The gastronomy and typical products of Apulia are unparalleled: from the Gargano to Salento, each area of our host territory offers a rich culinary experience in every course.
It is with this spirit that the Cheese Experience was born, the tour that starts from our dairy in Altamura and takes you on a journey where history, tradition and food come together to bring to the table only the excellence of the products that are born in our land.
And it is precisely in Altamura that one of the iconic leavened products of our tradition, Altamura bread precisely, came to life. Do you know the history of this gem?
Altamura bread, between history and tradition
The “best bread in the world, so much so that the diligent traveler carries a supply for the continuation of the journey“: it is 37 B.C. and to speak of it is the Latin poet Horace in his “Satires.” A thousand-year history that of Altamura bread, which has boasted the PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) product label since 2003.
The baking of Altamura’s public ovens is also reported in some documents from the 1500s, which attest to a strong activity in the production of this extraordinary product, and finds even more foundation in the presence of as many as 26 flour processing and production plants around 1600.
A completely handmade process using traditional recipe and ingredients which have been handed down from generation to generation:
- durum wheat flour
Very few elements that, mixed together by master bakers, give life to one of the most famous products of our tradition.
Altamura bread, the stages of production
The selection of ingredients is minimal, all coming from the peasant tradition and taking us back to a rural dimension deeply rooted in the territory. Even the production, in the six stages that make it up, maintains this pattern, to then churn out a product that is very simple in its essence, but of excellent quality, thanks precisely to the choice of raw materials and the care with which they are processed:
• Dough: with sourdough renewed at least three times and water that is drinkable and certified in detail by the Waterworks Authority. 20% of yeast is added to the remilled durum wheat semolina in percentages, natural yeast, 2 percent salt and 60 percent water at 18° C. This is done using a plunging arm mixer for an operation that must last 20 minutes.
• Leavening and first resting phase: once the dough is completed, the mixture is left to rest for at least 90 minutes under cotton cloths, which ensure its even leavening and heat distribution.
• Shaping and second resting phase: once the 90 minutes have passed, portioning begins with weighing and shaping the first shapes, strictly by hand. Everything is then left to rest for another 30 minutes.
• Reshaping and third resting phase: at this point the mixture is again worked by hand and then left to rest for the last 15 minutes.
• Oven and baking: the loaf is turned upside down and accompanied into the oven, which can be either gas-fired or wood-fired. For wood-fired baking, only oak is used.
The temperature must reach 250°C and, in the first stage, the oven is left open.
After 15 minutes, the oven is closed and baking is completed for the remaining 45 minutes.
• Out of the oven: In the last stage of this genesis, the oven mouth is left open for at least five minutes allowing the vapors to escape and the Altamura bread crust to become crispy.
But why is Altamura bread so special? Certainly because of its shelf life, because of the 3 mm thick crust that offers an unmistakable sound when cut, and when bitten, and for the fragrance that saturates the air when you bring it to the table.
Altamura bread comes in loaves ranging from 500 g to 2 kg, and can be found in two forms: “u sckuanète” or “high bread,” huddled together; and “a cappidde de prèvete,” also called “low bread,” which is flatter and less rich in crumbs.
Altamura bread, the best pairings
Altamura bread is a food that, by nature, goes perfectly with dairy and other products typical of our territory.
Ideal with both aged and fresh cheeses, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil strictly from Apulia and chopped date tomatoes: the aperitif is served.
Or why not, a few slices of Capocollo di Martina Franca, a good glass of Primitivo di Manduria, and the perfect appetizer for any occasion is on the table.
A gastronomic journey like this needs a guide who is up to the task. With the Cheese Experience, all you have to do is call and be found in front of our dairy at 26 Via Bari, Altamura. We’ll take care of the rest.
The Experience includes:
Visit to Dicecca Dairy
• Cheese tasting with wine
• Guided tour of the city’s oldest bakery
• Focaccia tasting
• Guided tour of the old town of Altamura
• Lunch at Baby Dicecca
• Tasting of typical desserts
Want to book your Experience? If you need more information, please visit our site and do not hesitate to write us!