Puglia – The Breadbasket of Italy

Italy’s answer to French Pain Rustique bread, Pugliese bread origins stem from the Puglia region of Italy, in the Southeastern “heel” or “boot” of the country.

Puglia is widely known for its whitewashed hill towns, centuries-old farmland and wide tranquil scape of Mediterranean coastline. Its attractions include the vibrant port Capital Bari and the historic city Lecce, being the ‘Florence of the South’ for inspiration baroque architecture. The small town of Alberobello is famous for it’s preserved and unique historical trulli buildings, which are small dwellings built from the local limestone with dry-stone walls and conical roof.

Puglia is also Italy’s top regional produced of olive oil with approximately 40% of total output with an estimated 60 million olive trees. Making it heavenly liquid gold within local recipes and dishes.

Puglia’s overall landscape and blissful settings is as memorable, satisfying and historically rich as their signature bread. It’s often noted as the breadbasket of Italy.

Puglia, or Apulia has a long tradition of bread making dating back to the Roman empire. Pugliese bread has small holes due to the dough being stretched and folded at intervals during the bread making process. This gives the final load a chewy heavenly texture. This artisan handmade bread often crafted with lots of extra virgin olive oil is produced through a slow fermentation process for a greater depth of flavour. From wet dough a pre-ferment is made (often known as a starter). Some of the finely milled flour is mixed with water and yeast and left overnight to develop flavour. The following day, the dough is mixed with the remaining ingredients. Pugliese bread is typically shaped as a batard (oval) or a round loaf with a dimpled top. It is then processed with long slow rises before being baked.

The recipe for Pugliese bread also requires a Biga, an important step within Italian baking. A type of pre-fermentation that adds complexity to the bread’s flavour and provides the light, open texture whilst helping to preserve the bread by making it less perishable.

Like all good things in life Pugliese bread requires dedication, skill, patience and time – and can never be rushed. Its flavour is enhanced by a long fermentation period making it a crucial step within its production. A remarkable and distinguishable flavour you can enjoy.

Its light, airy and moist and sometimes complimented with the flavours of basil or freshly hand-stripped rosemary to create a gourmet aroma and memorable taste. It’s soft porous and moist interior contrasts with a thin, light and crisp crust. Beautifully caramelised crust and chewy textured interior. The handcrafted bread is great with prosciutto, salami and similar fillings. Pugliese bread is great for making sandwiches or simply dipping into olive oil.

Are you a cafe, venue or restaurant looking for a local supplier of fresh baked pugliese, ciabatta, sourdough and other artisan breads? Dolce Forno delivers freshly baked artisan breads and pastries within Hertfordshire, St Albans, Surrey, Berkshire, London and Buckinghamshire.
Contact us today to arrange a FREE sample tray of our artisan breads or pastries. Call our team at Dolce Forno Breads on 01727 762 456 or alternatively email contact@dolceforno.co.uk to find out more.

Tradition Preserved: Communal Ovens

Bread throughout history has always been a by-product of creating a community and intertwines with tradition and heritage. Right from the sourcing of ingredients, producing the dough, right through to placing in the oven – it’s a process passed down generation to generation.

Baking in the south of Italy has long been a communal affair, especially within the small towns and villages situated within the region. Depending on the calendar and cycle of harvesting wheat. Growers would come together at the mill for grain to be processed.

Within small villages outdoor communal ovens were situated at the heart of the the community. This was the place where all the bread in the village was baked. Sometimes done by the women of the village or by the resident baker, the bread was then distributed out depending on how much grain was given or based on bartering or services shared within the community.

The communal oven can be argued to be place where the village gathered. The daily place where neighbours shared news and gossip, debated on the latest politics and created memories. It plays a key part in the history of italian bread and in the preservation of long standing tradition in bread making and baking.

For us at Dolce Forno Breads, our vision is to preserve the idea of shared experiences – through our bespoke delivery of artisan handcrafted bread. We believe in cherishing the key origins of artisan and handcrafted bread.

We offer a range of italian bread such as ciabatta and foccacia.

 

Are you a cafe, venue or restaurant looking for a local supplier of fresh baked ciabatta, sourdough and other artisan breads? Dolce Forno delivers freshly baked artisan breads and pastries within Hertfordshire, St Albans, Surrey, Berkshire, London and Buckinghamshire.

Contact us today to arrange a FREE sample tray of our artisan breads or pastries. Call our team at Dolce Forno Breads on 01727 762 456 or alternatively email contact@dolceforno-breads.co.uk to find out more.

The Delicious Ciabatta

Ciabatta: A flattish, open-textured Italian bread with a floury crust, made with olive oil.

Ciabatta literally means ‘carpet slipper’. Which we think personally creates great imagery of placing a foot of filling into – prosciutto ham, the finest cheese and other savory delights!

An Italian white bread made from wheat flour, water, salt and yeast, many think that the ciabatta has a long history that stretches hundreds of years, but it’s actually origins stem from the year… 1982.

During this time the French baguette was very popular, making Italian bakers concerned as it endangered their businesses. In response, Francesco Favaron, a baker based in Verona, Veneto in Italy, collaborated with Molini Adriesi (who provided the flour to produce the bread) to create the ciabatta with it’s well-known features. Elongated, broad, flat and of course delicious.

Favaron named the bread ciabatta as he believed the bread reminded him of his wife’s slipper.

Ciabatta bread was introduced to the United Kingdom in 1985 by Marks & Spencer and has become a much loved bread recipe to this day.

Ciabatta tends to be used for sandwiches but is also great with olive oils and other dips due to the crumb’s easy absorption of dips and liquids. Dried ciabatta bread is also ideal for creating croutons. Like all artisan bread, ciabatta tastes its best when it is fresh.

Are you a cafe, venue or restaurant looking for a local supplier of fresh baked ciabatta, sourdough and other artisan breads? Dolce Forno delivers freshly baked artisan breads and pastries within Hertfordshire, St Albans, Surrey, Berkshire, London and Buckinghamshire.

Call our team at Dolce Forno Breads on 01727 762 456 or alternatively email contact@dolceforno-breads.co.uk to find out more about our craft artisan bakery and breads delivery services.