Tuscan Bread

panne toscano 1

The hardest part about making this bread is starting the sponge the night before!

We returned from a trip to Tuscany hoping to duplicate the coarse peasant bread which has no salt.  We found a recipe which gave good results and enjoyed it with prosciuto sandwiches – but when we wanted to eat it with other not so salty accompaniments we were a bit disappointed in the taste, so we added salt as an ingredient.  It works both with or without salt.

Ingredients: 

Sponge:

  1. ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
  2. 2/3 cup lukewarm (110 degrees) water
  3. 1 1/3 cups of bread flour

The night before, make the sponge.  Stir the ¼ teaspoon yeast into the 2/3 cups warm water.  Let stand until foamy, then add the 1 1/3 cups flour and mix well. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight.ps bread flour

Dough:

  1. 1 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  2. 1/3 cup warm water
  3. 1 cup room-temp water
  4. 3 ¾ cups bread flour
  5. 1 ½ teaspoons table salt

The next day,

  1. stir 1 ¼ teaspoons yeast into the 1/3 cup warm water in a large bowl.  Let stand about 10 minutes, until foamy.
  2. Drop 1 tsp. olive oil in a 6-8 cup bowl and spread with paper towel. Reserve.
  3. Add the sponge, 1 cup of water, 1 cup of flour and the 1 ½ tsp. salt to the yeast mixture. Beat until smooth.
  4. Add the rest of the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until it is workable.
  5. Begin to knead the bread in the bowl before all of the four is absorbed.
  6. When all the flour is almost absorbed, turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
  7. Place the dough in the prepared  bowl, cover and allow to rest in a draft free place until double in bulk, about 1 – 1 ½ hrs.
  8. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper sprinkled generously with yellow corn meal.
  9. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and gently form it into a round.
  10. Transfer to the baking sheet and allow to double in bulk, about 1 hour.

 Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees and prepare a shallow saucepan or skillet full of water.

 When the bread has risen, cut a tic-tac-toe design on top of the bread, and place it in the oven on the middle shelf with the pan of water on the lower shelf.  The steam will make the bread crusty.  Immediately cut the oven temperature down to 400 degrees.

Bake until golden, about 45 minutes.  Let the bread rest at least 10 minutes before slicing.

One thought on “Tuscan Bread

  1. Pingback: Kale Caeser Salad | My Mom Likes to Cook

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