Today, I’m going to tell you about a special Italian bread that originated from Puglia. It is the Pugliese bread. It is an oval bread made from moist fermented dough and is really crispy and delicious.
To make Pugliese bread, make biga by mixing flour, yeast, and water in a bowl. Let it rest for a day. In a stand mixer, mix flour, salt, yeast, biga, mashed potatoes, and water.
Mix until and sticky and smooth dough is formed. Let it ferment for 2 hours. Then, make 3 balls from it and proof them for 1 hour. Bake the balls for 30 minutes and let them cool for 40 minutes.
If after the rise, you feel that the dough is too sticky add as much flour as you need to shape it. If you feel it’s still a bit sticky use the spatula to help you with the folding.
This was just a brief summary of the recipe. You can find the complete recipe with all the details below. But before going to the full recipe, do check out other bread recipes as well.
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What Equipment Will You Need To Make Pugliese Bread?
- Oven – Bake the Pugliese bread in the oven until it has a deep golden brown.
- Baking Tray – Transfer the dough balls on the baking tray for baking the bread.
- Saucepan – Use a saucepan to melt the yeast until it is creamy.
- Stand Mixer – Prepare the dough for the bread in a stand mixer until you get a smooth and sticky dough.
- Bowl – Transfer the prepared dough in a bowl for resting and fermentation.
- Spatula – Use a spatula and transfer the dough to a surface dusted with flour.
- Parchment Paper – Line parchment paper on a baking tray to avoid the dough from burning and sticking.
- Plastic Wrap – Cover the dough with plastic wrap to ensure it raises.
How Much Time Will You Need To Make Pugliese Bread?
|Preparation Time||Resting Time||Cooking Time||Total Time|
|20 Minutes||1 Day 3 Hours||30 Minutes||1 Day 3 Hours 50 Minutes|
What Ingredients Will You Need To Make Pugliese Bread?
- Bread Flour – I have used bread flour to make biga as it tends to rise more.
- Yeast – When combined with water, yeast makes the dough for Pugliese bread rise.
- Water – Prepare the dough by melting yeast in water until creamy.
For Pugliese Bread
- Biga – Biga is the saltless spongy dough that is used in addition to yeast to allow the dough to expand and rise.
- Yeast – Yeast will help release the carbon dioxide making the bread rise.
- Lukewarm Water – Pour in lukewarm water to the mixer to prepare smooth dough.
- Durum Flour – Durum flour will lend a sturdier texture to the bread.
- Bread Flour – Bread flour will result in a lighter and fluffier dough.
- Mashed Potatoes – The starch in the potato adds a nice flavor and tenderizes the bread.
- Salt – Salt will help tighten the gluten strands, making the dough stronger.
Steps To Make Pugliese Bread
1. For Biga
Take a saucepan and add water in it. Let the water boil. Once boiled, stir the yeast and wait for 10 minutes until it becomes creamy.
Now beat one cup of bread flour into creamy yeast manually and make sure it forms a sticky dough.
In a lightly oiled bowl, transfer the prepared biga and allow it to settle at room temperature. Allow it to rest for 24 to 48 hours. Refrigerate it until ready to use.
2. For Pugliese Bread
Take out biga from the refrigerator an hour before cooking. Cut it into small pieces and cover them with plastic wrap.
In a standing mixer bowl, add the durum flour, bread flour, yeast, and salt. Then, add the prepared biga, mashed potatoes, and water. Mix it until it forms a sticky ball.
Mix the dough for another five minutes until the dough becomes sticky and smooth.
Use a spatula and transfer the dough to a surface dusted with flour. Stretch it and fold to give it the proper shape.
Wait for half an hour and then stretch it again. Let the dough rise in size.
3. It’s A Long Way
Transfer the dough to a bowl greased with oil. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it ferment for 2 hours.
Then, cut the dough into 3 pieces and shape them into oval balls. Cover them with oil. Leave them to proof for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 500oF. Place the dough balls on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and greased with oil.
Place in the oven and bake them at 450oF for 15 minutes. Then, rotate the tray 180o. Cook for another 15 minutes.
How Will Pugliese Bread Look And Taste Like?
Pugliese bread is characterized by a moist dough which results in large holes in a well-structured crumb, and a well-developed, crunchy crust.
It is heavier than a Ciabatta, and made with a higher gluten flour, the Pugliese is typically shaped as a Batard (oval) and slashed with a single cut running lengthwise.
Our rustic Italian bread recipe calls for a Biga, an Italian pre-ferment, which gives the bread a slightly nutty taste, chewy texture, and moist interior.
Pugliese Bread Recipe
- Baking Tray
- Stand Mixer
- Parchment Paper
- Plastic Wrap
- 2 cups Bread Flour
- ½ teaspoon Yeast
- ¾ cup Water
For Pugliese Bread
- 18 oz. Biga
- ½ teaspoon Yeast
- ⅓ cup Lukewarm Water
- 1¼ cups Durum Flour
- 1½ cup Bread Flour
- ⅓ cup Mashed Potatoes
- 2¼ teaspoon Salt
- In warm water, stir the yeast and wait for 10 minutes until it becomes creamy.
- Add 1 cup of flour into it and stir it.
- Mix it in a food processor or beat it manually, but make sure it forms a sticky dough.
- In a lightly oiled bowl, transfer the biga. Now at room temperature, let it settle down.
- Allow it to rest for 24 to 48 hours.
- Refrigerate it until ready to use.
Prepare Pugliese Bread
- Take out biga from the refrigerator 1-hour before cooking.
- Cut it into small pieces and cover them with plastic wrap.
- In a standing mixer bowl, add the durum flour, bread flour, yeast, and salt.
- Then, add the biga, mashed potatoes, and water. Mix it until it forms a sticky ball.
- Then, mix it for another 5 minutes until the dough becomes sticky and smooth.
- Use a spatula and transfer the dough to a surface dusted with flour.
- Stretch it and fold to give it the proper shape.
- Wait for half an hour and then, stretch again. Let the dough rise in size.
- Transfer the dough to a bowl greased with oil. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it ferment for 2 hours.
- Then, cut the dough into 3 pieces and shape them into oval balls.
- Cover them with oil. Leave them to proof for an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 500oF.
- Place the dough balls on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and greased with oil.
- Place in the oven and bake them at 450oF for 15 minutes.
- Then, rotate the tray 180o. Cook for another 15 minutes.
- When the bread has cooked, take it out. Place it on a cooling rack and let it cool for about 40 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why is Pugliese bread famous?
It’s often noted as the breadbasket of Italy. Puglia, or Apulia has a long tradition of bread making dating back to the Roman empire. Pugliese bread has small holes due to the dough being stretched and folded at intervals during the bread making process. This gives the final load a chewy heavenly texture.
What is the difference between ciabatta and Pugliese?
One distinction between ciabatta, which originated in the Lake Como region of Lombardy (northern Italy), and pugliese is that pugliese breads are usually baked in rounds rather than in the slipper shape of ciabatta.
What does Pugliese bread taste like?
The starch in the potato adds a nice flavor and tenderizes the bread. Pugliese bread has a wonderful open crumb, and the long fermentation enhances the bread’s flavor. Another bread with the name Pugliese you may like to try is Focaccia Pugliese.
What bread is Italian?
Bread is a staple of the Italian lifestyle, with most restaurants featuring their own take, using breads like Focaccia and Ciabatta. From thick loaves, and pizza bases, to flatbreads and the humble breadstick.
Pugliese bread is a lot like ciabatta because it has very wet dough. One of its pre-fermented forms is known as biga and so many people also like it. So, if you liked this recipe, don’t forget to share your experience.