Tuscan Bread: considered to be the Marmite of bread, it lures many unsuspected diners within Florence with its thick-crusted oval appearance, however one bite reveals it distinctly bland flavour.

During the Middle Ages, salt was heavily taxed which resulted in Tuscan bakers going without this flavour-enhancing element. Although the bread’s acquired taste may put you off, it’s not really intended to be eaten alone; instead it is generally served alongside a main meal to soak deliciously rich flavours of thick Italian sauces, without overpowering a dish.

Whether you intend to create a simple Italian meal or perhaps try your hand at something a little more intricate, read on and discover the simple art of creating this Tuscan speciality.



A pinch of sugar

25g (1oz) of instant yeast

500g (1lb 20z) bread flour

310ml (1 1/4 cups) of water

1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil


  1. Pop the yeast into a bowl with a pinch of sugar, then add the water. Ensure the water is tepid and stir until the yeast has dissolved.
  1. Sieve the flour into a large bowl and add the water/sugar/yeast mix with olive oil.
  1. Begin kneading the dough for approximately 10 minutes, until your dough is smooth, compact and elastic.
  1. Place the dough into a lightly floured bowl, cover with cloth or cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for about an hour and a half, or until it has doubled in size.
  1. Dust your work space with flour and create a round shape with your dough. Place the circular dough on a lightly floured baking sheet and allow it to rise for a further 40 minutes.
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F)
  1. Place bread in the oven and bake for 40 minutes until it’s lightly golden and crusty.

Buon appetito!tuscan-bread-2


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