100% Semolina Pugliese

1 10 2009
Baked Pugliese

Finished Loaves

Once again, one from the archives (well, I never posted it, but it was made a while ago). I made this pugliese right before we left for Alaska. I figured it’d be a good bread to take a long on the road with us, since it looked like it would be good for snacking or sandwiches. I also decided to make a fairly large change to the recipe for the pugliese, instead of the suggested mix of extra fancy durum flour and bread flour, I went with 100% extra fancy durum. In addition to that deviation, I went with my sourdough starter as a leavening agent for the bread, partially because I figured it would keep longer that way. I did make one mistake subbing in the extra fancy durum, I read the part of the recipe that mentions durum absorbs more water backwards. So instead of extra water I used less… oops.

As with most of the previous bread I’ve adapted into a sourdough, I substituted an appropriate starter for the biga preferment (equivalent ingredient weights).

Sourdough Semolina Biga

Semolina Sourdough Biga

Risen Sourdough Semolina Biga

Risen Semolina Sourdough Biga

Punched Down Sourdough Biga

Punched down Sourdough Semolina Biga

The biga was very sticky (but stiffer than one would expect for that level of stickiness) after it’d risen! Now that the sourdough biga was ready, time for the rest of the extra fancy durum flour and water, and the salt.

Semolina and Salt for Pugliese

Rest of the flour and salt

Mixed all of that up, it wasn’t quite as sticky by this point. Although, I believe that it was much drier than the recipe intends because of the mistake I made reading the recipe.

Pugliese Final Dough

Mixed Final Dough

I could definitely tell that the extra fancy durum flour was a bit different to work with, the dough wasn’t hard to work with, but the texture has very different. It spread out like a higher hydration dough, but felt stiffer like a lower hydration dough. I think I’d need to work with just extra fancy durum flour for a while to get a real hang of how it reacts. Well, the big ball of dough there got shaped into two boules and put in bowls with floured towels.

Pugliese Dough in Bowl

Dough rising in towel lined bowl

As with most of the sourdoughs I’ve made with this starter, they didn’t seem to rise a bunch during the second ferment. This part of making the bread was also during a going away get together for my girlfriend, so I was back and forth frequently. The dough finally seemed ready to go in (the already preheated by now) oven. As you can see in the picture below, the loaves spread quite a bit when they went on the peel.

Pugliese Boules

Ready to go in the oven

Baked Pugliese


Well, even with that spread the loaves turned out a pretty good size, lots of oven spring! The preheating of the baking stone and steam in the oven helped here I’m sure. The smell while they were baking was quite a bit different than regular bread, a different quality to the smell, but hard to place. The crumb didn’t turn out quite how I’d hoped, but I was kind of expecting it not to be too open with the low hydration on the dough. The flavor on the other hand was great, some of that same quality from the baking aroma was in the flavor! (and they weren’t too sour) We enjoyed the bread a number of different ways along the trip, toasted with cheese we picked up at various shops, with chevre and wild huckleberries, with heirloom cherry tomatoes. It turned out to have been a great choice for the trip, it even lasted all the way to Alaska without staling too much or molding. I was surprised it didn’t mold as the bag kept fogging up every day with the drive.

Sliced Pugliese

Sliced Loaf

Bread with Provolone

Slices with provolone we picked up on the way


With chevre and huckleberries

Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge



5 responses

2 10 2009

What cute loaves, I love the shape!

Great pictures from the road!

2 10 2009

Thanks! It was so great having homemade bread on the road, and we were always finding new things to eat with it 😀

2 10 2009
YeastSpotting October 2, 2009 | Wild Yeast

[…] 100% Semolina Pugliese […]

3 10 2009
Susan/Wild Yeast

Very nice, Noel! The durum absorbs more water because it is very high in protein (the highest-protein variety of wheat). The bread with the huckleberries and chevre looks so tasty!

4 10 2009

Yeah, see, that is what I thought too, then I read the recipe (incorrectly read it I should say…) and well, ended up turning out pretty well, just a bit different from what it was supposed to be!

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