Sunday, November 20, 2011

BBA #35: Tuscan Bread

Tuscan BreadI jumped ahead to the Tuscan Bread, avoiding two rye breads in a row and also skipping the stollen, better suited for Christmas. The Tuscan bread is distinguished by being salt-free, and having tasted it all I can say is "why?". Reinhart calls it "dull and flat tasting", and I agree. Trying to eat it with intensely flavored things just couldn't overcome the basic blah in this bread.

Tuscan BreadAnother distinction of the Tuscan brea is that it starts with a flour and water paste, made by pouring boiling water over some of the flour the night before baking the bread. I was expecting a thinner mixture than I got--it was really stiff. However, from that point it was much like working with a soaker or a barm: the mix goes in with flour, a little olive oil, yeast, and water. Make a dough, knead it (by machine for me), let it rise, make the loaf, rise again, and bake using the hearth-baking setup.

Tuscan BreadMy loaf was rather flat (in shape as well as taste), which I'll attribute to still not doing well in the "create a taut skin when shaping the loaf" task, but the resulting texture was fine. It's just that without salt, the bread is not worth eating. IMHO.

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