Saltless, yet it is never bland! This Tuscan bread is more substantial than the French bread, and although it hasn’t the airy lightness of a French baguette, it is not heavy like some German bread either. Fresh tomatoes and basil layered on a large slice of Tuscan loaf would make a perfect snack or like what I did, spread the bread with cheese Toscana
One explanation of the saltless bread is that the Tuscans, well known for being tightfisted couldn’t bear to pay the government salt tax and chose instead to make bread without it. Perhaps, but gastronomes point out that the Tuscan bread is perfectly suited to their cuisine, which is full of strong flavors.
- Pour the boiling water over the 250 grams flour in a bowl. Stir until you have a smooth thick paste. Cool and and let rest covered with a plastic wrap overnight in the fridge. The next day, take the dough out of the fridge and let rest for an hour to bring the paste to room temperature.
- Place the paste and the rest of the ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer and stir on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue mixing until the dough is smooth and leave from sides of mixing bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rise until double in bulk, about one hour. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it in half. Round each dough up and let the dough balls rest, covered, for 15-20 minutes.
- After resting, shape the dough into batards. Proof the shaped batards, covered,on a piece of parchment paper or in moulds or pans for about one hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven and the bricks to 220C/450F. Once the dough has doubled in size, sift flour on the surface of the batards to create a rustic appearance. Score the bread and carefully transfer them on the bricks in the oven. Bake the bread for 50 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.