5 Ingredients or Fewer

Pane d' Altamura (rustic Italian bread)

January 20, 2014
2 Ratings
  • Makes 1 loaf
Author Notes

A bread recipe I found recently from the region of Puglia in Italy where the flavor, texture and look of this bread is coveted and honored by locals and tourists alike. Simplicity of bread baking at its best in this authentic recipe. —cucina di mammina

What You'll Need
  • approx. 3 1/2 to 4 cups unbleached organic flour
  • 1 1/3 tablespoons SAF Gold dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • handful of sea salt
  1. Using a large wooden or stone cutting board, form all the flour into a volcano like shape in the center. Make a space or “well” in the center of the flour.
  2. Add the yeast and warm water in the center and mix with a fork until yeast begins to foam a bit. Start forming the dough by mixing the flour with the liquid with your hands or a fork; mix in the salt during this process and continue mixing for about 15 to 20 minutes until a soft dough forms.
  3. Lightly add flour as needed and form the dough into a soft round. Lightly oil a large deep bowl and place the dough in and cover with a clean tea towel and set aside to proof (rise) for at least three hours.
  4. Once the dough has risen remove from the bowl and on the board, dust lightly with flour and knead the dough for about 5 minutes or so until soft and smooth. Let this rest for 10 minutes, covered.
  5. At the finish of the second proof (rise), make a rectangular form of the dough and make it round by rolling it onto itself with the edge on the side of the form.
  6. Place on a well greased large baking sheet; using a serrated knife cut slits or the custom cross shape from end to end then dust the top liberally with flour and set aside to rest for a minute or two; covered
  7. Place the rested dough into a pre-heated 480 degree oven on the center rack and bake for approximately 40 minutes
  8. Do not open the door as the heat needs to remain consistent and the aroma will draw you back often, but don’t be tempted
  9. This is wonderful for morning breakfast (colazione) with butter, honey or marmalade as well as for all other meals.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • cucina di mammina
    cucina di mammina
  • Hoho Chacon
    Hoho Chacon
  • El Bee
    El Bee
  • gary

7 Reviews

El B. June 8, 2020
An authentic [i]Pane d'Altamura[/i] is naturally leavened (what americans call 'sourddough'). This is white bread. Nothing to see here, move along.
gary May 21, 2020
Everyone that tried this bread loved it and requested I make it again.
cucina D. May 22, 2020
Thank you for commenting ~ I’m not a natural baker so finding this classic bread from Italy was a gift for me and my famiglia ~ hope you and your family & friends continue enjoying my recipes
Scott B. July 23, 2019
I hope by "handful", you mean, like a pinch. A handful in my book is about a half cup.
Hoho C. September 30, 2019
Hey Scott, did you try making this recipe? I wanna try it this weekend but I’m confused by the post rise kneading... I thought that would make the dough lose the precious CO2 bubbles
cucina D. October 20, 2019
Yes, my apologies if this is confusing sometimes my translation to English can be incorrect ~ it it probably more like a teaspoon or a generous pinch of salt ~ I taste the dough to be sure it’s correct
cucina D. October 20, 2019
This is the actual recipe from Altamura ~ we have always done two rises with our bread dough without any bitterness but we do believe in high quality natural yeast... it makes all the difference