The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pane de Altadura.

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australian artisan's picture
australian artisan

Pane de Altadura.

Today we made Pane de Altadura for the second time.

It ended up rather flat. Any ideas on how to fix that?

Made with this recipe:

White Sour Starter (firm) 71%
Semolina Flour                100%
Water                               81%

*Final Dough*

Biga                                  34%
Semolina Flour                 100%
Water                                70%
Salt                                    3%

It was mixed on slow for around 12 minutes in a planetary mixer.
Bulk fermented for 3 hours with 3 folds.
Proofed for 1 hour
Baked on 250 for 10 minutes then 220 for 20 minutes.

I am getting a camera soon so I will be able to post some pictures but anyway it came out super flat so I will try again in the next few days and let you know what happens.


FueledByCoffee's picture

In my experience durum flour creates an extremely extensible dough.  It might be best to blend it with some more traditional bread flour to help give your bread more structure.  Also, are you baking on a hearth oven, on a pan?  Are you proofing in a couche?  I'm not familiar with Pane de Altadura, what physical dimensions are you trying to achieve?  Is it Ciabatta/Rustic bread style, or are you giving it a firm shape?  I think we need to know more and need some pictures to really give you more help...

australian artisan's picture
australian artisan

Ok gotcha,

We use a proofer to proof the bread. It is set on 29 Degrees Celsius and we try to control the humidity at 80% but it is a crappy old thing. We bake using a Rotel 2 Oven, its a big 8 door bread oven. We have to bake on metal trays, I use iron trays for the Altadura and we also have some other trays that are coated with silicone.


PMcCool's picture

I looked at Leader's formula for this bread.  He also uses 70% hydration but no biga.  You may want to look at his process to see if there is anything you want to try out for your bread. 


Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

If you google for 


you  will get to the process description by the EU regulation commission.

Their processuses 20% biga, bulk rise "At least" 90 min, second rise 30 min. third (!) rise 15 min

They don't give a proofing temperature, but state a water temperature of 15C.

I used the process outlined there a few times with good success.

I hope this helps,


FueledByCoffee's picture

okaay, for the record I don't know anything about this bread and have never made it.  From your description it sounds like your final proof is free form on the sheet pan?  Perhaps it needs to be in a basket of some sort to lend structure to the dough...Also Baking on a sheet pan won't do you any favors but if you have to proof and bake like that giving a firmer shape might give you a better result.  When it's on a pan the heat has to transfer from the deck to the pan to the bread instead of straight to the bread when baking directly on the hearth.  So there is a bit of a delay in the heat transfer which will rob you of some of your upward spring.  So hard to say without seeing the product and understanding the process better though.  

dmsnyder's picture

You list semolina flour as the final dough ingredient. Pane di Altamura should be made with fine durum flour, not the coarser semolina. That makes a big difference in the dough consistency and gluten structure.

For reference, there are numerous videos on of the process and appearance of bread made in Altamura. The loaves have enough strength to proof without the support of a basket. 

Happy baking!


suave's picture

It really does not hurt that it is made at 60% hydration.

FueledByCoffee's picture

ahh, altamura, that sure helps. Cool videos on youtube, some very nice loaves, i'll have to make something like that sometime soon.

australian artisan's picture
australian artisan

Thankyou David and Juergen, both of your comments helped me out a lot.

I will look into where I can get some Durum flour and try again. I would like to make it the traditional way so those guidelines will help.

Happy Baking yall.