The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Altamura-style "High Form"

tpassin's picture

Altamura-style "High Form"

I revisited the all-durum Altamura-style bread yesterday.  This kind of loaf has popped up here on TFL from time to time.  It's one of those DOP protected names so you can't actually call it Pane Di Altamura bread unless you are in the right part of Italy, use local flour and a wood-fired oven, etc. So "Altamura-style".

Several shapes are made with the same dough, of which the "high form" and "priest's hat" are the most unusual.  I prefer the high form, so that's what I made. The baking schedule is a little unusual, too.  It's shaped into a preform and proofed covered only for 30 minutes or so (I used 45).  Then it's turned into the final loaf and baked immediately. I followed that plan for this loaf.

It's a durum sourdough and uses durum flour from Baker's Authority. You can find links to videos on how it's made online and here on TFL.  This bake was at 76% hydration, and another time I might lower it a little.  This loaf used 500g durum flour and ended up weighing 875g, rather larger than I usually make.

Pictures, here we go!

I'm happy with the crumb.  Sometimes with this kind of dough the crumb can be a little gummy but not this time.

I shared the loaf with our local bread bakery (run by people of Italian-American background) and they got very excited by it.

BrianShaw's picture

That’s really nice looking. I love the taste of “Altamura” bread. Did you use a glaze on this one?

tpassin's picture

Initial steam but no glaze.

Abe's picture

Tipo = Type or Sort [of]

Every so often I go through the same phase. 

Nicely done and a good shaping. I would have extended the ferment but that is my own personal preference. If you haven't yet tried this... toast and dip into EVOO.

tpassin's picture

Thanks, Abe.  I did give it an 8-hour bulk ferment, during which the dough rose about 2 1/2 times.

Toasted with butter so far, probably EEVO next.

foodforthought's picture

…or ADY? Any poolish/biga? Every so often, I’m tempted to munge my 50% Semola (80% hydration) ciabatta into 100% Semola. Been a while but that crumb color and flavor are fairly seductive.

tpassin's picture

I started with my 100% hydration white flour starter.  I took a bit of it and refreshed it with durum through four cycles.  Then I used it at 30% (baker's percent, of course). I seriously doubt it needs that many refresh cycles to be effectively a durum starter.

No other leavening.  I thought it was rather slow developing but I don't mind that because I have found that the longer the flour is hydrated, the better the bread tastes, apart from the effects of fermentation - and a long ferment is good for flavor, too.

mwilson's picture

You've done the "u sckuanète" high form well. Interestingly the alto form can be done another way but it seems a little more complicated and requires a cut to create the fold.

Replicating this bread at home definitely presents some challenges.

I like how this bread can be shaped and then go straight in the oven!

Well done.


tpassin's picture

Thanks, Michael!

One of the things that I had to get used to is that the durum flour (or at least this brand) seems to take a long time to absorb the water. When first mixed, the dough seems too dry and it's hard to get all the dry flour wetted.  But after a rest the dough gets stretchy and sticky as if it's overhydrated.