Meet Puccia, the tasty traditional Apulian bread. Light and hollow, it’s perfect for fillings like cold cuts, cheeses, or sautéed veggies. Enjoy it on its own or as a base for sandwiches and appetisers. Give it a try today!
6h 50 min
About this Recipe
By: Silvana Lanzetta
Porto Cesareo – The Rabbits’ Island
Traditional Pucceria in Lecce
Puccia is delicious, but it’s best to enjoy it in moderation as part of a balanced diet. You can also consider incorporating more protein and vegetables into the filling to increase the nutritional value.
- Proteins 9.1% 9.1%
- Carbs 57.5% 57.5%
- Fats 33.4% 33.4%
Flours: Firstly, let’s talk about flour. To achieve that perfect texture and flavour, a combination of soft wheat flour and durum wheat semolina flour is necessary. I personally prefer using white spelt flour for the soft wheat component. It’s less processed, higher in nutrients, and low in gluten – perfect for those who want to reduce their gluten intake. But if you want an even healthier option, try using wholewheat spelt flour instead! As for the semolina, make sure it’s double-milled and fine. This will give the puccia a protein boost and allow it to rise, resulting in that classic hollow centre. While I use white semolina, whole grain semolina flour is also an excellent option if you want a healthier bread. But be careful, semolina flour is high in gluten, so if you want to make a low-gluten version, try using kamut khorasan wheat flour or senatore cappelli flour instead.
Yeast: I use dried yeast in this recipe, but you can also use fresh yeast. Just remember to double the quantity if you do! If you’re not a fan of the yeasty aftertaste, feel free to reduce the amount of yeast used. But keep in mind that this will increase the resting time needed for the dough to rise. On the other hand, using too much yeast can negatively impact the flavour and texture of your puccia.
Olive Oil: Lastly, let’s talk about oil. Olive oil is the perfect choice for this recipe as it adds that unique flavour that makes puccia bread so special. Don’t skimp on the quality of olive oil you use – it really makes a difference in the taste!
Tenderstem Broccoli: Tenderstem broccoli is the star of the show here. Its shape and size make it the perfect ingredient for filling up a sandwich, while also providing a host of health benefits. If you can’t find tenderstem broccoli at your local shop, don’t worry – you can use regular broccoli instead. Just remember to cut it into small florets to avoid overwhelming the sandwich. To make sure the broccoli is tender, I recommend blanching it in boiling water for a couple of minutes. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try using Neapolitan wild broccolis (friarielli) for an extra flavourful kick!
Sausages: When it comes to sausages, I recommend using savoury ones without added flavours like Bramley apple or caramelised onions. My personal favourites for this recipe are chipolatas, Cumberland or Old English sausages. They’re packed with flavour and pair perfectly with the broccoli, making for a mouth-watering sandwich experience.
Burrata: Originating from Apulia, burrata cheese is a dream come true for lovers of creamy goodness.
In Italian, “burrata” means “buttery,” and it truly lives up to its name. This cheese offers a velvety fusion of fresh mozzarella and cream, resulting in a melt-in-your-mouth experience like no other.
For the ultimate enjoyment, it’s crucial to seek out the freshest burrata cheese available. It should be no more than 48 hours old. However, if burrata is unavailable, don’t worry! You can opt for mozzarella instead. While buffalo mozzarella is ideal, any type of mozzarella will work. Just remember, I’m not referring to those dry, lackluster blocks masquerading as mozzarella. Authentic mozzarella is sold in round ball shapes, immersed in whey water. Alternatively, consider trying dolce latte cheese if mozzarella isn’t to your taste or is unavailable. It’s a soft, sweet, and spreadable version of gorgonzola that pairs wonderfully with the other ingredients.
Now, if you’re lactose intolerant, don’t worry. You can still enjoy this sandwich. Simply skip the cheese and load up on the other ingredients.
Parma Ham: Its delicate, sweet flavour and smooth, silky texture make it one of the most highly regarded hams out there. Personally, it’s one of my favourites, alongside San Daniele ham, mortadella, and speck.
However, if you prefer not to use Parma ham, fear not! There are several alternatives that work just as well for this filling.
Simple prosciutto is a great option, offering a similar taste and texture, although it can be saltier than Parma ham. If you’re looking for a milder flavour, cooked ham or prosciutto cotto is the way to go.
Now, if you don’t consume pork, let me introduce you to bresaola. This delicious ham is crafted from cured beef, offering a unique and tasty alternative. Not only does it have a fantastic flavour, but it’s also lower in fat.
Oil Marinated Vegetables: “Sott’olio” is a traditional Italian method of preserving vegetables in oil. In Italy, we make and enjoy a wide variety of vegetables prepared this way to ensure a supply throughout the winter. Some popular options include artichokes, mushrooms, courgettes, aubergines (my personal favourite), and many more. For this filling, I’ve chosen artichoke and mushrooms as they pair wonderfully with Parma ham. However, feel free to mix things up and swap in your preferred vegetables. Marinated peppers make an excellent substitute for both artichoke and mushrooms. If you’re going for a vegetarian twist on the Puccia, sun-dried tomatoes and marinated aubergines are a mouth-watering combination.
Now, what if you prefer not to use “sott’olio”? No worries! You can opt for fresh vegetables instead. If you have the time and inclination, I highly recommend roasting courgettes, aubergines, or peppers for a delectable filling. It adds a fantastic depth of flavour to your sandwich. While I suggested “sott’olio” for the sake of convenience, feel free to prepare it your way and experiment with different methods.