Sunday, December 12, 2010

BBA Challenge Bread #38—Tuscan Bread


BBA Bread #38—Tuscan Bread. It's claim to fame? It's salt free. Does that equal "taste-free"? Let's find out...

I'm "oh-my-gosh-so-close-yet-so-far" baking my way through Peter Reinhart's award winning book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice, along with a number of other amateur bakers (I'm not sure how many are still with us, and a number of us have finished). Want to learn more about it? Check out the following links:
I know, I know. I'm dragging my heels with this challenge, no question. Blogging about hasn't exactly been stellar, either. I made those lovely loaves you see up there nearly three months ago. 

As I mentioned in the intro, this bread is salt-free, an anomaly in the bread world as salt adds considerable flavor to bread. But Tuscan bread ekes out flavor in another way – by using a flour and water paste prepared the day before final mixing and baking. Boiling hot water gelatinizes the starches in the flour, "releas(ing) flavors that give(s) this bread a distinct quality, quite unlike any other bread." 


To the paste is added the usual suspects: bread flour, yeast, water and in this case, olive oil. Mix, knead, proof, shape, rise... and bake.


They certainly look lovely, but how do they taste? I thought they tasted darn good. Sure, a bit bland on its own, but I really liked it warm, dipped in olive oil and spices as shown in the first photo, and lightly toasted with a bit of butter.  I'm not sure I'd make it again given the other outstanding alternatives in this book, but it was certainly worth trying.

See what other BBA bakers had to say:

Janice at Round the Table


  1. I am agreeing with you in all sorts of ways. Dragging my feet, and even though I'm done, I just can't get that last post up.

    That said, though, your loaves are beautiful. You have a tendency of baking such gorgeous loaves that it makes me want to re-bake mine just to try to get them prettier.

    And I agree with you that they were good, but there are better loaves. If I ever make this again, I'll add more olive oil than called for in the book, because it really flavored the bread, making me like it, despite the saltlessness.

    Looking forward to reading your posts about finishing the challenge!

  2. My father in law is hankering for a good bread, since he was diagnosed with a condition that will not allow him to have salt. I made him a no-knead bread w/o salt, and he loved it. Made bread crumbs with it and topped it with all sorts of garlic and herbs. I'll have to give this recipe a try!

  3. So much for day old bread, this is three month old bread! Your loaves look beautiful. I do love making a meal out of bread with some spices and oil too. The top photo is lovely.

  4. I agree with the comments Kelly - you have a "way" of making such pretty loaves! I'm gonna be sad when your bread making adventures are over!

  5. Thank you all so much for the nice compliments!

    Susie, Don't worry about there being a lack of bread once I finish this challenge. I have at least 4 other bread books that between them have hundreds and hundreds of recipes. I'll be baking bread until they pry my cold dead hands from the jar of yeast. ;)


Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! Please note that I moderate comments so yours won't show up right away, but do know that I read all of them!

I will gladly answer any questions you have right here in the comments. If you would prefer a reply back via email, just let me know and include your email address. Or you can email me directly at info_kellyluna {at} frontier {dot} com.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...