Altamura breadis an artisan bread from the very south of Italy, near the heel of the boot. It is famous in Italy as one of the finest and oldest types of bread in the country and is a protected name within the European Union. I developed this recipe from one in the Il Fornaio Baking Book, by Franco Galli. Just looking at the list of ingredients and the proportions will give most bakers a serious case of the “It’ll-Never-Works.” However, the semolina and the biga work with the flour to yield a dough that, while sticky, isn’t tenaciously so. In other words, it works.
|Bread Flour||1 1/2||40|
|Dry Yeast||1 tsp||5 ml|
|Ex Vg Olive Oil||1 Tbsp||15|
These amounts are close to, but different from, the ones listed in the book. He had originally specified that you should make about a pound of biga, but since we need only a bit for our recipe, I cut it down considerably.
1. Mix all ingredients together, knead the dough by hand for 20 minutes, on a lightly floured surface. Let the dough rest for 1 or 2 minutes several times during kneading. You can use a large stand mixer to mix the dough. In this case, mix for 6 minutes.
2. Rub a large bowl with olive oil and place the dough in the bowl. Cover and let the dough rise for 1 hour. Fold the dough. Let rise for 45 minutes.
3. Shape the dough into a ball, but do not overwork the dough. See Shaping a Boule
4. Spread a thick layer of flour on the counter, place the ball of dough in it, rough side down, and let it rise, covered for 50-60 minutes.
5. Slash the dough in 5 places, 1/2 inch / 12 mm deep and 2 1/2 inches / 65 cm long.
6. Bake at 425 F / 220 C with steam for 40-50 minutes.
Here We Go!
Click the small picture for a larger image.
Click the large image to return to the discussion.