Bread Baking Day #32 is being hosted by Andrea of Family & Food & Other things. The theme is Italian Bread. I enjoy making Italian Breads because there are so many yummy breads to choose from.
I chose Tuscan Bread because I really enjoyed the Tuscan Bread we made in the BBA Challenge. Only a few of the BBA Bakers liked this bread, but I thought it had a very unique flavor. It's kind of sweet since it doesn't include any salt.
The legend goes that Italians created bread without salt because of the high tariffs on salt generations ago.
I made a different version this time and baked it in my La Cloche for a crispy crust.
Tuscan Bread (Pane Toscano)
Adapted from: Tuscan Bread (Pane Toscano) from King Arthur Flour
Makes: 1 large loaf
- 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2/3 cup lukewarm (110°F) water
- 1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 1 cup room-temperature water
- 3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Make the sponge the night before you want to make bread. Stir the 1/4 teaspoon yeast into the 2/3 cup warm water. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add the 1 1/3 cups flour and mix well. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight.
The next day, stir the 1 1/4 teaspoons yeast into the 1/3 cup warm water. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add the sponge and 1 cup of water. Mix well. Beat in the flour until dough is stiff enough to knead.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
Place the dough in a well-greased bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface without punching it down or handling it roughly.
Gently form it into a large, round loaf by pulling all the edges underneath, gathering them and squeezing them together, leaving the top smooth.
If you have a baking stone, place the loaf on a sheet of parchment paper; if you're using a pan, sprinkle some cornmeal on the bottom of the pan, and place loaf on it. I just sprinkled the bottom of the la cloche with cornmeal and placed the dough in it to rise.
Cover with a towel, and set aside to rise until doubled, about 1 hour. I covered it with the la cloche lid.
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Slash the top of the bread in a tic-tac-toe pattern. I used a serrated knife sprayed with cooking spray to do this part. It worked really well.If you're using a baking stone, use a peel to transfer the loaf, parchment paper and all, to the stone in the oven. Otherwise, put the pan of bread into the oven. After I preheated the oven, I placed the la cloche in the oven; then covered it with the lid to bake.
Bake for 15 minutes, misting bread with water from a spray bottle three times during the 15 minutes. I didn't do this part since I was using the la cloche.
Reduce heat to 400°F and bake 25 to 30 minutes longer. The bread was rising so much that I took the lid off after about 20 minutes and let it finish baking with the lid off.
I removed it from the oven and placed the la cloche on a cloth covered wooden cutting board. If if changes temperature to quickly it might crack so I always do this.
Then I removed the bread and placed it on a wire rack to cool.
I let this bread sit overnight because I wasn't ready to eat it yet. The next day, I sliced it and spread garlic over the slices along with some homemade bruschetta that I canned the other day. Then I broiled it for a little bit and we ate it for dinner.
This bread is good if you like bread with no salt. The bruschetta definitely gives it a boost in flavor.