field's The Italian Baker-

One for Pane Pugliese ( Puglia is the region at the heel of the Italian boot ) which is a high-hydration loaf made with unbleached all-purpose flour. The other is for a Pane Tipo Altamura ( also from Puglia ) but using durum flour. Both breads use a biga .