Pane Toscano

Pane Toscano Recipe

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Pat DiMercurio


There was request for an authentic Tuscan bread recipe. This is from "The Best Ever Book of Bread". The recipe contains no salt. I have never made this particular type of bread, but may have to do that just to experience the flavor. The book states that the salt-less bread probably originated from the days when salt was heavily taxed. Bakers stopped adding salt to their breads in protest.
It calls for fresh yeast. If you do not have fresh available to you, 1/2 oz. of fresh yeast = 1 1/2 tsp. dry.

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1 loaf
12 Hr
35 Min


5 c
unbleached white bread flour
1 1/2 c
boiling water
1/2 oz
fresh yeast
4 Tbsp
lukewarm water


1First make the starter. Sift 1 1/2 cups flour into a large bowl. Pour over the boiling water, leave for a couple of minutes, then mix well. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel and leave for 10 hours.
2Lightly flour a sheet pan, set aside. Cream the yeast with the lukewarm water. If using dry yeast, mix the 1 1/2 tsp. dry yeast with the 4 TBSP lukewarm water. Stir this into the starter.
3Gradually add the remaining flour and stir well to form a dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5-8 minutes.
4Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowel and cover with a piece of oiled plastic wrap. and leave in a warm place for 1 - 1 1/2 hours until doubled.
5Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and punch down and shape into a round.
6Fold the sides of the round to the center and seal. Place seam side up onto the prepared baking sheet. Cover with another piece of lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes or until doubled in size.
7Flatten the loaf slightly ( about 1/2 risen size) and flip over, covering with a large bowl. Leave to rise again for 30 more minutes.
8Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425°F. Slash the top of the loaf with a sharp knife. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Move the loaf to a wire rack to cool.
9Note: the recipe states that salt controls the leavening action so if the bread over-rises, the loaf may collapse

About Pane Toscano

Course/Dish: Other Breads
Main Ingredient: Flour
Regional Style: Italian
Dietary Needs: Dairy Free, Low Sodium