Saturday, January 14, 2012

BBA #38: Tuscan Bread

The thirty-eighty bread of the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge is Tuscan bread.

This bread is unique because it does not contain salt. In the intro Reinhart discusses, almost exclusively, the unique flavor this creates in the bread. I think it was a benefit that I didn't get around the reading the intro until after I made and ate the bread.

We loved this bread. I'm impressed I even noticed a difference in the taste of the bread. I must be getting a bread palate! I attributed the unique flavor to the addition of olive oil and to the usage of a flour paste. I didn't even notice it didn't contain salt. The flour paste, made with boiling water and flour, is unlike a pre-ferment because it doesn't contain yeast.

The flavor the bread can be dull or flat tasting and Tuscans combat this by using the bread with lots of lavish spreads or with hearty flavorful soups. We ate the bread with our favorite dipping olive oil, balsamic, and dipping spices. We loved the chewy dense texture of the bread. I told my husband that we'd be visiting Vienna next (Vienna bread is #39), he asked if I could just keep making this one.

So a definite hit and I now have a whole new appreciation for what salt does for a bread!


  1. Wow, such different takes on this bread between your house and mine! We really missed the salt, so I used it with salty things to counter-act that, and to be truthful, I don't think I will make this one again unless I add salt to it...very fun that you found just the opposite at your house. Your bread looks wonderful. We are finally posting the same bread on the same day, can you believe it? lol...took us 38 breads to do that! Margaret and I are making the Vienna bread on Monday so that will be on next Saturday's post, and then it is on to the white bread and I am going to try to make all 3 variations, I think. Fun that we are finishing together!

  2. You are one of the few bakers to really appreciate this bread. Your palate must be more refined than mine, because to me it just tasted like bread without salt -- bland.

  3. You know in retrospect I'm not sure if we truly loved this bread or if we just ate it with truly delicious olive oil and while famished after a long day. I think a re bake is in order. Or maybe I am a true bread connoisseur. :)

  4. I don't know about the taste, but the crust on this loaf looks amazing.

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