Puccia is a delightful Apulian sandwich made with a round-shaped bread that is typically filled with various ingredients such as cured meats, cheeses, and vegetables. It’s a flavoursome and satisfying portable meal that offers a taste of Italy in every bite.
FOR YEAST ACTIVATION
FOR THE DOUGH
- 250 grams of durum wheat semolina
- 300 grams of white spelt flour
- 200 grams of water
- 50 grams of extra virgin olive oil
- 20 grams of salt
FOR SAUSAGES AND TENDERSTEM BROCCOLI FILLING
- 500 grams of tenderstem broccoli
- 300 grams of chipolata sausages
- 1 garlic clove
- Extra virgin olive oil as needed
FOR PARMA HAM, VEGETABLES, AND BURRATA FILLING
- To prepare the puccia dough, dissolve the dred yeast in 100 g of water, then add the honey and mix well. Let the mixture rest for 30 minutes.
- Place the sifted flours in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Start the machine and add the yeast dissolved in water, along with the water in which you’ve dissolved the salt.
- Mix for at least 10 minutes until a smooth and homogeneous dough is formed that wraps around the hook and detaches from the sides of the bowl.
- Gradually add the oil, ensuring the added oil is absorbed before adding more.
- Turn the dough out onto an oiled work surface and form a ball by folding the outer edges towards the centre, rotating the dough. Place the dough ball in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise for 3 hours in a turned-off oven until it doubles in size.
- After the dough has risen, transfer it to a lightly oiled work surface and stretch it with your hands (using only your fingertips, not a rolling pin) to form a 36 x 16 cm rectangle. Roll it along the longer side to form a log and divide it into 4 cylinders, each 9 cm long.
- Take one cylinder at a time and gently stretch it on the work surface with your fingers. Roll it up into another cylinder, rotate it 180 degrees and stretch it again with your fingertips. Repeat this process 3-4 times for each dough ball to ensure proper rising during baking.
- Perform the “pirlatura,” which involves rotating each dough portion on your work surface and shaping it into 4 balls. Place the balls on a baking sheet lined with floured parchment paper and let them rise for another 2 hours (until they double in size) in a turned-off oven.
- After the dough balls have risen, gently roll them out with a rolling pin to form discs of dough with a diameter of about 18 cm.
- Preheat the oven to 240°C (464°F) with an inverted baking tray or refractory stone inside on the lowest oven shelf.
- Once the oven reaches the set temperature, place the dough discs directly onto the hot surface (you may need to bake one or two at a time) and bake for about 8 minutes.
- Do not open the oven until the baking is complete, until the breads are puffed up and browned on the surface (they will take on the typical colour of a pizza crust).
- Remove the breads from the oven and let them cool slightly before cutting them in half and filling them. Serve and enjoy your homemade puccia bread!
SAUSAGE AND TENDERSTEM BROCCOLI FILLING:
- In a non-stick pot, gently heat a drizzle of oil with crushed garlic. Then, add the cleaned tenderstem broccoli, season with salt, and stir fry for 5-6 minutes until cooked. Turn off the heat and set aside.
- Remove the sausage casing and crumble it with your hands directly into another pan. Increase the heat slightly, and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add the cooked broccoli to the pan with the sausage and sauté together for a minute. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly before filling 2 of the prepared breads.
- Optional: at the beginning of cooking, you can add a sliced fresh chilli pepper to the oil and garlic, with or without seeds, depending on the level of spiciness you want to give your filling.
PARMA HAM, MARINATED VEGETABLES, AND BURRATA FILLING:
- Open the casing of the burrata and spread it on one half of the breads.
- Halve the marinated mushrooms and quarter the artichoke hearts. Spread them over the burrata along with slices of Parma ham.
- Puccia bread has various versions, including one enriched with olives, or the pizzaiola version, enriched with onions, olives, capers, and tomatoes. However, the most traditional recipe is plain, perfect for filling with anything you like.
- To save time, you can prepare the dough for the bread the night before and keep it in the refrigerator. But before using it, make sure to let it come to room temperature for about 2 hours.
- Once cooked, I recommend consuming your bread while it’s still hot. Alternatively, store it in a paper bag for up to 1-2 days, or freeze it for later use.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Rest Time: 6 hours
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Baking
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: traditional italian food, Italian street food, italian sandwich, apulian bread, puglia cuisine, lunch on the go, lunchbox meal