I think Italian breads are probably my favorite breads, but I have never had THIS particular bread, and felt like I have been missing out for years. This bread was wonderful beyond words and the fact that traditionally it is made using all wild yeast is my kinda tune. Pane Pugliese bread is the rustic bread that comes from the heel of the boot in Italy, and now I want to visit there just to try the bread personally! Reinhart describes this bread having similarities to ciabatta explains that the difference between the two is the shape: Pugliese bread is usually a round shape. Peter explains that also the use of golden wheat semolina is used extensively in Pugliese bread baking is the real distinction in the nutty taste. If you have the book, follow along on page 222 or if not, try this link.
I actually used semolina flour since I couldn't find durum wheat in my area. I only used a fourth of a cup since Reinhart recommends using only up to thirty percent of semolina flour.
This is a very wet dough-- a lot like making ciabatta. The dough will come together after a few rests and risings as indicated by the recipe.
Here is the dough after the second rise and inside of it's final proofing bowl. Reinhart instructs to proof with the seam side UP so the seamless side will be the final exposed side .
The final loaf came out really golden in color-- I guess that is from the semolina flour. It was absolutely delicious with a chewy and open interior. The crust was supposed to soften a little after coming out of the oven, but the actual loaf didn't last long enough for us to make any comparisons.