The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My first Pugliese

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OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

My first Pugliese

This is my first ever attempt at Pugliese, but it won't be my last.  This was a challenging high hydration dough from RLB's The Bread Bible.  I used the flours she proposes, and stuck to her instructions as closely as my equipment would allow.  I baked dirctly on unglazed quarry tiles with only a dusting of semolina, and using my new Super Peel for insertion, which allowed me to be very gentle with the dough in this step. Nonetheless, the crumb is not very open as you can see from the pictures.  I attribute this to rough handling during shaping.  I will be much more gentle next time, and less insistent that the dough go exactly where I want it to.  I used too traditional a shaping approach with this very slack dough, and degassed the dough too much in the process.  The crust is delightful however.  It is not too thin, with a good "tooth" and an intriguing light nutty flavor.  I like the crust color, but will bake a bit hotter next time to try to get a darker finish.  The crumb, although more closed than it should be, is very light and tender, with a creamy soft bite, and very good flavor.  After reading more posts here on TFL about this bread, I will move toward durum flour next time as well, for the flavor that imparts.  I've also read that some use higher gluten flours for this bread but I don't think I will go there.  At least, not initially that is.


So, here are some shots of the loaf and crumb, beginning with a thank you to Rose Levy Beranbaum for her wonderful book...


 


And the loaf...



 


and finally that almost dissappointing crumb...



I say "almost" dissappointing because I know this is a difficult bread to make well, and I did not get a brick, so it's not all bad!


OldWoodenSpoon

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

  Did I understand you did not use duram flour?  The duram flour definately is wonderful in this recipe. RLB Pugliese is one my very favorite breads.  I love everything about it.  I always 3 X the recipe to get two nice size boules. 


Sylvia

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

but thank you for the kind words!  Your posts on the benefits of durum flour in this bread are responsible for my interest.  I will try durum on a future bake, but first I have to get some!  I started with RLB's formula straight up this time out, as is my habit when trying a new bread recipe.  Now that I have a reference point I will feel comfortable making some adjustments in the future.


OldWoodenSpoon