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

Terza Volta un Incanto

Ever hear the third times a charm? Well, believe it—it’s true. This was my third attempt at this bread. The first two were disasters due to simple, stupid mistakes. In the first one I used 2 Tbl of salt instead of 2 tsp. I proofed the second one too warm. I tossed the first one. Not only did it take forever to rise due to the salt retarding the yeast, the salt taste was overwhelming. Plus I forgot the egg wash so the crust was dull and unappealing. The second was proofed in the proofing oven and rose too fast causing splits along the sides and when scored with the lame it flattened but was still ok to use for garlic bread.

The third and successful bake was proofed at room temperature for 15 minutes shorter than the recipe called for, but still doubling the size of the dough. I also activated the yeast for 10 min prior to adding the rest of the ingredients. (Step 1 below.)

Italian Supermarket Bread KAF

• 4 cups (482g) AP Flour
• 2 tablespoons (21g) potato flour or 1/4 cup (21g) dried potato flakes
• 1/4 cup (35g) nonfat dry milk
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 2 teaspoons sugar
• 2 teaspoons instant yeast
• 1 1/3 cups (301g) lukewarm water
• 3 tablespoons (35g) olive oil
• 1 egg white, beaten with 1 tablespoon water, or substitute Quick Shine
• sesame seeds

  1. In your stand mixer bowl combine the yeast, sugar and water and allow to rest for 10 minutes
  2. Add half of the flour and all of the rest of the dough ingredients till cohesive. Add the rest of the
    flour mixing between each addition
  3. Knead the dough for 5 to 8 minutes, until it’s smooth and supple, adding more water or flour as
  4. Cover the dough and allow it to rise for 1 hour, or until it’s doubled in bulk.
  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface and divide it into two pieces. Shape each
    piece into a smooth 16″ log. Place the logs into the two wells of a lightly greased Italian bread
    pan, cover, and let the loaves rise until very puffy, about 1 hour.
  6. Brush the loaves with the egg wash (or spray them with Quick Shine), then sprinkle heavily with
    sesame seeds. Slash the loaves diagonally, making 3 slashes in each, and immediately put them in the oven. Bake in a preheated 400°F oven for about 25 minutes, until the loaves are golden brown. For the crispiest crust, turn off the oven, prop the door open, and allow the bread to cool in the oven