Puccia (Olive Studded Rolls)

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Title: Puccia (Olive Studded Rolls)
Yield: 12 Lg. rolls
Categories: Bakery, Italian, Bread


1 1/4 ts Dried yeast
1/3 c Warm water
3 c Water at room temperature
1 c Biga Pugliese
5 1/2 c Unbleached all-purpose flour
1 c Whole-wheat flour
1 tb Salt
4 1/3 oz Small, meaty black olives in
-- water or brine, pitted

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 1 1/2 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 1/2 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 1/4 ts to 3/8
ts hot pepper flakes to the vegetables of Cucuzzara (see recipe) & folding
them into the dough in place of the olives.