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Pane Toscano

Thanks for this recipe to my Italian grandma

....Pane Toscano, is a traditional Tuscan recipe,Pane Toscano, is a traditional Tuscan recipe, without salt.

500 gms Italian white flour
20gms fresh yeast or equivalent dried yeast.
300ml water
Tablespoon of honey.

It works best if you make a sponge the day before, as if you are making sour dough.
Sieve 175gms of Shipton’s Italian white flour into a dish and add 100ml of warm water. Mix into a smooth batter and leave somewhere warm. You can add a little sugar or sweet basil leaves, even grapes that will add natural yeast to your mix. Leave it overnight or for more flavour two/three days.

Pane Toscano - processOn baking day, mix the rest of your flour with the sponge. Preheat the oven to gm5, but ten minutes before the dough is ready to go in turn it up to gm9. Cook for 10 minutes and then turn it down to gm7 and cook for another 25/30 minutes.
In a bowl, crumble the fresh yeast and add a teaspoon of honey. With a fork blend them together, add 100ml of 100ºc water and stir. Add two tablespoons of flour whisk it all together and leave for ten minutes in a warm place.

When it forms a strong froth, add to your flour and sponge mix and then carefully at first mix in. Now add the remaining water, and make your dough. I use my Kenwood titan to do the hard work mixing and then turn it out onto a floured table to knead. After ten minutes, when your arms feel to be dropping off place the dough in a bowl and cover with a warm damp cloth. Don’t forget to enjoy the smell of preparing bread, the flour and yeast and honey all have wonderful aromas.
When it has doubled in size, turn it out again and divide into two. You can use baking tins or just shape it by hand into a nice big pillow.

Make a couple of deep cuts across the dough to allow it to rise and cook inside better.
This is great tear and share bread, and because there is no salt you can eat salty food like anchovies, olives, salted beef with it.