The Fresh Loaf

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At last... a Pane di Altamura breakthrough

Anonymous baker's picture
Anonymous baker (not verified)

At last... a Pane di Altamura breakthrough

500g durum flour

330g warm water

12.5g salt

100g starter @ 66% hydration

 

Convert your starter by taking off a little and feeding it durum flour + 66% water. After a few feeds continue onto the following final feed...

12g starter + 40g warm water + 60g durum flour

Allow to mature for 12-14 hours then continue onto the recipe. 

 

1. Autolyse 500g durum flour + 330g warm water for one hour. 

2. Add 100g starter and fold a few times then sprinkle 12.5g salt over the dough then squeeze and fold till fully incorporated. Done this way to keep them separate. Rest for 10 minutes.

3. Knead the dough for 20 minutes till gluten is fully formed and the dough is silky smooth. 

4. Bulk Ferment at room temperature for about 4 hours (until doubled)

5. Pre-shape into a round and bench rest for 30 minutes. 

6. Pre-heat the oven to 230C.

7. Final Shape and bench rest for 15 min. 

8. Bake until hard dark crust forms. About 30-40 minutes. 

9. Leave to cool. 

10. Enjoy! 

 

Best tasting one yet. Lots of flavour. 

 

IMPORTANT EDIT: while i did get a lovely bread i was following the DOP to some extent. For the bulk ferment i did find room for my own interpretation as the DOP specifies "atleast" 90min, hence the 4 hours i did. But the shaping and final proofing seemed very specific. Gaetano has just informed me that this should be non specific too. Please see his comment below... http://www.thefreshloaf.com/comment/377611#comment-377611

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

wish we could do more than look at the pictures.!

Well done and much more happy baking

Leslie

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

I've heard about this failure bread and I've been trying to recreate it without ever tasting it Lol. However, whatever i have tried it's always turned out very plain tasting. Was wondering what i was missing. Finally I've produced a flavoursome Pane di Altamura. Salty crust with a moist sweeter crumb. Very pleased with this one. 

inumeridiieri's picture
inumeridiieri

Well done, i'm happy to see your bred.

Now you have to eat it with olive oil and tomatoes :-)

Happy baking :-)

Gaetano

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

Your shaping video really helped me. 

That looks delicious! Nice idea and I'm sure it really brings out the best in this bread. 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

marinated home grown cherry tomatoes - red husky, black Russian and yellow - just delicious

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

that sounds and looks delicious! 

I haver never eaten pane di altamura so it now has to join my list of must do bakes.... now to track down the right flour ...

Leslie

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

If it says "Rimacinata" it's the right flour aka re-milled semolina. If you can't find the perfect match then go for the finest semolina you can find, also called "Semolata". 

It's not an easy bread to get just right. Mine have tasted like cold pasta until today. Must've done something right. I think it's the really mature starter and reading the dough properly. 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

It was a long slog and an awful lot of flour to get it right.

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

Nice crumb.. can taste it from here.. well done!

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

Perseverance prevailed. 

joc1954's picture
joc1954

Looks very good. My grandchildren like this type of bread very much as it is the only "white" (actually yellow) bread I make, all others contain at least 10% of whole grain flour.. I even got a gold award for this type of bread on last evaluation but I as I have never tasted original "Pane di Altamura" I don't know how far away the taste is. I am using similar recipe with 70% hydration and I use my mixer for kneading it. Maybe my starter was never so mature as yours so I will definitely try to use your approach. I still have several kilos of semola rimacinata on stock. 

From your recipe it looks like you did just 15 minutes final proof, correct?

Happy baking Abe,

Joze

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

The timings are unusual. It's taken me sometime to get my head around them and I'm still not sure if i understand it fully. The DOP is specific... Pre-shape and rest for 30min, final shape and rest for 15min, bake. The bulk ferment specifies "atleast" 90min. So for the bulk ferment i did however long i think it needed but found no wiggle room for the shaping and final proof. The crumb is supposed to be dense so perhaps the seemingly too little final proof is fine. Don't degas too much while ore and final shaping and get some steam into the oven to encourage full oven spring 

I must admit that my durum starter was sitting in the fridge for a week since it was last built and fed. Was going to do a few feeds but only managed one hence the 12-14 hours. But i do believe a very mature starter benefits this bread. 

This is my first Altamura that didn't taste of cold pasta. Very pleased with that! More flavour. Have just tried it toasted and it's even better. Next try is toasted with tomatoes and olive oil.

 

inumeridiieri's picture
inumeridiieri

Some considerations: DOP disciplinary is not real...

Many bakers have told me...i'm sorry but it's the truth :-(

Time is not real and I fear that is also used yeast in the production ...but i'm not sure about that.

My advice: use common sense :-) just be inspired to regulate but not follow him without logic

Gaetano

 

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

The timings were very confusing. I did my own thing for the bulk ferment but it seemed very specific for the final proofing. I've even seen videos on this. But it would make sense if yeast was added. 

I shall take all your advice and try this again! 

Much appreciated. 

inumeridiieri's picture
inumeridiieri

You are right. Bulk fermentation is crucial, for me doubling volume is ok, after divide and preshape, rest and shape when  final proof is at 70% of volume, but is my opinion.

