Traditional stone ovens are still part of the urban landscape in the Alta Murgia. Built in the 19th century, they typically have very tall hoods, require extremely long-handled peels and can hold 300 kilos of bread or more. The basic ingredient of the dough is remilled durum wheat semolina from the Alta Murgia in the province of Bari, which is mixed with a natural sourdough starter, warm water and sea salt. Altamura bread is characterized by its wide-brimmed hat shape (called “skuanete” in dialect) and golden crust. Traditionally the bread was made in large, long-lasting loaves, weighing 3 to 5 kilos each, but now smaller loaves of around a kilo are also made.
The bread is baked daily and can be kept for up to a week.