Product Of The Month
Every month we spotlight a bread or product that we sell in our cafés. We hope you enjoy learning a little about them. Stop by any of our locations to sample these treats and take something home to share.
Pugliese bread originates from the Puglia region, the boot heel of the Italian mainland and a major agricultural producer of grains and wheat. Integrale means whole grain. Our Pugliese Integrale loaf is made with thirty percent whole wheat and coarse rye flours from Fairhaven Mills in Burlington, Washington. This gives it that earthy, nutty quality.
We begin with a firm biga starter. A biga is a combination of flour, water, dried yeast, and time to ferment. It provides leavening, depth of flavor, and aids in the development of that beautiful irregular texture that we find in classic Italian loaves. Next we add the flours to the biga, mix, and allow the “seed dough” to ferment for a day, allowing it to naturally develop a more complex flavor. Our next step is to briefly mix the dough, then finish with “a baker's turn,” a term we use to describe the process of stretching and folding the dough in on itself to form a new ball. This gentle procedure gives the dough the strength to rise without overmixing and protects the flavor of the grain. After a second rise, we shape the dough into a “batard,” the traditional football shape, and cut a shallow triangle design down the center of the loaf. I love the deep brown caramelized crust on this loaf, sweet with the natural sugars of whole grains. It combines the wonderful character of the rustic artisanal bread of Italy and the quality of a local whole grain milled flour.