If you want to combine a good glass of Primitivo of Gioia del Colle we recommend some crostini prepared with the famous bread of Altamura and some Apulian caciocavallo on top.
The bread of Altamura is produced in the territories within the National Park of Alta Murgia, in Altamura, Gravina di Puglia and Poggiorsini in the province of Bari, Spinazzola and Minervino Murge in the province of Barletta-Andria-Trani. In this territory are produced the varieties of durum wheat used for preparing bread, like appulo, arcangelo, duilio and simelo.
The recipe of the ancient art of bread making has been handed down from farmer to farmer, but the basic ingredients are always the same: durum wheat, sourdough, salt and water, and the different step to realize this delicacy are: shaping, forming, leavening, moulding, in a wooden oven baking.
You can find the bread of Altamura in two traditional shapes: u skuanete, or overlapped bread (as you can see in the cover photo), as a result of various folds given to the dough and a cappidd d’ prevte, or priest’s hat in its more classic round shape with either cross or grid-shaped incisions made in the upper part.
The result of this ancient art of bread making is a kind of bread with a crusty crust 3 mm thick, with a soft straw yellow crumb, uniform cavity and its characteristic aroma.
The first mention of bread making in this territory is provided by Horace in his book I of Satires. In 37 bC he wrote “the best bread in the world, so much that the diligent traveller carry with him a supply for the continuation of the journey“. Horace was a native of Venosa, in Lucania.
The bread of Altamura, thanks to its preparation manages to remain good to consume for a week, for this reason was the food of farmers and shepherds during their long trips away from home.
Since the Middle Ages bread was kneaded in private houses and then baked in public ovens, because there was an absolute ban on baking bread and cakes inside private houses. In Altamura we have the chance to visit two of the oldest furnaces dating back to the first half of 1700 and still open.
In 2003 the bread of Altamura receives the DOP mark from the European Union, which is guaranteed by the Consortium of Protection that deals with the control, promotion and enhancement of this ancient art of bread making, as well as supervise any counterfeits on the market.
We suggest combining your meals with the good bread of Altamura, to prepare some bruschetta with some homemade pickled vegetables or taste it with excellent cheeses, even better if it is typical of this territory.