In Manfredonia, we saw several bakeries with signs saying “Prodotti di Monte Sant’Angelo” and wondered what that might be. In Monte Sant’Angelo, there are so many bakeries! It turns out that the town is famous for its bread: big round loaves, with a diameter of 70 – 80 cm, some weighing five-six kilos. They are exhibited in and outside the bakeries.
I asked a baker why the bread was so famous, and he said it was the quality: soft interior, good crust, made with pasta madre (sourdough leaven), always using some of the dough from the day before. Very fragrant, and even better the next day.
So we bought a quarter loaf of pane di Monte Sant’Angelo, which he kindly sliced for us. It did smell amazing. Then some smoked caciocavallo cheese, some speck, and back we went to the hotel for lunch on our balcony overlooking the sea and Manfredonia. Very nice!
We had leftover bread for lunch the next day, and it was still excellent. It did not dry out quickly as some breads do, it was still soft inside with a lovely crunchy crust. I’m curious about the sourdough hydration they use, I should have asked. I’ve seen a number of Italian recipes with 66% and might try that at some point.