Pugliese – Not For The Faint of Heart

If you have time on your hands, as many of us do during shelter in place, pugliese is an amazing bread to try. The recipe I used is an 83% hydration. (Think wet sticky, sticky, how-can-this-dough-ever-be-bread?) The technique was so difficult and messy I was unable to take any pictures other than the final product.

Recently I have been baking breads that require a poolish (French) or biga (Italian) pre-ferment. This is fine, as long as you remember to make it the day prior to actually baking. This recipe uses an hour long autolyse, which happens to be just long enough to go to the golf driving range and work on hitting my drive with a draw. I can do a fade but to draw the ball is still beyond me.

Pugliese exhibits a soft, open crumb with a marvelously chewy crust. If we stay SIP much longer, I can see this on the table often. This bread may have the biggest holes of any bread I have ever made.

The recipe below is almost identical to the reference posted, although I made a few edits. I also made one round loaf and two small, think personalized, loaves. Next time I will try two nice elongated loaves. I do not have a baking stone large enough for two large, plus one round loaf. I used a French bread pan for the elongated loaves and a heavy cast iron skillet for the round loaf. They all worked beautifully.

I don’t have any duram flour, but did happen to have some of the soft wheat flour Tito “00.” It’s a super refined flour I bought it to make crackers and is a good substitute for duram flour.

Pugliese, High Hydration Italian Loaf


This is approx 84% total hydration dough. The recipe comes from Rose Levy Beranbaum ‘the bread bible’


  • 225 g – All purpose flour
  • 3/16th tsp – 0.6 g instant yeast
  • 177 g – water, at room temperature (70F to 90F)
    • 213 g – All Purpose flour
    • 213 g – Duram Flour – or Soft Wheat Flour Tipo “00”
    • 1 ½ tsp – 4.8 g Instant Yeast
    • 15 g – salt
    • 354 g – water, at room temperature (70F to 90F) about 12 oz


    6 hours or up to 3 days ahead, make the biga. Use the “Ultimate Flavor” method (let the biga to ferment for 12-24 hours at 55-65 deg, then store in the fridge.)
  • Combine all the biga ingredients in a large bowl and stir the mixture until smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl…3 to 5 minutes. Should be sticky or tacky enough to cling to your fingers. Cover the bowl, with oiled plastic or lid and set aside until tripled and filled with bubbles..about 6 hours. Stir it down and use it, or refrigerate it up to 3 days.
  • In a large bowl, dissolve the biga in the water… a few little undissolved pieces are ok.
  • Whisk together flours, yeast. Add salt and whisk again.
  • Add the flour mixture to the biga and water and mix until wet and combined.
  • Autolyse (self digest) for approx 50 minutes
  • Stretch and fold 3 times on a lightly floured surface. (Stretch the dough away from you then fold like a letter towards you. Repeat for left, right and towards you.)
  • Repeat stretch and fold 3 or 4 times -30 minutes apart,
  • After dough forms good gluten strands, form a ball, and cover, letting it rise in a (ideally 75F to 80F) until tripled…about 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven and stone 500F.
  • 1 hour before baking pour the dough out of the bowl onto lightly floured surface…cut it in half.. and with very few gentle motions pull it over itself into a rough ball. Gently pick it up and drop it seam side up into the floured banneton. Sprinkle top lightly with flour, and cover with oiled plastic wrap. Allow to rise until it has increased by about 1 1/2 times, to 1 1/2 hours. It will just start to push up the plastic.
  • Bake with steam turning down the oven after the first five minutes and then continue baking with steam for 12 minutes total at 450F or adjusting your ovens temperature to bake the loaves for approx another 20 minutes, until deep golden brown….leave loaves in off oven with door ajar for 5 to 10 minutes

Crusty Cloche White Bread

Eventually we will no longer be sheltering in place. It will be exciting to roll out of the garage door, as the front door will no longer be large enough for me to fit through. I may need a bigger car, or maybe a flat-bed. Enough whining, this is about a new bread recipe.

