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Pane Pugliese – Boriani et al Version

The recipe below is derived from Boriani, Guido, and Fabrizio Ostani. Il Pane. Milan: Ottaviano, 1986, and from Franconeri, Silvano and Chiara Scudelotti.Fare Il Pane e le Ricette di Pane. Bussolengo (VR), 1993. This is a sticky dough, so it will take a bit of getting used to work with it. Try not to mix additional flour into the dough, and try not to handle the dough more than is necessary. The shaped loaves may appear to be so formless that they will never rise in the oven. Don’t worry, they will.

Ingredients

1 3/4  Tsp. Yeast Active Dry or 2/3 small cake yeast (12 g.)
1/2 Tsp. Malt (2 g)
1/2 Cup Water – warm (118 ml)
1 Cup Water (236 ml)
3 3/4 Cups Flour, unbleached all-purpose (500 g.)
2 Tsp. Salt

Procedure

Dissolve the yeast and malt in ½ cup warm water and allow it to stand for approximately 5-10 minutes. Add the additional water (1 cup at room temperature) to the dissolved yeast mixture. Add the flour (3 ¾ cup) and salt (2 tsp.) to this mixture and continue to mix until the dough begins to hold together. Knead the dough to a soft, smooth, and elastic consistency.

Place the dough in a lightly floured bowl, and cover the bowl with a cotton or linen towel. Allow the dough to rise until double in volume (approximately 2 hours).

Gently turn the risen dough onto a flour dusted work surface. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes. Dust a piece of canvas (untreated, 100% cotton), or a proofing board (lumber core plywood) with flour. Cup your hands beneath the dough and delicately fold sections of it toward the center rolling it in quarter turns until it is round. Turn the dough over and gently roll it on the work surface to firm its shape. Turn the dough over once more and place it on the canvas or board with the smooth side down. Cover it with a cotton or linen towel. Allow the dough to rise until it is puffy (approximately 30 minutes). Gently flatten the dough. Ease your hands beneath the risen dough and turn it upside-down onto a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper. Once again, ease your hands beneath the dough, this time stretching it gently from the center out. Cover it with a cotton or linen towel. Allow the dough to rise for an additional 30 minutes.

As the dough is rising, place a baking stone in the oven and set the temperature to 500 F. Allow the oven to heat for 30 minutes.

Lower the oven temperature to 450 F. Slide a baker’s peel beneath the parchment paper. Make a circular incision on the surface of the dough. Slide the parchment paper from the peel onto the baking stone. After 20 minutes, check the oven to see if the loaf is browning evenly. If the loaf is not browning evenly, turn it around. If it is browning too quickly, cover the loaf with aluminum foil. Allow the loaf to bake until it is a deep golden color (approximately 30 more minutes).

Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool on a rack.

Note: The bread photo on this page was taken in The Artisan Kitchen.

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