The first time you try Tuscan bread, it feels like someone must be playing a joke. This bland-tasting, pale-crusted bread surely can’t be right. But Tuscan bread it is! In fact, the bread is (quite deliberately) missing one key ingredient.
Tuscan bread is intentionally made without or with very little salt. Tuscan bread not only lacks depth of flavour without salt, the crust also doesn’t brown and the structure is much more delicate.
Salt-less Tuscan bread is really not intended for eating on its own. It’s usually served along with the main meal and is meant for sopping up thick, rich sauces. The bread doesn’t compete with the flavours in the dish, and both are enhanced.
35 g yeast
1 Tbsp flour
125 ml lukewarm water
1250 g flour
500 ml lukewarm water
pinch of salt
1st fermentation – Dissolve the yeast in 125 ml lukewarm water. Add 1 tablespoon flour and leave to rise.
Place the flour in the bowl of a mixer, add the fermented mixture and the remaining 500 ml water. Add a little more water if necessary to get a soft but not sticky dough.
Mix all together and knead for 5 -10 minutes to a small ball.
Shape into an oblong and wrap in a cloth dusted with flour, leave to rise for 1 hour.
Carefully remove the bread from the cloth and place in a baking tray dusted with flour.
Bake in an oven, preheated at 180°C for about 50 minutes.