Fifth from the Italian Bread Project: Sourdough Saltless Tuscan Bread

I was doubtful whether or not I should even make the saltless Tuscan bread for the sourdough Italian Bread project.  With some encouragement from interested bread folk, I did it.  That, and because the original (yeasted) recipe from The Italian Bread Book by Carol Field does say you can add a bit of salt.  I am a believer in salt, just like I am a believer in lard.

The bread is sensational.  Seriously.  It is very light (no salt to impeded the rising process) and because it is sourdough it is very moist but not at all dense.  There is a soft, crisply, thin crust and the flavour is great.  I am sure some of that is down to the wonderful flour from Cann Mills and some of it down to the fact that it took 24 hours to make.  Don’t fret, most of that is the dough just lying around.  I took a sneaky slice last night (spread with schmaltz and sprinkled with salt) and am taking the rest into the Bread Angels class today.

Sourdough Saltless Italian Bread

You can make this bread with white wheat or whole wheat flour – or a mixture of the two.

Day 1

30 g rye sourdough
175 g white or whole wheat flour
140 g water

Stir, cover and leave for 12-18 hours until very frothy.

Day 2

Dough from day 1
295 g water
500 g flour
pinch of salt (optional)

Mix the dough from Day 1 in the water until it is thoroughly incorporated.  Add the flour and knead for 10 minutes.  Add a pinch of salt (if using) and knead for another 5 minutes.

Let the dough rest in a bowl for 60 minutes.

Take it out, do a little stretch and fold.  Oil the bowl and put the dough back and leave for 60 minutes.

Do that again.

Take it out, shape it into a loose round ball or divide it and shape it into two loose round balls, cover , and let rest for 30 minutes.  Don’t punch it down – this bread should be light and holey.

Shape it by flattening it (or them) slightly and gently into a round loaf.  Place it on a well floured baking tray and then turn it over so that both sides get covered in flour.  Cover and let rise for 2 hours or until the loaf/loaves have risen by 50%.

Score the loaf/loaves and bake at 230 C for 15 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 200 C and bake for 25 minutes more.

Serve with salty things.  Sauce, gravy, cheese, etc.

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