Altamura Bread is a rustic bread from the Italian provence of Bari. Semolina Flour gives it a distinct texture, flavor and aroma that is unique to Italy!
Traditional Altamura Bread. Photo from Shutterstock copyright studiogi.
Altamura Bread, or Pane di Altamura, is one of the oldest to ever exist on the Italian peninsula. Originating from the province of Bari near the southernmost point of “The Boot,” Altamura Bread was being eaten as far back as 37 BC, as evidenced by the Latin Poet Orazio, who hailed it as the best he had ever eaten. How’s that for a product endorsement?
The main ingredient of Altamura bread is semolina flour; the ground form of durum wheat. Yes, the same type of flour used to make pasta is used in this popular bread. As a result, Altamura bread has a distinct texture and flavor when compared to other breads. The crust is crisp and thick, while the inside is colored a light yellow and is slightly more chewy than normal bread. Authentic Pane di Altamura is baked in traditional stone ovens using a wood fire, but thankfully, at-home bakers can put modern appliances to work.
Semolina flour is plentiful and available at most major markets, so you can enjoy Altamura bread at home, without huge import costs. Have your kitchen smell like the Italian countryside!
Check out the video above for a look at how Italian bakers still produce this wonderful and unique bread!