KAF does it again. This is a crusty, chewy white bread that is delicious. My go to white sandwich bread has been Gold Medals recipe, but this may be the new standard. Even with the lower gluten AP flour this bread is chewy and soft. I had my quality assurance slice for dessert tonight and can only imagine my PB&J sandwich with it tomorrow.

It’s an easy recipe and can be made in a about 3 hours and as today is Monday, which is not a golf day, what else is there to do? Try it. It’s worth it.

Crusty Cloche White Bread


• 1 ¼ cups (283g) lukewarm water
• 2 teaspoons instant yeast
• 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
• 2 tablespoons (25g) olive oil
• 3 ½ cups (421g) AP Flour


  1. Mix and knead everything together to make a smooth, slightly sticky dough.
  2. Cover the dough, and let it rise for 1 to 1 ½ hours, until almost doubled.
  3. Gently deflate the dough, shape it into a ball, place in a cloche baker, and cover with the lid.
  4. Let the dough rise for 30 to 45 minutes, until it’s almost doubled in size.
  5. Slash the top of the loaf several times, cover with the lid, and place the cloche in a cold oven.
  6. Set the oven temperature to 400°F; bake the bread for 35 minutes, covered.
  7. Remove the lid, and bake the bread until it’s golden brown, another 5 to 10 minutes. The internal temperature should be 205-210 degrees.
  8. Take it out of the oven, and transfer the bread to a rack to cool.

Deep Pan Pizza

I neglected to post this recipe for then deep pan pizza I made last week. This is another KAF recipe which is one of my favorite sources for all things baked.

Part of the beauty of this recipe is that it can be made up to 72 hours before baking. The other major part of this recipe is that it makes an outstanding pizza!

Pan Pizza


• 2 cups (240g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast or active dry yeast
• 3/4 cup (170g) lukewarm water
• 1 tablespoon (13g) olive oil + 1 1/2 tablespoons (18g) olive oil for the pan
• 6 ounces (170g) mozzarella, grated (about 1 1/4 cups, loosely packed)*
• 1/3 to 1/2 cup (74g to 113g) tomato sauce or pizza sauce, homemade or store-bought
• freshly grated hard cheese and fresh herbs for sprinkling on top after baking, optional


Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess.

