The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

First try at Pugliese

dwfender's picture

First try at Pugliese

This was my first attempt at a Pugliese. I have percentages if anyone is interested. The dough had some great flavor. At 70 percent hydration I was hoping for a slightly more open crumb but I think I handled the dough too much when transferring to the baking stone. Any suggestions from what you guys see what be appreciated. 


dabrownman's picture

for a first shot.  So not to handle much I shape into a boule, flour it, proof in a basket that is cloth lined and liberally floured with rice flour and AP mixed.  It goes into the basket seam side up and proof the whole shebang in a trash can liner.  Then I get a piece of parchment slightly larger than the basket and put it on top of the proofed bread.  Then I put a peel or a cutting board on top and turn the whole thing over so the bread is on the parchment sitting on the peel.  No slashing required - just slide the bread on the parchment onto the stone and steam away. I get great lift and holes this way.  It is also one of my favoite breads too.

This is David Snyder's method called Pugliese Capriosso and you can find the entire method on his blog by searching for it.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

That's not bad for a first try.

I like how the loaves 'kissed' in the oven. If it's a defect, it's a neat one.

70% hydration is a bit on the low side for pugliese, which can go 80%+ (if you're brave enough). The higher the hydration, the bigger the holes, but they never really get as big as those in ciabatta, which is made with a stronger flour and equal or greater hydration.

Did you use the extra fine durum flour or semolina? It comes out better with the former (which really is just semolina ground to near powder), but it's a hard flour to source in the states. Some recipes blend in white flour, but not sure how authentic that is, if it is at all.

You chose a scored bâtard shape over the more traditional round/boule scored with a # design. Try the traditional shape and see how it comes out. Try scoring one loaf and leaving another unscored. (I usually don't score them).

How long did you ferment it? 4 hours? 5? Might try reducing fermentation time if you think the density is a result of overproofing (i.e. hole structure collapses, results in a dense crumb).

It's a tasty bread, ja? I like it more than ciabatta (and it's not as fussy as the Beast of Altamura).

dwfender's picture

The kiss was completely by accident. It did look pretty neat. I wonder if it affected the rise at all. 

I didn't use either durum or semolina. My recipe called for bread flour although I have both of those flours on hand. Both excellent quality too, so if you have a recipe I would love to share. 

I did try a batard. Mainly because I wasn't sure which shape was the most authentic. Again I followed the recipe and what I saw in pictures online and mostly were batards. I scored hoping for a nice ear but alas I have still failed in my scoring skills! 

The biga I fermented overnight at room temperature. About 11 hours. I then mixed the final dough and fermented for 1.5hours at around 63 degrees with a fold after thirty min. Pre-shaped and bench rest for 15 minutes. Final shaped and fermented for 35 minutes. The recipe called for another 10-25 minutes of proofing but the bread was starting to loose its shape and looked very well proofed. I transfered the dough to a peel with a piece of cardboard and it looked great on the peal. After scoring and trying to shake the bread off the peal and hitting the stone, however, the bread had lost some volme which makes me think it was over proofed. The bread baked in total for about 30 minutes. I started it at 500 with steam and lowered it to 425 after I was done steaming. 

The percentages are as follows:


Bread Flour       100%
Water                 50%
Instant Yeast     .04%

Final Dough:

Bread Flour       100%
Water                  90%
Salt                       4%
Instant Yeast      .4%
Biga                   150%

Mix with the improved method. Ferment for about an hour and a half with a fold at 30 min. and etc according to the above.