Today's bread is Pugliese, pronounced "pool-yee-AY-zee".
A lovely photograph of it graces the cover of The Bread Bible. It's described as a simple, crusty bread from Puglia, the Apulia region of Italy. It is made using part durum flour, the hardest of all varieties of wheat, low in gluten, and supposedly gives the bread "an especially delicious, nutty/sweet flavor, pale golden crumb, and exceptionally fine, chewy crust."
Except that durum flour was nowhere to be found in Austin, TX. I found semolina (which is the same wheat, but coarsely ground) everywhere. No durum. Rose says that it may be labeled "extra fancy pasta flour" or "patent durum flour" or "farina grade". So I kept my eyes peeled for any of those terms. Nada.
I resisted ordering it from King Arthur Flour. It just seems silly to pay $5.95 in shipping for $4.50 of flour. But after weeks of thinking about it and checking every local source I knew, I caved. I decided that in the grand scheme of things, $10 wasn't that much money, and I'd get lots of loaves of bread from it.
No sooner did I order it, than Central Market began carrying darling little two-pound bags of farina. I kid you not. I spent $10 for something I could have paid $1.89 for. This better be some darn good bread.
The dough was incredibly soft and silky. I just wanted to hold it. I did bake it, and the resulting bread is very good. In fact, I might even say "excellent", but for the fact that I've been hopelessly spoilt by the homemade sourdough.