Today I want to teach you how I make bread. To do things perfectly would take a wood oven, but I instead have a very common electric kitchen oven, as well as most people, but I guarantee you that it comes good equally.
To make a small loaf that is enough for a day at 2/3 fiper you need the following ingredients:
- 375 grams of flour type 0;
- Grams. 250 of warm water;
- 12.5 grams of fresh yeast (it is easily found in every supermarket in 25 grams packet);
- half a teaspoon of salt;
- half a teaspoon of sugar.
Knead the flour with the water in which you have dissolved the yeast, add the salt and sugar and knead the dough until it is firm. At this point put the dough in a high bowl cover it with cling film and a kitchen dryer on top so that the dough remains in the dark.
Leave to rise for about an hour until the dough is doubled. At this point resume working the dough with your hands, adding a little flour if necessary, until you get a fairly firm ball. Now you give it the shape that we like the most, (generally round) and on top of a sheet of baking paper you place in the container that we will then put in the oven, making over the loaf a couple of incisions with a knife.
We cover everything with a kitchen dryer and let the loaf still rise for another 30 minutes or so.
In the meantime we bring the temperature of the oven to 200 degrees and after the loaf has risen once more we bake in a hot static oven for about 25/30 minutes depending on the degree of cooking you want to reach. It is worth it after about twenty minutes to hear the loaf has already formed a rather hard crust. If you leave another 5 minutes and then remove the bread of the oven.
I recommend cooking it just before dinner or lunch, eaten hot freshly overturned is truly a delight.
At this point increasing a little the doses i gave you before, indeed doubling them quietly, you can think of doing even the Tuscan dunk.
The dough is the usual and the leavening process is the same, only at the end, half of the dough you have to roll it out with a rolling pin until it forms a pastry pastry about one centimeter high. Put it in a 28/30cm wide low bowl and spread it with your hands until you reach the edges. With fingerfingertips make many small footprints all over the surface. Add olive oil possibly spreading with a brush or even with your hands until you grease the entire surface, after which a light dusting of coarse salt. At this point, in the oven for about 15 minutes always at 200 degrees. Here, too, we have to check the cooking so as not to make our crush too cooked.
This as well as bread comes very good in our kitchen oven and lends itself to be eaten with meats and cheeses, but also on its own.
With the same yeasted dough you can also make fried dough.
Spread the dough with a rolling pin until we have a sheet of about half a centimeter in height. Divide it into many squares of about 6/7 cm and let them cook in boiling oil until they acquire a nice golden color. This paste once cooled a little is great to stuff with cheeses and cured meats.
If you have been satisfied with your bread or crush and plan to make them often, I recommend a very useful purchase and that will save you quite a bit of time. A small planetary kneather. There are several prices but they are not very expensive, especially since it does not take you very large, and they have many other uses in the kitchen. For example, in addition to bread and crush, I also make a base for sweets and dumplings and with this we speed up our recipes a lot and get much less dirty the kitchen.
Although great freshly baked, this bread retains well a few days and although no more crispy remains soft. I recommend wrapping it in aluminum foil or cling film.
A bit of legend, a bit of history
We are in Tuscany, which together with Umbria is the home of silly bread, that is, without salt, although in Tuscany some cities also make it slightly salty. But the classic Tuscan bread is salt-free. It has a crispy crust while the crumb is compact and soft.
But where does this custom of making bread without salt come from? There are several theories about it and a definitely right one is not there and I think there will never be, because there are many interpretations and answers to this question.
Who goes back to the fact of not putting salt to compensate for the strong flavors of the main Tuscan dishes. Just think of the ribollita, the tripe to the Florentine, the various soups, the gruel with tomato, the panzanella and especially the cured meats. Very appreciated at the time and even now, it was the classic salted ham. This theory is refuted, however, by the fact that other regions, especially those in the south, also have a tradition of strong flavors and yet their bread is salty.
Then there is the theory of war between Pisa and Florence. The most supported theory is that it began to make bread without salt around the 12th century, when Pisa that was a powerful maritime republic and in whose port came the loads of salt, to create an economic damage to Florence with which it was at war , blocked the loads of salt destined for the city. So this and the fact that Florence and Tuscany in general had no salt deposits of their own, was therefore forced to import salt in another way, raising its price that was already very high at the time. So preferring to leave what little that came for the cured meats and meats to be preserved, you start to make bread without salt
Another theory is based on the fact that according to some the custom of making bread without salt stems from the fact that the city of Florence imposed duties and gabelle, that is, indirect taxes that were paid for certain activities carried out and especially for the gabelle sits at the entrances (I think that all remember the film with Benigni and Troisi, we just have to cry where every step back and forth you pay a florin).
