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