I have a few questions about making grano arso:
1) wich flour should I use (wheat or semolina)?
2) Temperature to cook (some people say 300F others 400F).
I believe it originates from Puglia where the local wheat would be Durum. So I'd go for Durum Wheat Flour. Same stuff as semolina but re-milled and extra fine.
There's lot's of discussion about semolina vs. durum flour but it's down to the grind.
If you can't find durum flour then semolina will do but make sure it's fine and not coarse.
Bread of the Puglia region has a history of being very dark and having a thick crust (this served a practical purpose a long time ago, as the bread lasted several days before going bad). Also, if you're familiar with the Italian language, grano arso literally translates to "burnt grain". So, I think it's clear: bake at a high temperature :)
just about any whole grain can be used. I’ve used several ancient grains like emmer and spelt as well as semolina (coarse ground durum) and whole durum. The driver for me is flavor and the smoky flavor overpowers any subtleties of the grains. The heat basically destroys the gluten and other desirable bread making properties so I don’t exceed 15-20% of the flour. I bake the grains at 400*F until they just start to smoke, about 15 min., but watch them closely because they can get overdone very quickly. I posted something earlier this year about it.
I live in a Boston suburb now so it's probably more common here but the local pasta store that makes its own pasta is happy to sell me durum flour by the pound. I can now use it with wreckless abandon! Yay!
Thank you all!!!!