But above all Florence financed itself with the tax on salt and from here make of necessity virtue and remove salt from everything you could remove, including bread.
However, there are many types of bread in Tuscany. Just think that not all Tuscan provinces eat bread without salt. Pisa, Lucca and Massa, which were cities that were not part of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, eat strictly salty bread. One of the best Tuscan loaves is produced in the town of Altopascio, which is located in the Lucca plain. It is a special bread that is produced without yeast and without salt. Altopascio benche near Lucca was part of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and therefore its inhabitants were also subject to the salt tax.
Then there is the Pratese draft that is produced in Prato in the Bisenzio valley and which is known as early as the sixteenth century. Very renowned for the inhabitants of Prato and has an elongated shape and a sour taste.
Not always in the Tuscan countryside the wheat was enough for the bread of the whole year, so the peasants engaged using other components, such as corn flours, chestnuts and even potatoes.
And then there is the birth of different loaves with the Morocco bread of Montignoso. It was called Morocco because it was as dark as a moroccan.It is a specialty as old as it is tasty. Corn flour was used, which was much cheaper and widespread. Wheat flour was at that time very rare and precious and therefore bread made of wheat flour was only used in the holidays. Along with corn flour, black olives, chilli, sage, garlic and rosemary were also kneaded.
Unfortunately, this delicious bread is only found in the area where it was created, in the province of Massa and Carrara up to Garfagnana. It was once produced only in winter, when olives were found, but now with pickled olives, it is produced all year round. It can also be prepared at home, but it loses much of its original fragrance and texture it takes in a wood oven.
Garfagnana is home to very special extraordinary loaves, the bread “Neccio”, that is, chestnuts, potato bread, spelt bread.
Chestnut flour bread
Chestnut, is used for the production of a flour obtained by drying in special cases with under the fire, chestnuts. Once dried they were then ground in water mills. The bread at this point was prepared using chestnut flour together with wheat flour, or in the absence of the latter, of boiled potatoes. Among the most famous loaves of Tuscan cuisine are the Marocca di Casola, the Necci of Garfagnana.
The Marocca di Casola is a loaf of about twenty centimeters in diameter, which was kneaded with chestnut flour, little Turkish wheat flour, crushed boiled potatoes, sourdough and a little olive oil. Although this bread is not known only of an oven that produces it in Casola, a village in Lunigiana in the province of Massa Carrara.
The bread of St. Martin, was traditionally prepared in the summer of St. Martin (hence the name) on the eleventh of November. It is made with chestnut and wheat flour, brewer’s yeast, warm water and chopped nuts. This type of bread is not only Tuscan however, it is also prepared in many other mountainous areas of Italy.
The necci of Garfagnana, are thin scones, made only of chestnut flour and water and a pinch of salt. Cooked on the texts, which are stone or cast-iron plates that are red-hot on the flame of the fireplace or wood-burning stoves. They are great when accompanied by ricotta, which is traditionally its use, but they also lend themselves to be stuffed with jams or melted chocolates.
Testarolo and other Tuscan breads
The headtest is produced in the Pontremoli area and slightly different in the Lunigiana area. Pontremoli’s is a unleavened bread, that is, that has no yeast, cooked in traditional texts and that consists only of flour, water and a pinch of salt. The ciaccino, which is a dark brown focaccia that has a curious history. It is said that this species of focaccia was used by bakers to test the temperature of the oven. Then this crush was baked and if it was properly risen, the oven was ready for the second oven that of the bread. And since nothing was thrown away in those days, this focaccia was used by bakers for a snack with meats and cheeses.
Aulla’s flatbreads. There are several variations with white flour or yellow corn dough. They are cooked in terracotta texts and are yummy with cheeses and cured meats in the area. However, they are only found at summer festivals in the Areas of Aulla.
Copper bread, is a typical Florentine sweet sandwich that in ancient times was made on the holy Thursday of Easter and blessed in the church. Today it is also found at other times of the year in Tuscany. Ramerino is an ancient Tuscan word that indicates the rosemary plant, a plant that grows spontaneously in many areas of Tuscany and together with sultanas are the basic ingredients for this sweet sandwich.
The yellow aretina pan and the grouted pan, vegnono prepared in the Easter period in the aretino (Arezzo). The yellow bread is a bread enriched with raisins and saffron, which is consumed with the well-boiled egg blessed on Easter morning. In the grating pan, on the other hand, lard and pork stripe are added and it goes well with meats especially salami.
Enjoy your meal.