  1. Place the flour, salt, yeast, water, and 1 tablespoon (13g) of the olive oil in the bowl of a stand mixer or other medium-large mixing bowl.
  2. Stir everything together to make a shaggy, sticky mass of dough with no dry patches of flour. This should take 30 to 45 seconds in a mixer using the beater paddle; or about 1 minute by hand, using a spoon or spatula. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to gather the dough into a rough ball; cover the bowl.
  3. After 5 minutes, uncover the bowl and reach a bowl scraper or your wet hand down between the side of the bowl and the dough, as though you were going to lift the dough out. Instead of lifting, stretch the bottom of the dough up and over its top. Repeat three more times, turning the bowl 90° each time. This process of four stretches, which takes the place of kneading, is called a fold.
  4. Re-cover the bowl, and after 5 minutes do another fold. Wait 5 minutes and repeat; then another 5 minutes, and do a fourth and final fold. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest, undisturbed, for 40 minutes. Then refrigerate it for a minimum of 12 hours, or up to 72 hours. It’ll rise slowly as it chills, developing flavor; this long rise will also add flexibility to your schedule.
  5. About 3 hours before you want to serve your pizza, prepare your pan. Pour 1 1/2 tablespoons (18g) olive oil into a well-seasoned cast iron skillet that’s 10” to 11” diameter across the top, and about 9” across the bottom. Heavy, dark cast iron will give you a superb crust; but if you don’t have it, use another oven-safe heavy-bottomed skillet of similar size, or a 10” round cake pan or 9” square pan. Tilt the pan to spread the oil across the bottom, and use your fingers or a paper towel to spread some oil up the edges, as well.
  6. Transfer the dough to the pan and turn it once to coat both sides with the oil. After coating the dough in oil, press the dough to the edges of the pan, dimpling it using the tips of your fingers in the process. The dough may start to resist and shrink back; that’s OK, just cover it and let it rest for about 15 minutes, then repeat the dimpling/pressing. At this point the dough should reach the edges of the pan; if it doesn’t, give it one more 15-minute rest before dimpling/pressing a third and final time.
  7. Cover the crust and let it rise for 2 hours at room temperature. The fully risen dough will look soft and pillowy and will jiggle when you gently shake the pan.
  8. About 30 minutes before baking, place one rack at the bottom of the oven and one toward the top (about 4″ to 5″ from the top heating element). Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  9. When you’re ready to bake the pizza, sprinkle about three-quarters of the mozzarella (a scant 1 cup) evenly over the crust. Cover the entire crust, no bare dough showing; this will yield caramelized edges. Dollop small spoonfuls of the sauce over the cheese; laying the cheese down first like this will prevent the sauce from seeping into the crust and making it soggy. Sprinkle on the remaining mozzarella.
  10. Bake the pizza on the bottom rack of the oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and the bottom and edges of the crust are a rich golden brown (use a spatula to check the bottom). If the bottom is brown but the top still seems pale, transfer the pizza to the top rack and bake for 2 to 4 minutes longer. On the other hand, if the top seems fine but the bottom’s not browned to your liking, leave the pizza on the bottom rack for another 2 to 4 minutes. Home ovens can vary a lot, so use the visual cues and your own preferences to gauge when you’ve achieved the perfect bake.
  11. Remove the pizza from the oven and place the pan on a heatproof surface. Carefully run a table knife or spatula between the edge of the pizza and side of the pan to prevent the cheese from sticking as it cools. Let the pizza cool very briefly; as soon as you feel comfortable doing so, carefully transfer it from the pan to a cooling rack or cutting surface. This will prevent the crust from becoming soggy.
  12. Serve the pizza anywhere from medium-hot to warm. Kitchen shears or a large pair of household scissors are both good tools for cutting this thick pizza into wedges.

Oranges and Almonds and Beers, Oh My!

Boiled orange and almond cake. Whodathunk it? One of our neighbors was giving away some oranges at about the same time I saw this recipe and thought “why not?” The result was a very orangey, dense, moist cake—nearly a tart. Maybe that was because I used a tart dish to make it. Actually, there was enough batter to make two 10” tarts.

Using the entire orange (minus the seeds) yielded an interesting, intense taste. The peel’s bitter flavor, offset by the sweetness of the pulp and added sugar, was not unpleasant.

Next time I make this I think I will beat the eggs and sugar to add some air before folding in the orange and almond flour.
The texture was ok, but I think with a little work it could be lighter which would improve the overall appeal (a-peel, get it?) of the cake.

Original recipe at HelloFresh.au

Boiled Orange Almond Cake


• 1 large orange weighing approximately 350 g (or 2 smaller ones)
• 6 free range eggs
• 250 g ground almonds
• 250 g granulated sugar
• 1 heaped tsp (10 g) baking powder
• butter and flour/breadcrumbs or matzo meal for the tin


  1. Wash the orange(s), put it in a pan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for an hour and a half or until it is extremely soft when pricked with a fork. Remove the orange from the pan, let it cool, then cut it open and remove any pips.
  2. Turn the orange into a pulp by pressing it through a sieve or by using an immersion blender.
  3. Prepare a cake tin – ideally with a loose base – by rubbing it with butter and then dusting it with flour. Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.
  4. Beat the eggs in a large bowl, add the pulped orange, beat again, then add the almonds, sugar and baking powder and beat again until you have a thick, even batter.
  5. Pour the batter into the tin and bake for between 30 – 60 minutes. Have a look at the cake after 30 minutes it should be golden and set firm. Try testing with a wooden skewer- it should come out almost clean, as opposed to very sticky with a clingy batter. If the cake does need another 10 mins, pop some aluminum foil over the top of it so it doesn’t get too brown.
  6. Let it cool in the tin before turning it onto a plate and dusting with a little icing sugar.