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james 04-25-2007 10:15 AM

Pugliese Gran Duro
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Today is Indepence Day in Italy, so everybody is off and there was a food market in Piazza Santa Croce. Each region had its own stand, which was a lot of fun. It's called the Slow Market (ala Slow Food movement).

The Puglia booth had large wheels of wood-fired bread made from Durum Semolina (Semola di Grano Duro). I talked with the guy for a couple of minutes. It's the same flour they use for fresh pasta, but they add 200gr of bread flour to 1kg of semolina to make the dough work. The brick ovens have been there forever, and they have a brick dome, and a cooking floor made from volcanic stone. They cook hot -- though he was talking so fast I didn't get the exact temperatures. He said the dough was duro, ma non troppo pesante to work by hand. Hard, but not heavy.

The bread is great. It is dense and moist in the crumb, with an almost nutty smell. It's a golden color. The crust is very crunchy -- more than even the most well developed bread flour hearth bread. Almost hard and crunchy, but still nice in your mouth. The kids liked it, so it isn't weird.

The one we bought came in large wheels, and our piece is a little over a pound, and is a small faction of the wheel.

I took some photos.

james 04-27-2007 02:22 PM

Re: Pugliese Gran Duro
1 Attachment(s)
Here's a photo of the bread wheel. Very nice. Jim, could this be a best-seller for your?


maver 04-28-2007 03:07 AM

Re: Pugliese Gran Duro
We picked up the Il Fornaio cookbook years ago (I think a gift) which has a recipe for pane altamura, also made with semolina, but I think it's 50/50 semolina and bread flour. The semolina gives the bread a nuttier flavor, it's a very nice recipe.

CanuckJim 05-02-2007 03:09 AM

Re: Pugliese Gran Duro

That Pugliese looks fantastic, and I'm going to look into how to make it. I notice, through my exceptional Italian language skills:D , that it's a wild yeast bread. Interesting in that the Pugliese recipes I have now all use a commercial yeast biga or poolish instead. This type of bread comes at a good time for me, because I've been invited to bring my breads to a new farmers'/country market very nearby. This area sorely needs such a venue, and the location is in a high traffic area leading east to what's called here "cottage country." Read that as vacation homes, cabins, whatnot.

Does anyone on the Forum have a wild yeast recipe for this? I'd be very interested and grateful for it.


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