TUSCAN BREAD, i.e. unsalted bread

Tuscan bread

I have been wanting to do this post for ages because several readers have asked me about how to make Tuscan bread so here it is, finally. Tuscan bread has one particularity, it’s made without any salt and I have to confess that it took me quite a while to like it well even accept it, I just disliked it a lot, but now I sort of like it and if I make it at home, I love it. I wonder why that is, maybe because it’s softer and the crust is thinner my way.
The reason to why Tuscans make unsalted bread is that it keeps better, it doesn’t attract humidity and mould like normal bread does so in the olden times you could spread out you baking days. Then the Tuscan dried ham is much saltier than prosciutto crudo from other regions but I wonder if it is to compensate for the missing salt in the bread or if the bread was made like this because of the saltier ham, it’s like the question of what was created first: the hen or the egg!

Tuscan bread

TUSCAN BREAD, i.e. unsalted bread

25 g/0.88 oz fresh yeast (Fresh yeast 1 oz/ 1 tablespoon = active dry yeast 0.4 oz/ 1.25 teaspoon = 0.33 oz / 1 teaspoon. )
1-2 tsp honey
500 ml/2.1 cups water
1,2-1,3 l/5-5,5 cup flour, preferably bread one but all purpose is OK too

– Crumble the yeast in a big bowl and let it melt together with the honey.
– Add finger warm water and mix well before adding the flour.
– It should be a quite firm dough but it may be that you need the smaller amount of flour.
– Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, I knead by hand and I recommend that, it is nice to be in touch with what you are making in the literal sense!
– Put the dough in the bowl, let it be a big one, and cover it with plastic wrap.
– Put the bowl in fridge over the night to let it rise slowly.
– Take out the dough and let it rest for an hour in room temperature before giving it a second knead through.
– Form a loaf and put it on a baking tin, preferably covered with parchment paper. Let it rise for about 1 hour.
– Bake the loaf in a pre-heated oven (200°C/392°F) for about 30 minutes. I put a cake tin with water on the bottom of the oven to add some steam to the process but you can skip that if you want to.

Tuscan bread

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