The bread of Altamura is a product whose origin is deeply rooted in the ancient peasant traditions of Alta Murgia. It is particularly appreciated for its ability to preserve its fragrance, softness and unique taste for many days.
Its ingredients and methods of preparation have remained unchanged over centuries; the dough is made from durum wheat which also exists in other varieties, such as appulo, arcangelo, duilio and simeto, to which is added natural yeast, also known as sourdough, sea salt and water. It is baked exclusively in wood ovens.
The loaf has a characteristic fragrance and a weights less than 0.5 kg. It comes in two different traditional forms; the first, called by the locals ‘’U sckuanète’’ (folded loaf) is tall and folded over on itself while the other type, known as ‘’a cappidde de prèvete”(priest’s hat), is lower and round.
Matches - How to consume it:
The bread of Altamura is good eaten as an accompaniment or on its own, or sprinkled with a touch of extra-virgin olive oil. Some recipes recommend using stale bread with local vegetables and oils, for instance in the “Cialda”, hot or cold, or in plain soups. Others say it is good with toasted bread, such as “pane in carrozza” and “fetta Francesca”, or on more elaborate dishes.
How to recognize it:
The end product is packaged in micro-holed heat-shrinking wraps with a label on it, with the following information: producer’s name, ‘best by’ date, seal. Alternately, with no wraps, with a sticker of organic material on the product stating the aforesaid information, and the wording “Pane di Altamura”. The labels must show the seal, which must never be separated from the Protected Designation of Origin. The graphic symbol is a Samnite shield under a crown-arm with four quarters, white and red, in pairs. In the middle of the oval, the horizontal wording on three rows: “Pane DOP di Altamura”.
When to find it:
All year round
In the past, the bread used to be kneaded at home, then taken to the oven where, before being cooked, it was branded with an iron with the initials of the householder who had made the dough.
By the editorial staff
Project created in collaboration with InnovaPuglia.