Recipe: Tuscan Bread

Ohhhh how I love thinking back on my vacations.  Travel is expensive, sure, but the memories really last, don’t they?  There’s obviously much more to travel than food, but the food is a huge part of the fun!

florenceWhen Kevin and I went to Florence, he fell in love with the salt-free bread.  Though it’s very bland on its own, it tastes really good with extra salty meats and cheeses, or just salted olive oil.  Mmmmm…

salamiThe problem is (other than not being able to hop on a flight to Italy later today) we can’t seem to find any of this bread at home.  I took matters into my own kneady hands.  This was my first attempt at bread (not the quick kind – the kind with… gasp… kneading and yeast), and it turned out really well!

Tuscan Bread
Author: 
Recipe type: bread
Cuisine: Italian
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup lukewarm water and 1 and ¼ cup lukewarm water (divided)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
  • 1 and ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • Olive oil for greasing
Instructions
  1. Proof your yeast by stirring the yeast into ¼ cup warm water. Allow this to activate and almost double in size for 10 minutes.
  2. After yeast has been activated, combine the yeast mixture with the flour and remaining warm water. Stir and begin mixing with hands. Dust workspace with flour, and knead the dough for about five minutes.
  3. Place the ball of dough in a large, greased bowl, turning it a few times in the bowl to get some of the oil on the dough. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow it to sit in a warm place for an hour. Dough will double in size. (I let it sit in my kitchen at 75 degrees half the time and outside in the late afternoon shade half the time 80 degrees.)
  4. Place parchment over a baking sheet. Deflate the dough and form into a round loaf (traditional), or shape it into a long loaf if you prefer. Place the dough on the parchment and loosely cover with a lightly greased piece of plastic wrap.
  5. Allow the loaf to sit and rise 35 minutes, and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  6. Remove plastic and slice any decorative lines on the top. Bake loaf for 30 to 35 minutes.
  7. When the loaf is done, allow it to cool at least 20 minutes prior to slicing. Serve with salty food, such as dipping olive oil with a dusting of sea salt.

My bread was brutto ma buono, “ugly but good.”  As stated, the bread is made to be paired with salty foods, and it is therefore quite plain.  Some people love it, but others hate it.  Hey – I’ll take any excuse to buy some Parmesan and olive tapenade!

bread

We had no trouble finishing this loaf, but if yours starts to get stale, you can always make panzanella with the rest of it.  For those of you who are interested in this bit of foodie culture, check out this NY Times article on the topic.

  • Ever tried salt-free bread?  If so, did you like it?

 

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20 Responses to Recipe: Tuscan Bread

  1. Ohh i love this! i did one of my semesters abroad in florence and that bread-along with pretty much all the food- was SO good. i’ve never tried making it at home, thats so awesome yours turned out good! i always thought i wouldnt be able to truly recreate it,but after reading this its worth a shot :)

  2. I loooove salt, so it might be good for me to make a salt free bread haha. But I bet it would AMAZING with some parmesan and garlic butter ;)

  3. I’ve always wanted to travel to Italy… FOR THE FOOD. It definitely seems like a foodies paradise!

  4. This actually sounds pretty easy to make. Normally, the idea of making my own bread is super intimidating. I might have to try this out!

  5. Missi says:

    Nicely done! Bread is one of the perfect foods…salt or no salt! BTW…love the new layout!

  6. I’ve only tried making homemade yeast bread once, but I definitely adored it – something I’ll need to do again soon. And no salt just means more excuses to add some fun toppings…bruschetta topping with feta springs immediately to my mind! ;-)

  7. Mmmm, just love homemade bread like that period. And I like that the bread has a purpose, it’s supposed to be plain so you can pair it with something else and nothing is overpowering.

  8. Nikki says:

    That sounds really good. I love any and all bread! ;)

  9. Jenn says:

    ahhhhh I love these photos!! I’m italian and these photos bring back so many fond memories!

  10. Florence was my FAVORITE place I have ever traveled. THe food was AH-MAY-ZING!!!! Did you have a favorite restaurant/place to eat when you visited?

    • Tiff says:

      We settled on a fav place for morning cappuccinos but couldn’t narrow it down to a fav restaurant. It’s alllll good! Haha

  11. Lisa says:

    I’m always so intimidated by bread recipes, but it sounds so good. Any bread = a win for me. Love my carbs.
    And I think I’d love to go to Italy – the culture there is so interesting to me.

  12. LOVE the new layout!!! WOW, looks amaze.

    I could be Italian, some of the best food I’ve ever had in that beautiful country. Tuscan bread, pass the olives:)

  13. Oh how fancy of you! :) I’d love to try this recipe – I’ve never tried salt-free bread, but I swear I could eat a whole loaf of bread with some delicious olive oil. I’m going to have to try to make this.

  14. I miss travel… SO MUCH! The last time I went out of this country was 2009 – I went to Turkey and it was the BEST vacation of my life. Ugh, I would eat my finger to go back again. Okay, that was graphic and disgusting – I don’t think I would eat my finger! LOL!

  15. Good bread is the reason I run :)

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