• Italiano
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The shapes

The shapes

1. Name: U skuanète (i.e. dialect for overlapped bread)
This bread is largely consumed. It was traditionally kneaded at home and taken to the neighbourhood’s bakery where the baker would give the dough the overlapping shape, mark it with a wooden or an iron stamp on which were engraved the initials of the head of the family, thus he would bake it and, around about an hour later, he would open the oven in order to allow for the formed crust to dry out and become crusty. When the baking was finished, the baker himself, after the bread had cooled down on wooden planks, would deliver the bread home to home on the same wooden planks previously used to pick up the dough. The baker-deliverer was paid with a piece of raw dough (about 300 g.), locally known as cecì. At present, overlapped bread is directly produced by the bakers of Altamura, baked in a wood-burning oven and sold wholesale and retail.

2. Name: u puène muèdde (soft bread or farmer’s bread)
This bread was traditionally made for farmers and shepherds who would live on it during their long stays on the farms (usually 15 days). The kneading, moulding and baking processes are the same as those used for the overlapped bread. Today, due to the modernization of the milling techniques, instead of durum wheat semolina they commonly use reground semolina, which gives the bread its straw-colouring instead of the traditional amber one.

3. Name: u peccelatidde (tantrum bread)
Traditionally made and eaten while waiting for the sckuanéte (overlapped bread) to be baked. The name derives from the necessity to satisfy children’s desire (tantrum) to eat bread without waiting.
4. Name: u puène a ‘mmenza stufe (bread on the stove)
This is a special bread, meant for the city’s richer families or made on special occasions, like weddings. The finest quality of durum wheat semolina (like the one known as the “Senatore Cappelli”) was used for this valuable bread.

5. Name: u cuappidde de prèvete (priest’s hat shaped bread)
This type of bread doesn’t have much soft part. It was made out of pieces of dough given to the caresceapène (the baker deliverer) by housewives as a payment for his service. (look at slide 1)

6. Name: la panèdde de Sand’Andonje (Saint Antony’s bread)
Votive bread made for the religious festivals of Saint Antony of Padova (13th June); Saint Joseph (19th March) and Saint Anne, patroness of bakers (26th July). It is blessed on small alters set up in private houses and distributed to followers who often would keep it in the kitchen of their homes for a hole year as a protection. At present Saint Antony’s bread is also made for the festivals of Saint Rita, in the Saint Augustine’s church, and of the Madonna del Buoncammino (Our Lady of the Safe Journey), in the sanctuary consecrated to Her.

7. Name: la fecazzéde de la Maculète (the Immaculate’s bread)
This bread is made for the festival of the Immaculate Conception (8th December). Once it was the only bread to be eaten on the vigil of the festival (7th December), after the Cathedral’s bell had struck noon. At present the Immaculate’s bread is made solely by bakers and is sold retail or on request.