Puccia (olive studded rolls)

Yield: 12 lg. rolls

Measure Ingredient
1¼ teaspoon Dried yeast
⅓ cup Warm water
3 cups Water at room temperature
1 cup Biga Pugliese
5½ cup Unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup Whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon Salt
4⅓ ounce Small, meaty black olives in water or brine, pitted
\N \N Cornmeal

Stir the yeast into the warm water in a large bowl or heavy mixer. Let proof for 10 minutes. Add the remaining water & the biga & mix until well blended. Add the flours & mix until the dough comes together, 1 to 2 minutes, although it will not come away from the sides of the bowl. With very wet hands, knead until the dough is very silky, soft & elasticy. Knead on a lightly floured board to eliminate the stickiness. Knead in the olives by hand to ensure that they remain whole. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl & let rise, covered, until tripled, 3 to 4 hours.

Pour the wet dough out of the bowl onto a floured work surface. Do not punch it down. Flour the top & divide into 12 pieces (or 16 if you want smaller rolls). Have a bowl of water handy to keep your hands very wet. Flatten each piece & roll it up lengthwise. Pat them flat, turn the dough 90 degrees & roll them up again. Shape each piece into a ball. Set on a floured baking sheet. Toss a hailstorm of flour over the tops & cover with a heavy cloth. Leave until doubled, 1 to 1½ hours.

Preheat the oven to 425F. Bake the rolls until they are crusty & golden, about 25 to 30 minutes. VARIATIONS: Puccia di Grano Duro. Substitute 7 ½ c durum flour for the flours above. Knead the dough for an extra two minutes.

Puccia di Uva Passa. Use raisins, softened in water for 30 minutes, in place of the olives.

Pizzi. Add ¼ ts to ⅜ ts hot pepper flakes to the vegetables of Cucuzzara (see recipe) & folding them into the dough in place of the olives.

Carol Field, "Italy in Small Bites" Submitted By MARK SATTERLY On 10-12-94

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