Salento Puccia

Puccia is a leavened and “seasoned” loaf of bread, now so famous that it has become one of the symbols of Salento gastronomy. Every Apulian bakery, among the many traditional breads, sells pucce; but there are also real puccerie, a sort of very original “regional fast food”, exclusively dedicated to this tasty sandwich (the best ones cook the pucci in a wood oven).
It seems that the etymology of the word puccia derives from the Latin buccellatum, name of the classic round bread (composed of oil, semolina and water), that is, “bread to be transformed into buccelli, small chunks, bites”. Although originally puccia was the poor meal brought to the fields by farmers at work, today it represents one of the most loved and consumed street foods in the region, so much so that it has become the cult food of every tourist on holiday in Salento.

Salento puccia
Salento puccia ©milla1974 via Canva

There are truly many versions of puccia: soft, crunchy and seasoned with the most disparate ingredients, from traditional ones to those that meet the most modern tastes, with tomatoes, cured meats and cheeses.
Probably the most famous puccia is the one with black olives – puccia cu’ ‘lle ulie – the “celline di Nardò”, a local variety of small olives that give the mixture a truly particular color and fruity aroma!
Another well-known puccia is the puccia caddhipulina, prepared in the city of Gallipoli on 7 December, the eve of the feast of the Immaculate Conception: to allow women to follow religious rites without the hassle of cooking and to observe fasting as penance in view of the party, the Christmas Eve meal consists of a frugal puccia seasoned with salted anchovies and capers, or with the addition of tuna, tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil.
In Taranto, however, there is puccia alla vampa, a puccia of semolina cooked at the very high heat of a wood oven (very close to the flame of the fire), so as to have an immediate swelling of the loaf obtaining a very soft interior: it is stuffed with tomato, extra virgin olive oil, salt and strong ricotta, or with stewed turnips.

We can say that the pucce are worked with soft wheat flour (in some cases mixed with durum wheat semolina), water and a pinch of salt. In many Apulian homes, however, this basic recipe is enriched with extra virgin olive oil or boiled and mashed potatoes.
Here we report a basic recipe to which everyone can add their own variations and seasonings following tradition or their own imagination.

Salento Puccia recipe


  • 1 kg of 0 flour
  • 600 ml of warm water
  • 25 g of brewer’s yeast
  • 100 ml of extra virgin olive oil
  • 15g of salt
  • 10 g of honey


  1. Sift the flour into the bowl of the mixer and add the yeast dissolved in a part of water together with the honey. Turn on the planetary mixer, inserting the leaf and add the extra virgin olive oil and the warm water slowly. Let everything work for a few minutes and when the mixture has become a homogeneous ball, add the salt. Work everything for a couple of minutes, so that the salt is well absorbed.
  2. At this point replace the leaf with the hook and continue kneading for about 10-15 minutes, until you obtain a smooth and elastic dough. When the dough is well kneaded, transfer it to a floured work surface and knead it lightly with your hands. Try to give it as spherical a shape as possible and place the dough in an oiled bowl.
  3. Cover it with transparent film and let it rise in the oven with the light on for about 2-3 hours. The dough should double in volume.
  4. After the leavening time has passed, transfer the dough to the pastry board and work it with your hands until it forms a loaf. Obtain pieces of dough weighing approximately 90 g each. Take each piece of dough and perform a rotary movement to obtain spheres, which you will roll out with a rolling pin. You will need to obtain discs with a diameter of about 20 centimetres.
  5. Place each disc obtained on a baking tray covered with baking paper and bake at 250° in a static oven for about 15 minutes. Take your pucce out of the oven and let them cool, then cut them in half and fill them according to your taste.
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