Gaetano

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

of durum and the sweetness is unique.  You got everything just right with this one - crumb, crust and the final fold just right. Well done and happy baking Abe

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

Took a lot of tries and while I've had some successes i wasn't impressed with the taste. Of course i have never tried and Altamura bread so have nothing to compare it too but didn't think what i was producing would be worth the fuss. This is my first really tasty one. So while i still don't know how close I am, i am pleased with it.

Elsasquerino's picture
Elsasquerino

You must spend hours, experimenting and overcoming adversity. I wish i had more time to play with these more challenging breads, i usually only bake one day a week. It must be a great feeling to nail something that's been troublesome, using your own eye and feel for the dough. It looks a great loaf, i can't even imagine the taste but it's on my list to discover.

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

I've only improved by just going for it. Dough smells fear and you've just got to dive in there and try. 

I too only bake once a week but have been doing so for a while now. Every so often something falls into place. Just practice, practice, practice...

hreik's picture
hreik

Looking loaf.  You must be very proud.  How wonderful !

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

I am certainly proud of this loaf. Not much left of it.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

A lovely looking crumb.  As you say that you finally reached a flavor(u)r profile that kinda nailed it - is it something that just outshone previous efforts flavor-wise, or have you ever had the opportunity to taste the real thing and this is in comparison?  !00% durum breads certainly have a coloration and beauty all their own.  Congrats, alan 

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

I have never tasted Pane di Altamura but all my previous attempts have resulted in a bread that tastes like plain cold pasta. Nothing special. I was wondering if it was supposed to taste like that but thought it wasn't special enough for such a famous bread.

 

"It is the best bread in the world"

                                      - Horace

 

This bake was the first time I've gotten something nice. Don't know if it's perfect or not (I highly doubt it is) but a step-up from cold pasta leftovers. A salty crust with a sweet crumb. Has more character and depth of flavour. I must've done something right but time will tell if I can replicate it.

Thanks to Gaetano I now know I can vary the final proofing too, to further perfect the recipe.

rebakatt's picture
rebakatt

  Just want to make sure I'm on the right track.  I've started converting my starter and, to be honest, I'm not sure it's going too well.  Doesn't have the same nice honeycomb gluten structure I'm used to seeing in my regular sourdough starter.  I realize this is a very different type of flour so I'm guessing maybe this is normal?  I'm hoping to bake on Saturday... hopefully things will improve by then!  Any guidance is appreciated.  Thanks!

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

Best of luck. Yes the flour is unique and you might experience different qualities to what you're used to. If you haven't worked with this flour before it might take some practice to get a feel for it. My successful bake took many trials so what you see above didn't come overnight. My advice is to take my timings as a guideline only. The final proofing seems a bit short because I was following what has now been explained as misguided and rather go by feel. The old adage to watch the dough and not the clock is always true! 

Here is another recipe with AP flour (or bread flour if you prefer) and durum wheat. Easier, well explained and very tasty. The only addition I'll add is the final proofing is done in the fridge! She starts off with a mature 50% hydration starter and then goes on to the two Levain builds (doughs one and two) before the final dough. Another one for you to try and very nice indeed! 

Pane cafone (Neapolitan peasant bread) - original Italian recipe










 

rebakatt's picture
rebakatt

Thanks for the tips.  I'm going to give it a go - trying to adhere to the DOP guidelines as closely as possible.  I was in Puglia about three years ago.... a bit before I had developed my penchant for making bread... and I even visited a bakery where they made Altamura bread!  Oh how I wish I had paid more attention and asked all the questions I now have running around in my mind!!!  Wish me luck!

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

And let me know the outcome. An Italian friend told me the DOP guidelines are a bit misleading and is lacking in detail so by all means follow it but allow yourself some flexibility if your dough needs it. 

Durum wheat ferments fast so watch out for that. Otherwise the only way forward is to try it and see. You can let me know if it's up to standard to the bread you've tasted. I'm jealous and would love to visit that region some day. 

rebakatt's picture
rebakatt

I will definitely keep you posted!  Thanks for the tip that durum ferments quickly.... good to know as it's pretty warm where I am (Philadelphia).  I don't want to stick it in the fridge tho as I'm hoping to bake Saturday and I want to build the starter's strength.  It's a balancing act between doing what will work best and not wasting this flour which was not cheap!!!!  (like $12+ for 2kg!)  Yikes!  

rebakatt's picture
rebakatt

Thanks so much for your guidance on this.  I'm pretty happy with how my very first Altamura loaf turned out.  I've got a LONG way to go with the shaping.  Been searching for videos on how to shape these loaves.  Practice, practice, practice!   I was happy with the crumb and it tasted wonderful.  So ... besides the shaping aspect.. I can't be too unhappy!

    

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

It's the most nerve wrecking part of the whole process. I have taken the fermentation right to the outer limits. Then it came to shaping. Got it wrong so tried again but the dough wouldn't go back even when I tried to degas it a little. Each time the structure got more compromised until it was just a mess.  

You've got a nice crumb there and glad you love the taste. Try toasting it. Really toasts up well.